So-called “liberal Muslims” in Malaysia are being monitored by the country’s government, which has deemed them “deviants.”
Government officials in Kuala Lumpur have vowed to “increase efforts to sway them back to traditional religious beliefs,” reports The Star.
Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, an official in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Islamic affairs, is quoted by The Star as saying, “These liberal groups would also be monitored and may have their publications censored if they try to post on print or electronic media.”
Jamil noted that the Malaysian government had made its position against liberalism clear in a 2006 declaration issued during the 74th National Fatwa Council’s muzakarah [discussion] task force on Malaysian Islamic affairs.
Liberal movements contain “understandings which deviate from faith and [Sharia],” declared the government at the time.
“Among these beliefs are holding on to the concept of pluralism, believing that the human mind is a revelation, doubting the authenticity of the Quran, questioning the interpretation of the Quran and Hadith, pushing for new interpretations on the concept of worship, questioning prophetic morals and having their own methods of referring to Fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] punishment,” Jamil told Parliament Thursday.
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department and State Islamic Affairs Department are collaborating to crack down on liberal Muslims by issuing fatwas to “control the spread of deviant beliefs” and talking to such people, he added.
Jamil also said:
We will continue monitoring programs on groups that have deviant beliefs and censor their publications on print and electronic media … Religious and enforcement authorities will also increase their cooperation against those with beliefs that are reported to be deviant.
In January, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak declared that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) poses a “very real” threat to the Asian country.
ISIS is known to impose strict Islamic law in the areas it controls.
The PM made those comments after the jihadist group threatened the nation in retaliation to numerous arrests of its members.
“This threat is very real and my government takes it very seriously,” PM Razak announced. “This is a challenge that faces us all around the world. We are far from immune to this danger in Malaysia.”
The ISIS branch in Malaysia and Indonesia is known as Katibah Nusantara.
“If you catch us, we will only increase in number but if you let us be, we will be closer to our goal of bringing back the rule of the Khalifah [caliph],” the branch vowed, later adding, “We will never bow down to the democratic system of governance as we will only follow Allah’s rules.”