After he conducted his Art of Living discourse and addressed around 70,000 people at the Batu Kawan Stadium on “Discourse, Music and Meditation” in a multi-ethnic Muslim majority country like Malaysia, Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was threatened by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.
Malaysian Inspector General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed that a letter was sent to the spiritual leader over the weekend while he was in Penang for a talk and yoga festival that was attended by thousands of followers in George Town and Batu Kawan.
Government agencies are investigating origin of the letter. The letter was posted locally to the Art of Living office in Malaysia near Shah Alam suburb.
The letter, which featured a black flag of the ISIS and a picture of a beheaded man, was addressed to the manager of the Penang hotel where Ravi Shankar was staying during his visit. The manager was warned of his hotel being destroyed if Ravi Shankar was allowed to carry out his Art of Living activities in Malaysia.
The country consists of almost 28 million people out of which a sizeable minority is the ethnic Indians who are mostly Hindus. The letter claimed that Ravi Shankar and his organization, the Art of Living Foundation, were “meddling in the Islamic affairs of Iran and Iraq,” and converting Muslims in the Middle East.
The letter reminded grimly, “If he steps foot in Malaysia, your hotel and venues of his activities will be destroyed and many thousands will die for him. We don’t want Ravi Shankar to step into a Muslim country.”
After the symposium Ravi Shankar had left for Singapore.
The threat case is being probed under section 507 of Malaysian Penal Code for criminal intimidation through anonymous communication.
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