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Monday November 26, 2012

Expose deviant group’s tactics

IN a recent report on Al-Arqam, the daughter of Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim was wooed by the outlawed movement as a potential recruit but was advised by her mother not to accept anything they offered.

Dr Mashitah said, “Their (Al-Arqam’s) modus operandi is to use charity and welfare activities to gain influence over our students.” It seems overseas students are targeted because the movement’s activities in the country are under surveillance.

But is “don’t accept anything they offer” all one should tell one’s child, knowing the movement’s scheming tactics and the game they play with our beliefs and convictions?

What about the other vulnerable young people out there studying in West Asian universities? Intelligent and smart as they are, in the game of persuasion young people tend to abandon reason and succumb to all kinds of offerings meant for their comfort and well-being.

What is fundamentally needed is educating the Malay mind in matters of religion and beliefs. However, being steeped in belief in things mystical and superstition is not only a Malay trait but unfortunately seems to be part of universal human nature.

I’m no expert on religious matters, but I reckon more effort is needed from our Islamic religious authorities to improve the way religious teachers impart the Truth.

There are many great religious teachers around, but there are also those giving misleading messages. I think something is missing in our religious education system.

Why don’t Islamic religious authorities take up the issue seriously, for instance explaining logically why Al-Arqam’s teachings are considered deviant or devious?

Common sense tells us there is something amiss about this group led by Khatijah Am, widow of its late founder. From newspaper reports about her mystical and supernatural activities in Mecca as well as the suspicious activities of her followers at home, we are in for a steady deterioration of the Malay mentality.

As a Malay Muslim woman, I also feel insulted by the way Khatijah Am is propagating polygamy and the stupidly vulgar Obedient Wives Club. Don’t ignore the fact that women and children are naturally affected by these issues, while men may gain from them; and so I can understand if they are not making noise.

Insyallah, if people are enlightened on matters pertaining to the nonsensical content of Al-Arqam’s teachings, whatever Khatijah Am’s aim and scheming, they will surely not materialise that easily.

DR SURAIYA MOHD ALI

Kuala Lumpur

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