Extremism seems to have afflicted the gentle society of Malaysia as well.
A seminar slated for July 13 to promote Muslim unity had to be cancelled due to ‘security reasons’, according to the organizers.
The popular Malaysian web portal, First Malaysia Today broke the news on July 10.
To be hosted by the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS), the seminar’s theme was the Amman Message.
The other organizers of the seminar were the International Movement For A Just World (JUST) and the consultancy firm Zubedy.
The organizers put out the following message on their website announcing the cancellation:
“CANCELLATION OF THE AMMAN MESSAGE SEMINAR
We regret to inform you that the “Amman Message Seminar” which was scheduled on 13 July 2019 has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and we thank you for your understanding.
Signed by more than 200 leading Islamic scholars of the Muslim world in 2004, the Amman Message affirmed the validity of eight Schools of Thought in Islam including Shias, Salafis and the followers of mysticism. It also called for Muslim unity.
Muslim unity, however, is something the hardcore Wahhabis do not want. They denounce anyone that does not follow their obscurantist views as ‘deviants’ or even ‘kafirs’ and feel justified in killing them.
The Malaysian seminar was cancelled due to bomb threats made on Facebook.
The police in Kuala Lumpur said a person named Amirol Md Zain made the threat on Facebook on July 6.
The message said: “We are bombing this place.”
What action the police have taken against such blatant threat to public safety is not clear yet. What is known is that anti-Shia sentiment has risen alarmingly in Malaysia in recent years.
The former Malaysian government under Najib Razak that was ousted from power in 2018 actively promoted anti-Shi‘ism.
Najib was very close to the Saudis and received hundreds of millions of dollars that he pocketed.
He is facing a raft of corruption charges including pilfering more than $1 billion through the 1 MDB scheme. His trial is set to begin on August 19.
Speakers at the Seminar included Muslim scholar Hashim Kamali, who is also the CEO of IAIS, academics Osman Bakar and Kamar Oniah Kamaruzaman, and prominent thinker Chandra Muzaffar.
The seminar was to have been officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr. Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
Its aim was to promote and spread the message of the 2004 declaration and to “develop practical and implementable action plans to realize its core principles”, the organizers said.
Among the signatories of the Amman Message was Jordan’s King Abdullah II, whose government hosted the seminar 15 years ago.
Malaysian personalities who signed the message included former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as well as former ministers Khairy Jamaluddin and Shahidan Kassim.
Will these personalities in Malaysia also now face threats from the extremists?