Persecution and sectarianism against minorities in Malaysia including those of the Shia and Ahmadis depict the worsening human rights situation in the country, according to an analysis.
Mohd Faizal Musa, a human rights activist in Malaysia has expressed concern over the sectarianism against the minorities including Shia and Ahmadis in the country.
According to Al Jazeera, the escalation of tension between Iran and its American and Arab adversaries has stirred sectarian sensitivities not only in the region but also miles away in Southeast Asia, and caused Malaysia, a country with a predominantly Sunni population, to be once again get sucked into the foreign rivalries.
"There are so many lies spread against Shias that they have their different kind of Quran which is quite a bizarre thought, because, Malaysia is very famous for Musabka. The administration is promoting this kind of lies in school textbooks. There are a lot of fear in Shias Muslim and Ahmadi children" rights activist Faizal Musa said in a podcast.
Recalling an interview of a secretary-general belonging to an Ahmadi community in Malaysia, Faizal Musa said, the leader once told him that even teachers refuse to teach children of the minority community.
"Malaysia and Indonesia are two different countries, entities and climates (political climate). Indonesia is colonised by the Dutch and Malaysia by the British. During the British colonisation of Malaysia, the British introduced the so-called Islamic department which apparently regulates the certain activities of minorities," he said.
"This propaganda of sectarianism is being promoted by the authorities and the government agency," he said further in the podcast.
The Fatwa Committee for Religious Affairs in Malaysia in 1996, as per Al Jazeera, issued a religious opinion recognising Sunni Islam as "the permitted form of Islam" in the country and branding Shia Islam as "deviant".
When the new Malaysian government came to power in May 2018, it made several moves indicating that it would not pursue a policy of favouring one foreign power over another, especially in the Middle East.
Musa who is a research fellow at the Institute of the Malay World and Civilization said: "Fatwa is a tool in Malaysia. Here once it is circulated, it becomes law rather than an opinion. This is how discrimination is introduced in Malaysia." (ANI)