A university lecturer teaching the compulsory Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies module in a local private institution, the Multimedia University, has reportedly told his students that Osama bin Laden may not have existed. He is also claimed to have said that the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the US was a conspiracy theory.
A student in the class of around 100 students told Malay Mail: "He said that Osama could have been a creation, that he didn't really exist. He commented on how in his videos, Osama only speaks 'three seconds of Arabic' and then everything else was in English."
The student, who requested anonymity, said that the lecturer, when explaining the 11 September attacks told the students to "never believe everything Western media says, you should do your own reading on the matter." He also said that "no religion is responsible for acts of terrorism or violence."
When contacted by the Malay Mail, the lecturer declined to comment.
Bin Laden was the founder of the militant group al-Qaeda that claimed responsibility for the 11 September 2001 attacks in New York City which left close to 3,000 people dead. He was killed in Pakistan on 2 May 2011 by US Navy SEALS in a secret raid on his hideout.
The Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies module has been the centre of controversy recently. Slides from the module, portrayed Hindus as dirty and claimed that it was Islam that introduced cleanliness and civility to the Hindus.
The module is a compulsory subject for all university students in Malaysia regardless of their religion since 2013. Critics have claimed that making the module compulsory for all was a front to push an Islamic supremacy agenda in Malaysia, the Malay Mail reports.
The lecturer is alleged to also have criticised secularism in the Western countries, saying that the by-product of such a philosophy was the legalisation of gay marriages. "Sperm and sperm cannot make babies," and "marriage is only for procreation," the lecturer is alleged to have told his students.
University promises to investigate
The Multimedia University said that it would investigate the lecturer who had questioned the existence of Osama and the 9/11 terror attacks. "Rest assured that an investigation shall be conducted the moment we receive a report with regard to this issue," a university spokesman told the Malay Mail.
"The university has a code of conduct that all our staff, including academicians, are expected to adhere to. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action," the spokesman added.