Deviationist sect members held

Shah Alam, Malaysia - About 80 religious enforcement officers and 15 policemen raided a premises allegedly belonging to a deviationist sect.

Two men were arrested on Thursday night for trying to revive deviationist teachings.

Selangor Religious Department public relations officer Fakrul Azam said the duo were members of the banned Tarekat Samaniah Ibrahim Bonjol movement.

A fatwa against the group was issued in February 1998 for going against the country’s official Islamic teachings.

The suspects, Mahayuddin Shafie, 50 and Abdul Karim Shamsuddin, 40, were detained at the group’s main premises at Pulau Meranti in Sepang.

Fakrul said 80 enforcement officers and 15 policemen took part in the raid.

"Forty other people were in the building during the raid but they were not detained.

"They, however, are being interviewed to facilitate investigations into the case."

During the raid, he said the enforcement team found items such as calendars with the photograph of the leader and application forms to join the sect. An area on the premises had also been marked out as a mosque.