Malaysian Extremists Deny Ahmadiyya Religious Freedom

    TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ - Malaysia is falling prey to religious
extremists and further eroding its image as a moderate Islamic state. In its
latest religious edict issued on April 24, 2009, the Majlis Agama Islam
Selangor (MAIS), the highest religious authority in the State of Selangor
second only to the Sultan, prohibits the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in
Malaysia from praying in and otherwise peacefully utilizing their
Bait-us-Salam (House of Peace) Mosque. Failure to comply with this edict will
result in a criminal sentence of up to 1 year imprisonment and/or a fine of up
to RM 3,000.
    Responding to the news, Lal Khan Malik, President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim
Community in Canada, said, "It saddens me to note that instead of informing
the world of the peaceful teachings of Islam, the Malaysian authorities have
taken to denying the basic human rights of Muslims. This is against the
fundamental Qur'anic injunction of 'There is no compulsion in matters of
faith' (2:257)."
    "The edict in Malaysia is in sharp contrast to the freedom of expression
enjoyed by Canadian Ahmadi Muslims who were able to construct Canada's largest
mosque without any restriction or hindrance from government authorities," he
    This denial of the religious freedom of Malaysian Ahmadiyya Muslims and
the forbidding of the peaceful practicing of their faith in this manner
constitutes a gross and flagrant violation of international human rights
    This edict follows the edict issued in 1975 by the MAIS that declared all
Ahmadiyya Muslims as non-Muslim. This edict was accompanied by the threat that
if the Ahmadiyya did not "repent and return to the true teachings of Islam,
they should be killed by the Imam which is the King." At the time, recognizing
that the genocide of the Ahmadiyya was not legally possible, instead, certain
of its members' rights and privileges were curtailed.

    The Ahmadiyya are peaceful, faithful and law-abiding Muslims. However,
due to differing views on certain matters of doctrinal interpretation,
extremists seek to impose their own rigid interpretations on pain of violent
excommunication. Recent developments in Malaysia indicate that it is falling
prey to the same extremist influences as those existing in Pakistan and
Indonesia by succumbing to the legalization and infliction of terror upon the
Ahmadiyya thereby violating international standards and seriously threatening
its so-called status as a moderate Islamic state.

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