24 May '11, 9am

Malaysia breaks up Shi'ite gathering, detains four

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAN authorities on Tuesday broke up a mass gathering of Shi'ite Muslims and detained four, in the latest action against the banned community in the predominantly Sunni Muslim nation. The minority Shi'ite community has been accused of threatening national security in multi-ethnic Malaysia, and some 200 were arrested last December, with some charged in a religious court and awaiting trial. Wahab Omar, a Shi'ite community leader, said religious department officers accompanied by 20 police raided a gathering to commemorate the birthday of Fatimah Zahra, a daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. 'We were having lunch... with 200 people, many of whom are non-Muslims, to celebrate the birthday, when our premises were raided,' he said. 'It was purely a social gathering and yet we continue to be harassed by religious authorities.' Nurhamizah Othman, spokesman for the...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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