Malaysian Muslims to hire ghostbusters

KUALA LUMPUR: Religious authorities in a Malaysian state plan to hire “ghostbusters” to drive out evil spirits believed to have caused Muslims to follow deviant groups, a report said Friday.

The move came after some enforcement officers with the Islamic Affairs Department in northeast Kelantan state were sent out to investigate cult groups but ended up becoming their followers instead, The Star newspaper said.

“Perhaps meals or drinks served to the officers were spiked,” the state’s Islamic department director Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying.


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]

“Otherwise, it does not make sense how a person with strong faith can easily be overcome by deviant teachings. This is where exorcism may be needed to flush out the unhealthy elements through spiritual Islamic techniques,” he said.

The ghostbusters, also known as “devil doctors” by local residents, are well versed in the Quran and draw inspiration from its verses to exorcise evil spirits, the report said.

The department has identified 16 deviant groups of several dozen members each in the state over the past decade, and has cracked down on most of them, charging their leaders in Islamic courts.

Abdul Aziz didn’t say how many deviant groups are left now in Kelantan.

About 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 26 million people are Muslims, with significant Buddhist, Christian and Hindu minorities.

Abdul Aziz and other state Islamic officials could not be reached for comments Friday.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday May 5, 2007.
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