Amri Che Mat’s disappearance and Shia-phobia in Malaysia

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SHAFAQNA – A Malaysian social activist, Amri Che Mat, went missing on Nov 24, 2016 that media reports saying it could be related to his alleged Shia belief. Already, Perlis Mufti Asri Zainul Abidin has attacked Amri Che Mat for following Shia teachings banned by religious authorities and has claimed that Shia Muslims were a threat to Malaysia’s national security.

Former police deputy commissioner Awaluddin Jadid was asked by Amri’s family lawyers, in the ongoing inquiry into missing Perlis activist Amri Che Mat, to explain a speech he made in 2016, which among other things, refers to Shia Muslims as “enemies”.

The speech is crucial in the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) inquiry into Amri’s disappearance because of allegations that he is a Shia Muslim.

When questioned, Awaluddin however said he did not believe Shia Muslims were violent, despite branding them enemies.

“The Special Branch have to be concerned because we don’t want something small to become big later,” he told the inquiry.

In the 2016 speech, Awaluddin had claimed: “If they (Shia) have a leader then it will become a problem for our security.”

He had also said there were Shia Muslims in the police force.

Awaluddin was then asked if he considered this a problem.

“The fatwa is that Shia is deviant and so it becomes a security concern,” he claimed, referring to the stand by Malaysian Islamic authorities, labelling Shia Islam as deviant.

Awaluddin said the concern over Shia Muslims was due to events in the Middle East.

“In countries like Syria and Iraq, there is war between Sunni and Shia Muslims.”

But family lawyers protested his statement, saying it had nothing to do with Malaysia.

On May 12, Amri’s wife Norhayati Ariffin claimed that she met with a Sergeant Shamzaini who had implicated Awaluddin in Amri’s disappearance.

On Monday, Awaluddin, who was part of the Special Branch’s Social and Religious Extremism Division at the Bukit Aman police headquarters, admitted that he met Perlis Mufti Asri Zainul Abidin in 2016 to discuss Amri’s activities, Free Malaysia Today reported.

According to IQNA, Asri came under fire from academics and rights activists last week for saying that Shia Muslims were a threat to Malaysia’s national security.

This comes after he attacked missing Perlis activist Amri Che Mat for following Shia teachings, which Islamic authorities in Malaysia consider as “deviant”.

Amri’s wife Norhayati Ariffin had earlier told a Human Rights Commission inquiry into her husband’s disappearance that she suspected Asri’s officers of having played a role in his alleged abduction.

Asri has denied having anything to do with Amri’s disappearance, but admitted questioning him for leaning towards Shia Islam.

According to ABNA24, Shiites in Malaysia, a country of 31 million, are believed to number 40,000. Shiism was banned in 1996, but Shiites are allowed to worship privately [in severe conditions].

Mr Amri Che Mat, 44, is co-founder of charity organisation Perlis Hope, A Malaysian social activist from the northern state of Perlis has been missing on Nov 24, 2016 after apparently being kidnapped from his vehicle, Straits Times reported.

 

Read more from Shafaqna:

Malaysia crackdown on Shia Muslims resumes over Ashura

The Fascist Malaysian Regime cracks down on the tiny Shia Muslim community

ABNA.IR/ Former Malaysian PM ‘Mahathir Mohamad’: We cannot call Shia as ‘unbeliever’

 

 

 

 

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