Sunni-Shia Dialogue

Malaysian Shi’ites Lonely Struggle

 

An Article by Dr. Mohd Faizal Musa, National University of Malaysia, presented for wpfdc.org

Since 2010, Malaysia, one of the largest strongholds of Sunnism in the Islamic world, has been stigmatizing Shia followers tremendously. Historical accounts show that Shi’ism exists in Malaysia since ages. The discrimination and sectarian apartheid originated from 1984, and 1996 fatwa by Malaysia’s top Islamic clerics that Shia Islam was banned, and declared as a deviant teaching. Lately the oppression is getting worse as Wahabi movement within are embolden. This paper looks into Malaysian Shi’ites lonely struggle to demand their rights and how the religious edict and policies contradict to Malaysia’s commitment at the international level.

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On the Eve of Malaysia’s Universal Periodic Review: Sectarian Apartheid

A Follow-up to the “Sunni-Shia Dialogue” Plenary Meeting held at the 11th Rhodes Forum. By Dr. Mohd Faizal Musa, National University of Malaysia

Malaysia is a multireligious and multiracial nation, and as a sensible scholar researching on human rights I do not see why the Shia do not have the freedom to practice their own faith in Malaysia. This is totally absurd and beyond the human rights in any sense. I have to emphasize that I am shocked to learn that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom denied the rights of Shiites (read here: No violation of human rights in ban of Syiah teachings - Jamil Khir - Latest - New Straits Times). In Malaysia, most Muslims belong to the Sunni school of thought. Shia are one of several Islamic sects under close watch by governmental religious authorities. According to CIA fact books Malaysian Shia make up 280,600 of the population of the country. However local Shias believe their community is much larger but they cannot reveal their faith due to lack of their security and safety. According to Home Ministry Secretary General on Aug 5th 2013, an estimated 250 000 Shia have been identified nationwide.

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Sunni-Shia Dialogue

 

Report on the results of “Sunni-Shia Dialogue” Plenary Meeting held at the 11th Rhodes Forum on October 3, 2013

By Chandra Muzaffar, President, International Movement for a Just World

The end of hegemonic politics at the national, regional and global level would help to create an environment that will be more conducive to the cessation of sectarian conflicts such as the Sunni-Shia conflict. Justice and equity within nation-states and across regions and the globe, especially the eradication of poverty, the reduction of socio-economic disparities, the provision of jobs and social mobility would undoubtedly also curb sectarian violence. So would respect for dissent and differences of opinion and space for popular participation in the political process.

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The Shia Issue in Perspective

 

An Article by Chandra Muzaffar, President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)
Malaysia, 10 August 2013
 
For more than three weeks now, the Bahasa Malaysia media has raised the spectre of a Shia threat to Islam and Muslims in the country. Day in and day out articles speak of Shia proselytization among Sunni Muslims; of widespread conversions which allegedly have increased the Shia population in Malaysia to almost 250,000.

Though empirical evidence of Shia proselytization is scant, it is true that any organised attempt to propagate Shia teachings in largely Sunni societies, and vice versa, will have repercussions. Malaysia, like the rest of the Malay world, has been Sunni for centuries. When an individual or family converts to a minority sect that has no deep roots in the region, uneasiness develops within the larger community and tensions rise.

Proselytization should be discouraged in an intelligent and mature manner. Sunni religious functionaries and scholars should engage with Shias allegedly involved in proselytization. The adverse consequences of their activity should be conveyed to them and their followers. At the same time, one should respect the beliefs of those few families in our midst who have been Shia for generations.

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Muslim vs Muslim in Middle East

Muslim vs Muslim in Middle East

An Article by Sreeram Chaulia published at The New Indian Express on June 12, 2013

The recent declaration of a fatwa (a binding religious decree) by the Sunni Egyptian cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, against the Shia militant movement, Hezbollah, and Iran as enemies of Islam who are “more infidel than Jews and Christians” is a dangerous turn portending endless war among Muslims on sectarian lines.

Qaradawi’s poisonous rhetoric, which is influencing tens of millions of Sunnis globally via the Qatari television channel, Al Jazeera, is exacerbating the fratricide in Syria, where violence between Sunnis and Shiites is bringing back memories of historic battles and grudges between the two main sects of Islam.

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Mahathir, Khatami Call on OIC to Examine Sunni And Shi'a Muslims Divide in Depth

Mahathir, Khatami Call on OIC to Examine Sunni And Shi'a Muslims Divide in Depth

PUTRAJAYA, May 22 (Bernama) -- Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami called on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to set up a task force to examine the Sunni and Shi'a Muslims divide, in depth.

In a joint appeal aimed at ending violence and bloodshed between both doctrines, the two prominent leaders said the task force could perhaps submit concrete proposals for the political and religious leaders of the ummah to act upon the matter.

Dr Mahathir said he only had a simple objective that was to see them stop the violence and the bloodshed among them.

"I don't have a very big agenda such as to unite the Muslim Ummah, because I think that is the task that can be left to other people, not to us. But whatever may be the differences, don't simply kill each other," he told a press conference before launching the first ever Joint Appeal on the matter by both statesmen, at the Perdana Global Peace Foundation building, here.

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A Joint Appeal to Sunnis and Shias

A Joint Appeal to Sunnis and Shias

May 22, 2013, Putrajaya, Malaysia. Former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyed Mohammad Khatami and Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad issued a Joint Appeal to Sunni and Shia Muslims to desist from violence and killing one another.

We, the undersigned, are greatly saddened by the violence and bloodshed which have characterised Sunni-Shi’a relations over time. Thousands have been killed in feuds between the two, mostly in certain Muslim countries. It is tragic that many innocent women and children have been among the victims.

Sunni-Shi’a animosity and antagonism have clearly weakened the Muslim ummah. It has made us more vulnerable to the manipulations and machinations of outside elements determined to subvert the unity and integrity of the ummah. It has allowed those who seek to establish their hegemonic power over us to succeed in their objectives.

It is indisputable that Sunni-Shi’a antagonism and conflicts which have resulted in massacres have tarnished the image and dignity of the ummah in the eyes of the world. Few other occurrences in recent times have had such a negative impact.

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