Global Ikhwan not feeling the heat

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PETALING JAYA: Global Ikhwan Sdn Bhd, a multi-national business firm linked to the banned Al-Arqam movement, is unperturbed that it is being put on watch by the authorities for allegedly reviving the defunct movement.

The Johor Islamic Religious Department had reportedly said it was monitoring the activities of Global Ikhwan and another group, Kumpulan Layar Bahtera, for purportedly spreading deviant Islamic teachings.

“Do as they please,” was the brief response from Fauziah Ariffin, a representative of Global Ikhwan and director of Ikhwan Catering and Restaurant.

Fauziah, currently in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, was responding to a text message query from The Malay Mail.

The coordinator of the infamous Obedient Wives Club did not reply when asked if there were any truth in the allegations, however, she referred The Malay Mail to an online article in Buletin Rakyat's website, in which current Global Ikhwan head Hatijah Aam was interviewed.

In the said article, Hatijah Aam, better known as “Ummu Jah”, said that Global Ikhwan had no interest in reviving the Al-Arqam movement as it would be of no benefit to the group.

Hatijah is also the widow of former Al-Arqam founder Ashaari Muhammad, who infamously claimed to his followers that he is a prophet.

The Al-Arqam movement was banned by the Federal government in 1994 when the National Fatwa Council declared its teachings as deviant.

Ashaari, affectionately known as “Abuya” to his followers, then set up Rufaqa' Corporation Sdn Bhd in 1997, which was later closed by the authorities for allegedly recruiting new members to revive Ashaari's teaching.

He subsequently set up Global Ikhwan which today runs an assortment of businesses all over the world, from laundries and eateries to clinics and noodle manufacturing.

Global Ikhwan entered the limelight not too long ago when Hatijah formed the controversial Ikhwan Polygamy Club in 2009, and more recently, the Obedient Wives Club.

The Obedient Wives Club caused a stir among the public when it declared that wives should be like “first class prostitutes” in serving their husband's sexual desire.

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