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Source: abna.ir     03/09/2018

Malaysian authorities nabs Shia Muslims in Merdeka eve raid

Malaysian authorities in Kelantan on Thursday, August 30 raided a religious centre for Shia Muslims before arresting them. 

The raid, by some 20 officers from the Kelantan Islamic religious department, started just before midnight. 

It is understood that the officers took away several items including reading materials from the centre in Jalan Sri Cemerlang here. Some 10 men and women were later brought to the nearest police station. 

Islamic authorities in Malaysia consider Shia Islam, which is predominant among Muslims in several Middle East countries, as “deviant”. 

A 1996 fatwa by the National Fatwa Council bans Shia teachings. Since then, Shia Muslim gatherings have been subjected to raids and arrests, with adherents charged with criminal offences under shariah laws. 

Meanwhile, a member of the Shia Muslim community who declined to be identified questioned the raid’s timing, saying it took place just a day after a lecture in Kota Bharu by a mufti from a neighbouring state. 

He described the mufti as “staunchly anti-Shia”, and questioned authorities in Kelantan for encouraging actions against Muslims who do not subscribe to Sunni Islam. 

“It will only encourage intra-Muslim intolerance,” he added. 

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