Ayah Pin won’t face ISA charges

KUALA LUMPUR, Sun. – The Internal Security Act (ISA) will not be used against cult leader Ariffin Mohamad.

Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Noh Omar said the Pahang Religious Affairs Department and the police were looking for Ariffin, also known as “Ayah Pin”.

Sky Kingdom

The Sky Kingdom is a quasi-religious interfaith commune located in the eastern Malaysian state of Terengganu.

While Malaysia has a secular legal system, the country is ruled by a moderate Muslim majority.

“Muslims in Malaysia come under the purview of religious courts that are not part of the secular federal legal system. Any attempt to deviate from Islamic teachings, or to leave the religion, can bring harsh penalties from the religious courts.” [Source]

Sky Kingdom leader Ayah Pin claims to be a deity

The group includes former Muslims

“If the police catch him, he will be handed over to the religious authorities and charged in the Syariah court,” Noh told reporters at the 2005 Police Family Day at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa today.

Noh said Ariffin would be charged under State law and not the ISA.

“We will not use the ISA without good reason,” he said, adding that Ariffin’s allegedly misguided teachings could be dealt with under state and federal laws.

Commenting on the wide coverage in the international media, Noh said this was a time when Islam was being viewed in a negative light.

“Whatever Muslims do that is against the law will be widely covered by the foreign Press” he said.

In Kuala Terengganu, welfare services authorities have discovered that most children at the “Sky Kingdom” commune in Besut were not encouraged to attend school. They were instead told to serve Ayah Pin.

State Welfare, Health, Social Welfare and Women’s Affairs committee chairman Datuk Rosol Wahid said many children were living in the commune with their parents who were followers of the cult.

“When authorities raided the headquarters in the morning, they were shocked to see children who were supposed to be in school, busy making traditional sweets and doing other chores instead.”

He said authorities noticed that the children were shabbily dressed and looked undernourished.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
New Straits Times, Malasia
July 25, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday July 25, 2005.
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