KUALA LUMPUR: A Saudi Arabian diplomat in Malaysia has launched a scathing attack on Shia Muslims, saying it is useless to include them in any efforts to unite Muslims as they are deviant.
Sheikh Abdurrahman Ibrahim Al-Rubai’in, who is the religious attache at the Saudi embassy in Kuala Lumpur, told a convention organised by a pro-Saudi group that Shia teachings posed the greatest challenge to Muslims.
“The differences between the Sunnis and Shias is not merely over jurisprudence, but also has to do between truth and falsehood,” he was quoted by Berita Harian, when addressing a national convention organised by Pertubuhan Ilmuan Malaysia (Ilmu).
Ilmu’s members who are closely linked to Umno have in the past backed Saudi policies and spoken out against Shia Islam, the second-largest school of thought in the Muslim world which has been a target of Wahhabi scholars.
Abdurrahman said past Muslim scholars had failed in their efforts at bringing together Sunnis and Shias because they could not find any commonalities.
He further claimed that Shia Muslims do not regard the Quran as followed by Sunni Muslims as authentic.
Berita Harian also reported that the convention also passed a resolution calling on Muslim countries to unite under the leadership of Saudi Arabia and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
It warned of any efforts to work with “those with the agenda to disrupt Muslim unity under OIC.
The resolution is believed to be a response to Malaysia’s hosting of the KL Summit last month, which angered Saudi Arabia over the involvement of its vocal critics.
The KL Summit was attended by the leaders of Qatar, Iran and Turkey, states which have openly rebuked Saudi policies.
Meanwhile, the convention also urged the Rulers’ Conference to double efforts to fight Shia teachings, and called on the media to stop giving coverage to “Shia sympathisers”.
It also proposed that Malaysia host a summit of Sunni Muslim scholars under the auspices of OIC.