Malaysian State of Selangor’s religious enforcers have threatened several followers of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim Community with arrests in order to compel them to appear in the Shariah court to continue a trial that has been postponed twice since last year.
According to the Ahmadis, the Selangor Department of Islamic Affairs (JAIS) is preparing arrest warrants to force 39 of its members ― three of them minors ― to appear before the Islamic courts, consequently violating a civil High Court order issued last year to halt all proceedings.
“They told our civil lawyers that if we do not attend on July 2, then arrest warrants will be issued. It was only three days ago, on Saturday, that we received this news,” Ainul Yakin M. Zain, the community’s spokesman, told Malay Mail Online over the phone.
“But so far, we have not personally received any letter from JAIS, nor have our Shariah lawyers,” he added, explaining that they have been advised by their civil lawyers to not appear in court tomorrow despite the alleged threat of arrest.
It is understood that the community’s lawyers from the firm BON Advocates received the call from a JAIS officer on June 24 to inform the Ahmadis of the warrants.
When contacted by the loca media, a JAIS spokesman declined to confirm the issue of those warrants.
On August 14 last year, a group 39 Ahmadiyya followers were granted leave by High Court Judge Datuk Zaleha Yusuf to pursue their application for a judicial review of their arrests by JAIS during a raid at a shoplot in Dolomite Park, Batu Caves, four months earlier on April 11.
The 39 applicants — which also included eight Pakistani asylum seekers, two Indian nationals, and one Indonesian — were arrested by JAIS officers on the grounds that they were performing Friday prayers in a place that is not a mosque.
The group were initially ordered to face the Gombak Shariah Court in October and November last year, but the case has since been postponed to make way for the judicial review application.
“Before this, our civil lawyers have twice asked for the case to be postponed, and they (JAIS) have agreed. But this third time, it seems that they are now trying to play hard,” said Ainul.
The Ahmadis, adhere to the same beliefs as the Sunni branch of Islam, but also believe that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the Imam Mahdi, Islam’s prophesied redeemer.
In Malaysia where only the Sunni branch is officially recognised, the Ahmadiyya community was declared “deviants” and “infidels” by the the Selangor Fatwa Committee on June 22, 1998, and subsequently forbidden to host Friday prayers in its central mosque in Selayang, Selangor.