Organisers of a now-cancelled prayer meeting in Hong Kong on religious spiritual healing have denied any link with the extremist Islamic State, saying it is “all a big misunderstanding”.
Claims that Mujahidah of Islam Hong Kong was encouraging sympathy or even recruiting for IS arose after a newspaper last week published pictures of a promotional leaflet for the meeting bearing an image widely recognised as the terror group’s “flag”.
Mujahidah of Islam, which comprises about two dozen local Indonesian women, said the motif was a globally recognised Muslim symbol that translated into “Allah is my only God. Mohammed is my messenger”.
“It’s a Muslim symbol anyone can use. All Muslims around the world will know the meaning of this,” group spokeswoman Ika said. “We don’t have any connection with this IS.”
The meeting, scheduled for yesterday, was pulled in the end after the two imams invited to speak were denied entry to Hong Kong for reasons that remained unknown. The Immigration Department said it would not comment on individual cases.
Ika said the two Jakarta-based clerics were known to be “good people” and that one of them had already visited twice in the past to give similar talks.
“It’s all a big misunderstanding,” said event co-sponsor K.K. Leung, chairman of the TKI Association, a consultancy for Indonesian domestic helpers.
“Indonesians are mainly here for work and are moderate Muslims. I hope … the public will not label them as terrorists.”