SEREMBAN: Police detained 20 people, mostly women in their 20s, for allegedly taking part in a religious session organised by a group that was not sanctioned by the state Islamic Affairs Department.
They were arrested by a team of officers from the Negri Sembilan and Selangor Islamic Affairs departments during a raid at the top floor of a three-storey shoplot at Oakland Commerce Square around 11am yesterday.
Negri Sembilan Islamic Affairs department operations head Mohd Zul Sidek said the raid was conducted following a public tip-off.
“We were told that the participants arrived from somewhere in the Klang Valley last night and stayed at the shoplot,” he added.
It has yet to be ascertained if the 20 are involved in any deviationist group.
It is learnt that the 28-year-old group leader, who was smartly dressed in a long-sleeved shirt and blazer, was not authorised to conduct the classes.
Asked if the group was linked to the Negara Islam Indonesia group (NII), Mohd Zul said this could not be ascertained yet.
The NII’s main objective is to turn Indonesia into an Islamic nation and they were prepared to wage war against their government to achieve this.
The participants did not resist arrest and officers seized several laptops and a whiteboard from the room.
“We became suspicious because deviationists normally operated from shoplots to avoid being detected by the authorities,” said Mohd Zul.
Speaking to reporters in Port Dickson later, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said state authorities have been monitoring the activities of several religious groups believed to be involved in deviationist teachings.
Mohamad said he had been told that some of the groups, which purportedly spread the message of God, charged RM500 as entrance fee.
The state government was also monitoring the activities of banned movements Al-Arqam and Al Mansor.
Asked on the detention, Mohamad said preliminary investigations showed the majority of its members were from outside the state, and with Indonesian connections.