Faith Detention camps in Malaysia are not new. We know of former Muslims who were sent to ‘faith rehabilitation camps’ for re-education or indoctrination. Such arrests were under the radar screen of human rights activists since the detainees were not produced in court and summarily judged. I suppose the average Muslim just couldn’t be bothered when potential (apostates) murtads were detained. But now, reputable Muslims are arrested and probably will be sent for re-education in detention camps. Well, it was arrests for apostates yesterday, today it’s for Shites, tomorrow it may well be the average Sunni Muslim who somehow fails to comply with some dictates from the Islamic department. Reminds me of the famous quote from Martin Niemoller under the Nazis:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
The fact is fundamental liberties in general and religious liberties in particular form a seamless cloth. Unravel one string, then another string and soon the whole cloth will unravel. Will more educated and independent minded Muslims speak up in defence of full religious liberty for all citizens regardless of race and religion?
Jais moots special detention camp for deviationists LINK
Fadzly Esa Dec 24, 2010
The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) is proposing the establishment of a detention centre specially to cater for followers of alleged deviationist Islamic teachings. Its deputy director of enforcement, Mohd Rais Rasid , said this was necessary to contain followers of deviationist teachings to be quarantined separately from other detainees.
“They must not be allowed to share cell rooms with other detainees because we are worried that this group would affect the faith of others.
“Let them be confined together among themselves,” he told Malaysiakini during an interview at the Jais headquarters.
According to Mohd Rais, the group which poses most concern to them now are followers of the Shiite branch of Islam. In recent weeks, 128 alleged Shiite followers have been detained by Jais. He said that such detention centres will also act as “rehabilitation” centres and detainees in such cases would not be placed in jail where they are in contact with others. “If we don’t have such detention centres, we will have a dilemma. If we put a leader of a deviationist movement in jail, there will be chaos. “We are worried that he would spread his teachings to other detainees,” he said, citing the example of how the leader of the Kahar cult disappeared while in jail.
Seeking from the wrong source
He said that the proposal for the detention centres is still in the early stages and more details would be revealed in the future. Meanwhile, deputy planning and strategy director Nasrul Hadi Rohani said that many followers of deviationist teachings were duped. He said that normally the followers of such groups are individuals who are looking to learn more about Islam. “But they end up meeting the wrong teachers who set them on the wrong path. That’s why we encourage the public to learn about religion in the surau and the mosque because the teachers are recognised by Jais. “This is what they should be looking for and not ask their friends, who would in turn ask another friend. This is what causes deviationist teachings. They are not seeking from the correct source,” he said.
The government considers only the Sunni denomination to be legal in Malaysia. Sunni Islam is the world’s largest branch of the religion, followed by Shia Islam.
128 ‘Shiites’ arrested, 100 under questioning LINK
Abdul Rahim Sabri Dec 21, 2010
As many as 101 of the 128 Shiite followers who have been detained by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) have had their statements recorded over suspicions of being involved with the banned mazhab (school of thought). According to a Jais insider, those detained had started giving their statements since being detained last week and will continue to do so until Thursday when the process of recording their statement ends. They are being investigated under Section 12 (c) of the Selangor Syariah Crimes Enactment 1995, which pertains to committing contempt against the religious authorities.
Section 12 (c) pertains to acting “in a way yang menghina kuasa yang sah (that is in contempt of the rightful authorities), or defies, violates or questions an order or directive of … the mufti stated or issued through a fatwa.” A Selangor fatwa proscribes being involved in, learning or propogating Shiite teachings. Those found guilty of an offence for which they have been charged can be fined up to RM3,000, jailed up to two years, or both.
“They were undergoing collective studies (of Shiite teachings). The way we see it, if the lessons were undertaken individually, there would be no problem as we would not be aware of it. But it was done in groups,” the source told Malaysiakini when contacted.
More to be brought to court
Last Wednesday, scores of Shiites – local and foreigners – were rounded up by Jais during a raid on a shoplot in Taman Seri Gombak, Batu Caves. Among those reportedly detained were lecturers, university students, lawyers and civil servants. According to the source, two of the 128 persons detained were brought to the Kuang Lower Syariah Court on Dec 16.
Other than being charged under Section 12 (c), the two individuals also face being charged under Section 7(1) and Section 13 of the same enactment.
Section 7(1) relates to the teaching, ‘clarification’ or performance of any rites or actions relating to Islam, whether on private or public property. Committing an offense under the provision can lead to a fine of up to RM3,000, jail of not more than three years, caning of up to six strokes, or a combination of the above.
Section 13, meanwhile, pertains to relating, propagating or spreading views on any issue, teaching or syariah judgment that goes against fatwas already in force in Selangor.
Those found guilty of breaching Section 13 can be liable to a fine of not more than RM3,000, prison of up to two years, or both. The case has been set for second mention on Jan 20 next year. As many as 126 Shiites are expected to be brought to court the following March 24.