Jemaah Islamiah Influence in Campus: Implication and Action

Recently, we have been shocked yet again with the issue of the Jemaah Islamiah movement in Malaysia after a string of arrests on a group of foreign nationals in an area in Gombak, believed to be involved with this movement. This issue has increasingly become the topic of conversation among people from the government and private sectors, academicians, politicians, the university and also the public. The government considers the Jemaah Islamiah movement as a high profile and not to mention dangerous issue, and can also threaten the country's safety especially if it affects the public and private higher education institutions in this country.

As an extension of this matter, the government has taken an initiative to have a meeting with all deputy chancellors of universities in Malaysia with the Ministry of Higher Education to discuss the issue that is considered to be able to threaten the country's safety. Because of that, the university has been urged to find and detect university students who are suspected to be involved with the Jemaah Islamiah movement at all of their campuses.

I view this issue as an important one that needs to be explained seriously by the Malaysian government that has alleged that there is involvement of students from local higher education institutions with the Jemaah Islamiah movement in this country. I suggest for the Malaysian government to be able to give clear and accurate explanations, for example by submitting proofs, case facts, list of university students involved and anything else related to this issue to all students in public and private higher education institutions so that they can get a clear general idea regarding this issue. Other than that, I too would like to urge university students in all higher education institutions especially IIUM students to be more sensitive and aware with this issue and to also avoid from getting involved with any militant group that can threaten the safety of any party.

Following all the above mentioned, I think that this Jemaah Islamiah issue will give a big impact to the country especially towards local higher education institutions when there are parties which allege that the Jemaah Islamiah influence is brought by overseas students studying in Malaysia. Consequently, this matter would maybe affect Malaysia's relationship with the countries associated. Other than that, this issue would also give a negative effect to Islamic movements around the world. Addition to that, this issue is viewed as though the Islamic movement is related to violence and indirectly has opened space and opportunity to the enemies of Islam to bring down Islam in a subtle way. Nevertheless, I am confident and I believe that Islamic movements around the world have their own arguments and stance in dealing with the issue.

Thus, I hope that this issue can be explained and resolved precisely, and in a just and smart manner by the government. If the Jemaah Islamiah issue is seen to actually exist in local higher education institutions and proven that there are those amongst university students involved, then the government should take appropriate actions to contain this issue. As a conclusion, everyone should give their cooperation and should ensure that this issue gets to be solved and conducted in a smart and mature way without taking into account the importance and prejudice of any party involved.

Muhammad Firwan Norliza
Students’ Representative Council 2009/2010
International Islamic University Malaysia


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