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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Putrajaya now agrees Wahhabism not security threat, says Shahidan

July 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — In a volte-face, Putrajaya has agreed that Wahhabism is not a national security threat a week after the National Security Council (NSC) put several influential Islamic scholars on a terror watch list.

Former Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim revealed today that Minister in the Prime Minister’s department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom (picture) had announced Putrajaya’s findings during a top level government meetingrecently, and had stated there was “no such thing” as Wahhabism’s links to terrorism in the country.

Shahidan has refused to elaborate on where and when the purported meeting took place.

“From what Datuk Seri Jamil Khir said, he does not want to state it openly, but for the time being there is no such thing.

“According to him, the claims that Wahhabism is a threat and leads to terrorist activities, this is an individual opinion, it was said at a place where it should not have been said, that is the NSC,” Shahidan told The Malaysian Insider while stressing that majority of Muslims in Malaysia were followers of the Syafie sect.

Shahidan said that his sources had also informed him that last Monday’s meeting — which put ulamas like Dr Asri Zainul Ariffin and Fathul Bari Mat Jaya under the NSC’s terror watch was not even supposed to discuss the matter.

Another source told The Malaysian Insider that the NSC has decided that while the practice of Wahhabism does exist in the country, but it does not pose any immediate security threat.

The source has also admitted that Malaysia’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has been affected following the threat of Wahhabism being linked to the Arab country.

It is understood that the matter was also raised during yesterday’s Umno supreme council meeting.

Asri was first linked to Wahhabism and the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI) early last year, along with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, Shahidan and Perlis Mufti Juanda Jaya.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Abdul Hadi and Shahidan have been omitted from the watch list this time around, which also included 40 young Umno ulamas.

Shahidan has urged the authorities to solve the matter and not drag it on any further. He has also denied his purported links to Wahhabism

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