G25 joins Suhakam in criticising Shiah arrests

Malaysia subscribes to the Sunni school of Islam, and has previously declared the rival Shiah school to be ‘deviant’. — Picture by Choo Choo May
Malaysia subscribes to the Sunni school of Islam, and has previously declared the rival Shiah school to be ‘deviant’. — Picture by Choo Choo May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Shiah is a recognised sect of Islam and its followers must be allowed to practise their religion freely, the G25 said.

The pro-moderation group echoed the Human Rights Commission’s previous call for Islamic authorities to recognise the constitutional right to religious freedom, in relation to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s arrest of 50 Shiahs celebrating Ashura Day last week.

“The Federal Constitution Article 11(1) states that ‘Every person has the right to profess and practise his religion’. And article 11(4) states that ‘Federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam’,” it said in a statement.

“In the case of Shiahs, they are recognised as an accepted sect of Islam, and that any form of assembly cannot be misconstrued as propagating religion other than Islam.”

Jais arrested the 50 Pakistani nationals in the middle of Ashura Day celebrations last week.

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said during the weekend that everyone has the right to freedom of religion, speech, and expression.

Malaysia subscribes to the Sunni school of Islam, and has previously declared the rival Shiah school to be “deviant”.

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