Malaysia battle ground of Islamic influence with Iran-Saudi rivalry in KL

A report of a growing rivalry in Malaysia between Iran and Saudi Arabia turns KL into an unexpected battle ground for islamic influence

A report from Al Jazeera says there is a growing threat of sectarianism in Malaysia through a Saudi-Iranian rivalry in Kuala Lumpur.

The reports entitled “The growing threat of sectarianism in Malaysia” says the rivalry is raising sectarian tensions and threatening the country’s security.

With Al Jazeera’s report, now we know the Qataris and their allies are also concerned with Iran’s presence.

But they may also be worried of the growing influence of Saudi Arabia in the region and in Malaysia.

However, WFTV has evidence of Israeli interests in what Tel Aviv sees as the rise of Iranian activities and influence in the country.

The Israelis focusses on the Shiite influence in Malaysia.

They believe there is a tacit accord between Putrajaya and Teheran to close an eye on their activities in Kuala Lumpur.

Al Jazeera says the Malaysian government has failed to maintain a declared policy of non-alignment towards Iran or Saudi Arabia.

It says a year after it established this diplomatic line of conduct, Putrajaya is now sucked into the foreign rivalries.

It says the recent escalation of tension between Iran and its American and Arab adversaries has stirred sectarian sensitivities in KL.

Malaysia has a predominantly Sunni population but it also have a small Shiite population. Officially, the Malaysian authorities do not recognise the Shia faith as part of the local vision of Islam.

There are almost weekly speeches in Mosques around the Klang Valley in which the Imaams are asked to condemn the Shia faith.

They usually warn the Malaysians not to join what is called ‘ajaran sesat’ or perverted religious groups.

Al Jazeera recalled tha in 2015, Najib joined the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen.

He sent Malaysian troops without obtaining prior approval from the cabinet.

<<Despite the new government’s best efforts, the anti-Iranian sentiment in Malaysia has proven too strong to beat.>> —Al Jazeera

The Al Jazeera report may not be accurate on whether Malaysia is trying to avoid an Iranian push in the country.

The government did show support to Iran in the rise in tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Prime Minister to be Anwar Ibrahim urged Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to look into US threats against Iran.

This says a lot about a country that is said to be anti-Iran.

There is a growing number of Iranian expatriates in the country but this is not the reason why the Shia community is under the limelight.

The majority of Iranian expats in Malaysia sees their migration here as a compulsion rather than an option.

This, an article published in 2017 on findings by a group of researchers, says:

“This is a major reason for the Iranian community’s disinterest in integrating with the local community.”

<<The paper also finds the Iranian government has serious concerns about the presence of Iranians in Malaysia.>>

But there is rivalry between many countries in Malaysia, a most coveted country in the region with the Pakatan Harapan in power.

Many Pakatan leaders have good relationship with several Muslim countries, including Iran.

The PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim is seen as closer to Turkey due to his good relationship with the Erdogan family.

The Amanah itself has a pseudonym “The Erdogans” for a good reason. They are said to be followers of Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Mahathir is currently in Turkey on an official visit. That does not mean Malaysia is now a Turkish ally, does it?

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