Malaysian Airlines Flight 370: Islamic Organisations Criticise Use of Witch Doctor to Locate Missing Jet
By Vittorio Hernandez | March 15, 2014 11:53 AM EST
Obviously frustrated after a week of futile search not yielding any concrete clues on the location of its missing Boeing 777 used for the ill-fated Flight 370, Malaysian Airlines turned to a witch doctor on Friday to help find the jet.
Voodoo worshippers engage in a ritual celebration in Haiti (Reuters/Swoan Parker)
The shaman, Ibrahim Mat Zin, performed a ritual at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport which generated controversy in Malaysia, an Islamic country. Click here to see the voodoo rite.
He used a magic carpet, held coconuts and pretended to be paddling as media had field day taking photos and videos of the weird ritual.
Islamic organisations in Malaysia criticised the use of a witch doctor who used voodoo rituals to help find the missing plane. Islam experts rejected the use of Mr Ibrahim's services as syirik or deviant.
Ahmad Fazrin Yahaya, chief executive officer of the Malaysian Scholarly Organisation, said, quoted by Onislam.net, "As a Muslim, I believe in honest prayers as the way to appeal to Allah for intervention."
"These nonsensical rituals embarrass the Malaysian Muslims and seem to make a mockery of proper Islamic teachings," he added.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim agreed that tapping a shaman was an embarrassing act and a slap to Islam.
In response, the government sent seven Islamic religious department officers to prevent Mr Anwar or other shaman from performing rites that would be seen as going against Islamic teaching.
Zaifullah Jaafar Shidek, Sepang district enforcement chief of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department, threatened to disperse or arrest anyone who would go to the airport to perform their own ritual.
Mr Ibrahim, also known as Raja Bomoh Sedunia Nujum VIP, said the magic carpet was the boat for him and his assistants to search for the missing jet. He said the voodoo ritual aimed to help "weaken the bad spirits so the rescuers can find the plane if it indeed has crashed."
Mr Anwar sought an investigation who allowed the witch doctor to perform the voodoo ritual. He said, "The way we've handled the crisis has been weak, and now we have a bomoh worsening the situation. Some may suggest it's my fault, that I sent him. But who really gave him permission?" Free Malaysia Today quoted the Opposition leader.
Shahidan Kassim, the minister in the Prime Minister's office, denied the Malaysian government had a hand in hiring the witch doctor. He said, "Their ritual was similar to the kind shown in the P Ramlee movie 'Do Re Mi'. Surely we would not believe in such a thing."
Meanwhile, here is the latest news about the search for the missing jet.
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