Senseless jihad puts Malaysia as global violence hub, says Home Ministry officer

KUALA LUMPUR - A jihad based on narrow interpretation that does not meet religious requirements will only give the country a bad image, said a Home Ministry official.

Religious Officer Zamihan Mat Zain Al Ghari said the involvement of Malaysians in "senseless jihad" will only be frowned upon by the international community which views Malaysia as a global violence hub.

"When there's war in Afghanistan, we go to Afghanistan. When there's war in Iraq, our people go to Iraq, so the international community sees Malaysia as a hub and exporter of Islamic militants.

"This is unhealthy and dangerous for Muslims in Malaysia and how the world views Malaysia," he said after being interviewed in BernamaTV's Cabaran Institusi Agama show.

Zamihan, who is Pertubuhan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah president, was commenting on the involvement of Malaysian citizens in militant activities in Syria.

Zamihan said involvement in such activities also have a negative effect on family members.

"When their identity is revealed by the media, family members will get a shock and become traumatised, because I'm sure that most of those who went to war were not honest with their families.

"Family members and heirs will be stressed when the media reports on injury, war or casualties which occur," he added.

He urged the government to view these activities seriously and identify the individuals involved and work with the international police for their arrest.

Zamihan also urged the government to continue monitoring Syiah groups in the country as they are said to be intimate with Syiah groups abroad, including Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"Hezbollah is also involved in a civil war in Syria to defend the rights of their Syiah brothers in the Bashar Al-Asad government.

"And most of them (Syiah groups) hide behind non-governmental organisations (NGO) using names such as Syria Care, Free Syrian Army, Syria Foundation and others but instead have a different meaning and objective," he said.