Report: Islamic group sues Malaysian authorities

A Muslim group is suing Malaysia's Islamic authorities for defamation after it was accused as being a front for spreading deviant religious teachings, reports said Thursday. Rufaqa Corporation, which runs legitimate businesses, came into the spotlight recently after some of its members were detained by Islamic religious police in central Selangor state amid fears it is seeking to revive the outlawed Al-Arqam sect. Al-Arqam was banned in 1994 for allegedly being heretical by projecting its leader, Ashaari Mohammed, as a messiah who had the authority to forgive sins of Muslims. Ashaari also heads Rufaqa. Rufaqa has retaliated by filing a 150-million-ringgit (US$42.5 million, €35 million) suit against the Malaysian Islamic Development Department director-general, a Selangor state councilor of religious affairs and Rufaqa's former legal adviser, the New Straits Times said.