JOHOR BARU: The state government said it has identified two deviant Muslim groups that are still actively operating in Johor.
State Religious Affairs Committee chairman Zainal Abidin Oslam said that one of the groups had been identified as Qadiyani, which operated in the city here.
The second group comprised members of the former al-Arqam group, which now allegedly operated under the name Syarikat Global Ikhwan with a presence in Johor Baru, Muar, Batu Pahat, Segamat, Kluang and Kota Tinggi.
This group is still trying to bring back the practices of Aurad Muhammadiyah that had been banned in 1994, Zainal Abidin told the Johor state assembly during question and answer time of the 2009 state budget debate.
He said that there were also several traditional healers who were confusing and making their patrons deviate from Islamic teachings during their healing sessions.
He said their practices included claiming that certain locations were miraculous, using “deviant” chants, as well as worshipping tombs and spirits.
Some of these practices occured in Johor Baru and Muar, Zainal Abidin said.
He was responding to questions from Datuk Abd Hamid Rahman (BN-Machap), who had asked about the number of such deviant groups as well as the action taken by the state Religious Department to counter them.
Zainal Abidin said the department had organised seminars and distributed pamphlets to educate the public.
Members of such deviant groups had also been arrested and interrogated. He said the department had destroyed their places of worship and their published material as well.
“We also monitor such deviant groups on an on-going basis,” he said.