The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), according to Ahmadiyya spokesman Maulana Ainul Yaqeen Sahib, has worked hard to declare his community as apostates.
“JAIS has been attacking the Ahmadiyya through the media. Everything gets thrown against us. It’s not fair. They say we are not Muslims, and (at the same time) they don’t give us a chance to say anything (in return),” he told FMT.
Maulana was referring to a Oct 20 television programme known as “Kes Akidah” aired by local Islamic TV station Al-Hijrah. At the time, the programme’s episode was allegedly entitled “Nabi Palsu Qaidani” (False prophets of the Qaidanis).
(Qaidani is another term for the Ahmadiyya.)
Unhappy with the attacks against them, Ahmadiyya representatives handed over a memorandum to both JAIS and Al-Hijrah on Oct 25 and 27 respectively.
In the memorandum, they demanded equal and fair treatment as Muslims in Malaysia, as well as an open discussion over their position as Muslims.
The memorandum read: “What is most regrettable is that JAIS is so fervent in its attempts to prevent the Malays from becoming apostates or embracing other faiths.”
“But in the context of the Ahmaddiya, they so easily issue fatwas labeling us as kafirs or having left Islam.”
It added that an open discussion over the Ahmadiyya would be better than state-organised raids, and would avoid instances of violence and murder.
The Selayang Council, as well as the Gombak Land and District Office, the memorandum said, had been influenced by JAIS in the past to persecute the Ahmadiyya.
Malaysia, a predominantly Sunni Muslim country has been known to keep other Islamic sects under close watch.
According to a TheNutGraph report, the Selangor Fatwa Council issued a fatwa in 1975, declaring the Ahmadiyya as non-Muslims.
In 2009, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) forbade the Ahmaddiya from using their Batu Caves mosque.
There are an estimated 2,000 Ahmadiyyas in Malaysia today, with the majority of them residing in Selangor.
The country’s 100,000 Shi’ite Muslims also face discrimination from local Islamic authorities. In May this year, four Shi’ites were arrested after they were celebrating the birthday of Fatimah az-Zahra, Prophet Muhammad’s daughter.
Two hundred Shi’ites were also arrested at a gathering in late December.