Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism are accepted in Muslim-majority Malaysia, but the government has stepped up efforts to quash non-Sunni strains of Islam. More than 200 Shia Muslims have been arrested in a swoop on outlawed Islamic sects, and they are likely to be charged with "following the teachings of a deviationist movement," which carries a penalty of up to two years in jail, AP reports.
Authorities say the Shia doctrine—which permits the killing of Muslims from other sects who are regarded as infidels—is a threat to national security, but some Islamic scholars aren't happy with the crackdown. "Malaysia is trying to become a country a la Taliban that only allows one school of thought," a prominent Muslim scholar said. "Even though I personally don't agree with Shia teachings and even frequently criticize and debate with them, I cannot accept the approach of the allegedly democratic Malaysian government in denying the people's right to practice their faith."