PUTRAJAYA’s decision to allot land to Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism makes little sense, said prominent Muslim scholar and reformist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa

This, he said, was because research has revealed that Saudi Arabia was the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world today.

Farouk, who heads the think tank Islamic Rennaisance Front, said Saudi Arabia’s track record in combating terrorism is wanting.

“To me personally, this action by the government made little sense, if there is any at all.

“Researchers have pointed out that Saudi Arabia is without doubt, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. And the Saudi ideology remains the source of most radical Islamic extremism,” Farouk said.

“My question is, why is the government doing this? Is this somehow a quid pro quo?He was commenting on a video clip of controversial preacher Zamihan Mat Zin calling Prime Minister Najib Razak “unintelligent” for giving a 16ha piece of land to Saudi Arabia.

In the undated video on YouTube, Zamihan said Putrajaya’s decision in July to allot land in the administrative capital for the King Salman Centre for International Peace to combat terrorism was unrealistic.

“I think what he said has a grain of truth in it,” Farouk told The Malaysian Insight.

In July, Najib announced that construction of the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) on a 16ha or 40 acres of land in Putrajaya.

KSCIP currently operates from Kuala Lumpur, and the government has been given two years to build the new centre, which is a brainchild of King Salman. It is aimed at deflecting the influence of extremism and terrorist activities, as well as promoting universal peace.

Najib said the decision was made after a discussion with the assistants to Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman who visited Malaysia in July.

“The proposal to give land to Saudi to fight terrorism is not realistic,” said Zamihan, who is banned from speaking at mosques and surau in Selangor after he criticised the sultan of Johor in a sermon.

“And it is okay if Saudi doesn’t come to Malaysia to counter terrorism. We already have the police, the Home Ministry, Prisons Department and other security institutions like the National Security Council,” he said.

Farouk said people should be reminded also that 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks on the US were not only from Saudi Arabia but received funding from individuals linked to the Saudi government.

“We should not forget about the 28 pages of a long-classified US report that was released by the Congress in July 2016 which clearly proved that the 9/11 hijackers were not only supported by individuals connected to the Saudi government but by the government itself.

“The Saudi acts of terrorism did not stop with 9/11. They continue until today with the merciless bombardment of the Yemenis, including civilians.

“And look at how they have been funding hate preachers all over the Muslim world. Look, for example, at the fugitive Zakir Naik who is widely believed to be harboured by our government.

“This same preacher once commented in 2008: ‘If he (Osama Bin Laden) is terrorising America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him'”

“I personally do not think that the Saudis know the meaning of moderation. This is a country where a female robot has more rights than the Saudi women themselves,” he said.

Farouk was recently investigated by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) for breaching Section 43 of the Shariah Offences (Federal Territories Act) 1997.

The probe was prompted by a forum on apostasy in Islam organised by the IRF  that featured renowned Turkish author Mustafa Akyol. Mustafa was held by Jawi for giving a talk on religion without accreditation but he was released after questioning.