After backlash, Isma retracts article titled ‘Islam on top, infidels below’

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) President Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman (centre) leaves the Kajang Sessions Court after being charged for sedition, in this June 19, 2014 file picture. Abdullah Zaik’s sedition trial is scheduled to be heard tomorrow. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) President Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman (centre) leaves the Kajang Sessions Court after being charged for sedition, in this June 19, 2014 file picture. Abdullah Zaik’s sedition trial is scheduled to be heard tomorrow. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — Faced with scrutiny, Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) took down today an article published yesterday on its website, which had argued that “infidels” are to always remain below Muslims.

The group initially posted a correction to the article after wrongly attributing it to Isma central committee member Abdul Halim Abdullah, but later deleted the article from its website after it was picked up by news portals The Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini.

“On October 11, ISMAweb has published the article and now ISMAweb has retracted the article,” said the group’s statement today, referring to its portal

“ISMAweb apologises for what happened,” it added without further explanation.

The article titled “Islam di atas, kafir di bawah” [translated: Islam on top, infidels below] was penned by a self-styled “Isma fighter” identified only as “Rijal”, and claimed that the world had only been in peace when Islam reigned 1,300 years ago.

“That was why our ancestors martyred themselves to chase Christian Invaders away from Tanah Melayu. They were not willing for Christian Invaders to be on top or to have supremacy on this blessed land,” the article had said.

“That is why we reject the ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ concept because it wants to return the status of this Islamic motherland to its pre-Independence aspects regarding the status of Islam and its adherents.”

On Thursday, an analyst from Isma suggested that Malaysia’s ethnic Malays have always been “bullied” since colonial times by non-Malays, especially ethnic Chinese.

In an article on the group’s website, the analyst also suggested that Chinese mine owners in the 18th century were in cahoots with British invaders to “loot the riches” from Malays.

These articles were posted ahead of the sedition trial of Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman, scheduled to be heard tomorrow.

Abdullah Zaik was charged after he called the ethnic Chinese “intruders” who had been brought into the country by British colonialists to oppress Malays.

The Islamist group has called supporters to gather in front of the Kajang Sessions Court in the morning of the first day of the trial, “in the name of religion and race”.