recent banning of Perlis State Mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin from
speaking at ceramahs, or religious events within Kelantan, indicates a
deep theological rift between two competing Islamic groups within
Malaysia. Dr Asri, better known as Dr Maza has also been banned from
speaking in Terengganu and Selangor previously.
Malaysia today, there is a power struggle going on between the Muslim
Brotherhood, by Sunnid Scholars led by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS)
president Abdul Hadi Awang, and the Wahabi-Salafists, led by Dr Maza in
Malaysia’s Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood inspired the emergence of the Islamic Youth Movement,
the Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (ABIM) during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) was also deeply influenced by the
theology of the movement. PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang was deeply
influenced by the theology as a student and can be considered one of the
spiritual leaders of the movement within the region today. Many PAS
leaders also studied in Cairo, Egypt, and have adopted many of the
Muslim Brotherhood ideas.
The Jama’at al-Ikhawan al-Muslim, known
as the Muslim Brotherhood, is a global Sunni Islamist organization,
founded in Egypt in 1928. Its objective is to develop state-based Islam,
under the rule of Shariah law. This, unlike the Salafi movement, makes
the Muslim Brotherhood a political organization.
Brotherhood would view and address social issues from an Islamic
perspective. Its primary focus is on social justice, the eradication of
poverty, political freedom, and Islamic jurisprudence, within an Islamic
state. The Muslim Brotherhood is against personal ostentation, and
promotes its view of social morality, such as segregation of the sexes
in school environments.
Globally, the Muslim Brotherhood is going
through its own divisions. Its unsure how this is affecting the movement
The major influence of the Muslim Brotherhood is
through the states they govern in Malaysia, namely Kelantan and
Terengganu. Now, the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM)
is headed by a PAS minister, Idris Ahmad. However, its questionable how
much authority he really has over the organization with the Sultan of
Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, being placed in charge of JAKIM
by the Council of Rulers.