KUALA LUMPUR— Malaysian federal religious authorities have yesterday accused Muslim group Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) and ex-civil servants group G25 of trying to bring in liberal and deviant ideas.

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said it was disappointed by alleged statements made by University of Notre Dame’s assistant professor of theology Dr Mun’im Sirry from Indonesia on the Quran, which it deemed controversial.

“Jakim sees this issue as an attempt by IRF and G25 to bring in liberal and deviant ideas into this country.

“This action is very dangerous and touches on the sensitivities of Muslims in this country,” Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha said in a statement.

Jakim said it understood that Mun’im has claimed that Quran is no longer relevant and had originated from Mesopotamia. The alleged remarks by Mun’im was earlier featured by pro-Islamist blogs.

Muslims believe that Quran was delivered orally over a period of time to the Prophet Muhammad in his birth place in Mecca, and later in Medina after he migrated.

IRF had invited Mun’im, an academic and expert on Quran, on a series of event last week.

The event in question was a forum on moderation in Quran co-hosted with G25, where Perlis mufti Datuk Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin had delivered a keynote speech.


The body said it will now call the organisers to explain themselves.

Jakim also urged state religious departments to monitor remarks made against the laws and practise of Islam in the country.

In Malaysia, only the Sunni denomination of Islam and its Shafie school of jurisprudence are considered official.

Study by the Pew Research Centre showed Malaysia continues to strictly control religious practices, with an annual study grouping it together with other Muslim-majority countries practising “very high” restrictions, such as Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Turkey.