DEPORTED FIJI CLERIC HAD SAUDI LINKS

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji 1 News, August 30) - Over a year after Muslim cleric Abdul Majid was unceremoniously deported from Fiji, fresh evidence has surfaced that strongly suggests he may have been more than just a security threat.

The Fiji Justice Ministry has confirmed that new evidence points strongly to what is being termed as a potential security threat, after authorities established a link between Majid’s local work and an organization in Saudi Arabia.

Majid was during the early hours of February 19, 2003, bundled out of the country by immigration officials under a cloak of secrecy.

What followed were conflicting versions of the cleric’s deportation. The immigration director Jo Browne back then said Majid was a security threat. The Permanent Secretary at the time said Majid was performing a job that could be filled by a local.

This was then followed by more questions from Government over why Majid didn’t apply for citizenship, even after 18 years of living here. Careful not to tread on religious sensitivities, Government simply explained Majid’s leaving the country had nothing to do with terrorism.

But now, some 12 months later, a different picture has emerged with the Justice Ministry revealing the opposite of what authorities had said in the past.

It has now been established that the Sudanese national, while working in Fiji for 18 years as a religious teacher at the Islamic Institute, was in fact being financed directly from Saudi Arabia.

The information slipped out during a bilateral security meet today.

Neither the Justice Ministry nor Police have since explained initial reports of the discovery of $30,000 in U.S. currency found at Majid’s home on his arrest, saying instead his deportation was the end of the matter.

There was a similar response from the Fiji Muslim League, saying that while it still vigorously defends Abdul Majids service here, it’s already considered this a closed case.

August 31, 2004

FijiTV: http://www.fijitv.cm.fj

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