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Perkasa chief not convinced by Putrajaya’s Shia evidence against Mat Sabu

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 01:27 PM PST

Ibrahim says Putrajaya can do better than citing Mat Sabu's admiration for Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini. 

Hasbullah Awang Chik, TMI

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu may have an unlikely ally in Datuk Ibrahim Ali, leader of the right wing Malay group Perkasa, who doubted the Home Ministry's recent allegation that the veteran PAS leader is a Shia Muslim.

On Thursday, Putrajaya linked Mohamad, popularly known as Mat Sabu, to Shia activities, and cited his admiration for the late Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini.

But Ibrahim said admiring Iranian leaders is not proof that one is a Shia Muslim.

Ibrahim, one of few Malaysians who met Khomeini in person when the latter lived in exile in France, also dismissed suggestions that he too was a Shia follower as a big joke.

"If I am accused of being a Shia because I met with the Khomeini, it will be the biggest joke as my meeting with anyone cannot be used to say that I follow or agree with their beliefs.

"Admiring Iran's Islamic Revolution has nothing to do with Shia. It was a political fight by the people of Iran against its cruel leader at that time," Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur, referring to the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Shah Reza Pahlavi, who was overthrown in the 1979 popular uprising.

On whether Mat Sabu is a Shia, Ibrahim said: "I don't know. It has to be answered by him alone and has nothing to do with my meeting with the Khomeini."

The Home Ministry convened a press conference on Thursday to reveal what it said were evidences to back its minister's claims that Mat Sabu was involved in Shia activities.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi first made the claim in his capacity as the Umno vice-president during the party's general assembly recently.

Most of the evidences revolved around Mat Sabu's admiration of Khomeini's struggle.

Following that, a picture of Ibrahim posing with Khomeini (above) made its rounds on social networking sites, with netizens questioning whether Ibrahim too was now a Shia.

The ministry cited an article by Mat Sabu published in the PAS organ Harakah in July 2008, in which he urged Muslims to emulate Khomeini's leadership.

However, Ibrahim felt that the Home Ministry should come out with a stronger evidence to back its claim that Mat Sabu is a Shia.

"If meeting with the Khomeini, like I did, is the basis of their accusation, then I wouldn't accuse Mat Sabu of being a Shia follower. But if the ministry has more evidence, I will not interfere with that. They have to show that Mat Sabu has joined in trainings or activities organised by Shia groups," he said.

Ibrahim reminded that former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak had met with Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Tze Tung and had started diplomatic ties with China.

"I do not think that Tun Razak supported the communist ideology.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also met with Cuban leader Fidel Castro but that does not mean he is a socialist," he argued.

Ibrahim, who was Mat Sabu's college mate at then Institut Teknologi Mara, said he was proud that his meeting with Khomeini was exposed in the social media as many did not believe it took place.



Shiah row: Zahid Hamidi says ready to meet Mat Sabu in court

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 01:23 PM PST

(MM) - Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi appears unruffled for a court face-off with political foe, Mohamad Sabu, whom he has previously claimed to be a clandestine follower of the Shia school of Islam, which Malaysia does not recognise.

Mohamad, popular known as Mat Sabu, had threatened to sue Ahmad Zahid and the Home Ministry, for persisting in linking him to Shiaism, Islam's second-largest branch practised by an estimated 15 per cent of the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide but which Malaysia, which follows the Sunni school, regards as deviant.

"I know the truth about this (Shiah) disclosure. Mat Sabu also knows the truth and so do the other PAS leaders. We have proof and I am not the least bit anxious with Mat Sabu's threat to sue me and the Home Ministry. I am ready to meet Mat Sabu in court," the vice-president of Umno, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition's main party, was reported saying today by Utusan Malaysia.

"Because of that I hope Mat Sabu is not included among the ranks of those connceal themselves even though that is the attitude of Shiah followers. Islam is only members of the Sunnah Wal Jamaah and if there is anyone out there who is lost return to the right track."

He told the Malay broadsheet that he did not mind being the brickbats by critics, especially those from PAS he said were unhappy at his crackdown on the Shiah movement here to protect Malaysia's security and religious interests.

He reportedly said that it would be too late if the authorities only acted after Malaysian Muslims were to split into Sunnis and Shiahs and blood were split, such as has happened in Iraq, Pakistan and several other West Asian nations.

"Because of that don't see the Shiah issue in a political context. Shiah is a question of faith and security. As Muslims we must follow the true teachings which is Sunnah Wal Jamaah without compromise. And so too in the security aspect because we do not want divisions to happen," Ahmad Zahid was quoted saying.

Putrajaya has in recent months stepped up its campaign against Shiah teachings and followers in Malaysia, but this has been accompanied by suspicions that the action was politically motivated.

Ahmad Zahid had appeared to reinforce the view during the Umno General Assembly last week, when he ordered local religious authorities to act against "the number two in PAS" for alleged ties to the Shiah movement.

While it was widely believed the home minister was referring to PAS deputy president Mohammad Sabu, this was not confirmed until Thursday, when the Home Ministry presented the "proof" that led the minister to arrive at the conclusion.

This ministry listed 10 points it claimed proved Mohamad was a Shi'ite, including the popular PAS speaker's purported admiration for the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and an allegation by one Dr Abdul Aziz Hanafi that the Penang-born had once recited a Shiah prayer.

Mohamad has categorised the allegations as "lies" and said he will consult his lawyers over the possible defamation. 


Jamil Khir: States to take charge of ‘syariah cops’, roll out soon

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 01:19 PM PST

(MM) - Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom confirmed today the set up of a special police unit dubbed "syariah police", which will be managed by the religious departments of the respective states.

The minister in charge of Islamic affairs added that he is still in fine-tuning the details with his Cabinet colleague, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, but the religious policing unit will be on the road soon.

"I am discussing with Zahid for a committee for this syariah thing," Jamil Khir told reporters, referring to the home minister.

"We very much welcome it so there will be a group which can focus on actions in syariah, and we try to form it as soon as possible to help out religious departments in carrying out their tasks."

Pointing to Article 9 of the Federal Constitution, Jamil Khir said the religious affairs are under the jurisdiction of each state, and that the federal government was only facilitate the programme.

"We are only helping to administer it at the federal level... We cannot interfere with the rights and jurisdiction of the states," he said.

Yesterday, Ahmad Zahid said the Home Ministry is weighing proposals to form a special police unit to contain the spread of the banned Shiah school of Islam here.

Among the proposals will be to embed police officers within the Malaysian Islamic Advancement Affairs Department (Jakim) as part of an "enforcement team", which could allow such squads vastly broadened powers to arrests those deemed in breach of Islamic laws. 


Home Ministry: Mat Sabu must prove he has no links with Syiah sect

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 12:46 PM PST

(Bernama) - The Home Ministry has urged PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu to come forward and prove that he does not have any links with the Syiah Islamic sect.

Its religious officer Ustaz Dr Zamihan Mat Zain Al Ghari said Mohamad, who is also known as Mat Sabu, must also respond to the 10 pieces of evidence adduced by the ministry against him.

"If the evidence is not solid, then he should come forward and dismiss them. It doesn't matter whether he does it face to face with the ministry or through Youtube or the newspaper," he told Bernama after being interviewed in the programme Ruang Bicara produced by BernamaTV last night.

Zamihan said the ministry was prepared to discuss the truth with Mat Sabu based on the Sunnah Wal Jamaah practised in the country.

"We have solid evidence that Mat Sabu attended Syiah classes together with Syiah religious teachers, met with Syiah leaders, visited Syiah countries, praised Syiah leaders and Syiah countries," he said.

He also said the 10 pieces of evidence on Mat Sabu's involvement with Syiah, that was provided by Home secretary general Datuk Seri Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi on Thursday was categorised as Grade B.

"The ministry has exclusive Grade A proof which would be exposed to the public if necessary," he said.

Earlier in the programme, he said the ministry had never targeted any individual or party, and only acted in the interest of Muslims in the country.

"This is a question of theology, we do not look at the individual, position or influence but the truth. When there is a deviant doctrine such as this (syiah) we have to act," he said.

On the action that could be taken against Mat Sabu, he said the matter was under the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department or state Islamic religious department.


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