Cops probing claims of mistreatment of Shia Muslims in Johor raid

Women and children were among more than 50 Shia Muslims observing an Ashura event that was raided by the Johor religious authorities on Sept 9.

PETALING JAYA: Johor police are investigating allegations of rough treatment of Shia Muslims when their private religious event was raided by state Islamic authorities this week.

Johor police chief Mohd Kamarudin Md Din told news portal Malay Mail that action would be taken against officers if they were found to have roughed up detainees.

He however said police had acted within the confines of the law when accompanying officers of the Johor Islamic Religious Department (JAINJ) who raided a private house in Kempas.

“However, police will also not hesitate to take action if investigators find the three reports alleging police abuse to be false,” he said.

FMT today quoted sources as saying that policemen who accompanied JAINJ during the raid on Sept 9 had trained a gun on one of the participants of a private event to commemorate Ashura, an important occasion for Shia Muslims.

It was also claimed that a police officer had flashed his gun to another man who warned them not to mishandle detainees.

“He put his hand on the pistol at his waist, as if to send them a message,” a source told FMT.

In the raid, eight people, including a Yemeni, an Indonesian and two Singaporeans, were arrested.

Religious authorities in Malaysia have over the years been enforcing a fatwa declaring Shia teachings as “deviant”, with raiding parties mostly targetting local Shias.

Shia, with a substantial following in Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon and several parts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan, is the second largest branch of Islam.