“He was considered a threat because JI was trying to establish an Islamic government in the region. But now, he has been rehabilitated and can return to society.”
Suspected Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist Yazid Sufaat was released from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in November 2008 after being held for seven years. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Yazid was no longer a threat to national security. JI is a Southeast Asian terrorist network whose stated goal is the creation of an idealised Islamic state comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines, and southern Thailand.
“Islam is the official religion and we are an Islamic state. But as an Islamic state, it does not mean that we don’t respect the non-Muslims. The Muslims and the non-Muslims have their own rights (in this country).”
The question of whether or not Malaysia is an Islamic state is a contentious one. But Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak caused quite a stir when he boldly declared that Malaysia was, indeed, an Islamic state that protects the rights of non-Muslims. Speaking after opening the “International Conference on The Role of Islamic States in a Globalised World” seminar on 17 July 2007, Najib further added that Malaysia had never been a secular state, but was governed by the fundamentals of Islam.