A prominent American expert on the Middle East labeled the hard-line Sunni scholar Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin as “ignorant” about Shia Islam, after the Perlis mufti launched a series of attacks on the second largest branch in Islam.
Nader Hashemi, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver in the US, said Asri’s warning that Shia Islam was against the principles of democracy “reveals his colossal ignorance of Shia political thought”.
“Perhaps if Asri spent less time reading and regurgitating Wahhabi propaganda and actually studied the topics he is commenting on, he would cease to embarrass himself in the court of public opinion. One can only hope that this might be the case,” Hashemi said, referring to the Wahhabi doctrine followed in Saudi Arabia.
Asri came under fire from academics and rights activists last week for saying that Shia Muslims were a threat to Malaysia’s national security.