Ahmadiah community lives in fear after veiled threats from PPIM

From left to right: GBAH chairman Masridzi Sat, PPIM chief Nadzim Johan, and PPIM umrah regulatory unit head Abdul Halim.

PETALING JAYA: A small community of Ahmadiah followers in Selangor is living in fear following threats and warnings issued against its members during a press conference hosted by the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) last week.

At the press conference on Sept 27, a spokesman for a group calling itself Gerakan Banteras Aktiviti Haram (GBAH) urged state Islamic authorities to act against Baitusalam, which for decades has been a meeting point for followers of Ahmadiah.

Ahmadiah is a Muslim sect originating from the Indian subcontinent, which the National Fatwa Council ruled as deviant. The sect is also condemned in Friday sermons throughout Selangor to remind Muslims that it is not part of Islam.

For decades, followers of Ahmadiah at the Baitusalam, a three-storey building in Kampung Nakhoda, Batu Caves, have lived peacefully with the locals, despite occasional harassment from religious officials.

But according to Jariullah Ahmad, a spokesman for Jemaat Ahmadiyah Muslim Community which runs the centre, some locals were not happy with the group’s private activities, and brought their complaint to PPIM.

Jariullah is particularly worried that several threatening remarks were uttered by GBAH chairman Masridzi Sat at the PPIM press conference on Sept 27, including one in which references were made to violence against Ahmadiah followers in Indonesia.

“This Friday, maybe they will conduct the big demo in front of our mosque,” said Jariullah.

In the press conference, Masridzi urged religious and local authorities to act against the centre “because Islam is being played around with in Kampung Nakhoda”.

A giant signboard by Islamic authorities condemning the Ahmadiah sect greets visitors at Baitusalam in Batu Caves.
A giant signboard by authorities condemning the Ahmadiah sect greets visitors at Baitusalam in Batu Caves.

“The Selayang Municipal Council must not be abetting them because this is a big issue. We are protecting more Muslims from leaving the faith,” he said.

Masridzi then hinted that failure of the authorities to close down the centre would mean his group taking the law into their own hands.

“We are handling the issue. You know what it means when an NGO handles the issue,” he said.

“In Indonesia, they would burn these people’s buildings,” he added.

Speaking to FMT, Jariullah said his organisation had recently agreed to a debate with PPIM.

“We would rather have this debate than for there to be any harsh actions or rash decisions, and we’ve sent a letter of acceptance to PPIM for this debate,” he said.

The Ahmadiah sect is based on the teachings of Mirza Ghulan Ahmad of Qadian, India, whom they believe is the promised Mahdi, or messiah.

Muslims consider the teachings as not part of mainstream Islam, a stand made into an edict by Malaysia’s National Fatwa Committee in 1975, declaring Ahmadiah followers as having strayed from the Islamic faith.