Friday, 24 June 2011

Malaysia breaks up Shia celebrations


Tuesday, 24 May 2011 14:32
shiitenews_Malaysia_breaks_up_Shia_celebrationsMalaysian authorities have broken up a mass gathering of Shia Muslims and detained at least four in the latest discriminatory action against the religious community.
Religious Department officers accompanied by at least 20 security forces attacked a gathering which was held to celebrate the birthday anniversary of the daughter of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Fatemeh (PBUH), on Tuesday, AFP said.
“We were having lunch… with 200 people, many of whom are non-Muslims, to celebrate the birthday, when our premises were raided,” Wahab Omar, a Shia community leader said.
Prominent Malaysian Shia leader Kamil Zuhairi Abdul Aziz and three other followers were arrested by Malaysian security forces.
Kamil Zuhairi had previously blamed government officials for systematically violating the basic rights of Shias in the predominantly Sunni Muslim nation.
Last December, over 200 Muslim Shias, including Iranian, Indonesian and Pakistani nationals, were arrested at a mourning ceremony for the third Shia Imam and the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Imam Hussein (PBUH), who was martyred in Karbala, Iraq, over 1,300 years ago.
Some of those detained were charged in a religious court and are awaiting trial.
The arrests come while according to Malaysian law Shia Muslims -- who make up more than one third of Muslims population worldwide -- are free to practice their religion, even though they are barred from promoting it.
"It was purely a social gathering and yet we continue to be harassed by religious authorities," Wahab said.
Meanwhile, reports from Malaysia indicate that parallel to a clampdown on Shia Muslims in the country, Saudi-based Wahhabi beliefs are being promoted in the southeast Asian nation.
Riyadh has reportedly transferred $80 billion fund to Malaysia for the task.
Shia Muslims account for the majority of the population in Azerbaijan, Iraq, Iran and Bahrain, and form significant communities in Afghanistan, Indonesia, India, Lebanon, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

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