About three years after its introduction, Islamic and Asian Civilisation Studies (TITAS) has become a subject of controversy yet again.
This time around, a lecturer apparently taught his students that Osama bin Laden might be a myth.
A student at a local private university reportedly claimed that his lecturer purportedly questioned the existence of Osama bin Laden, the founder of the militant group Al-Qaeda that claimed responsibility for the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, which left close to 3,000 people dead.
The student, who declined to be named, said that the TITAS lecturer taught this to about 100 students in a class yesterday, 28 June, at the university’s Klang Valley campus in Cyberjaya.
"He said that Osama could have been a creation, that he didn’t really exist," the student was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail Online.
The lecturer reportedly said that the late militant only spoke "three seconds of Arabic" but everything else was in English in his videos.
The student added that the lecturer allegedly said that the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the U.S. could have been a conspiracy theory used by the West to persecute Muslims
According to the student, the TITAS lecturer, when explaining the September 11 attacks, told students to "never believe everything Western media says, you should do your own reading on the matter".
He also reportedly said, "no religion is responsible for acts of terrorism or violence".
When contacted by Malay Mail Online, the lecturer declined to comment.
It was later reported that the lecturer is from Multimedia University (MMU).
The university has given its word that actions will be taken against the lecturer if he is proven to have spread these claims to his students.
"Rest assured that an investigation shall be conducted the moment we receive a report with regard to this issue," an MMU spokesman told Malay Mail Online.
"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, pending a thorough investigation of the case."
"In other words, we would have to determine what had really been said in that lecture before we can ascertain the corrective and disciplinary measures that need to be taken, if at all," the spokesman added.
Since September 2013, all local students regardless of their religion will have to take up TITAS after it was made a mandatory subject as part of their tertiary education
Critics had initially opposed the move when it was first announced in July 2013 by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was the Deputy Prime Minister then.
The introduction of TITAS as a mandatory subject became controversial as critics argued that compulsory religious course was not necessary in the tertiary education system and it was seen as another step forward in the Islamisation of the country.
It was also said it is unfair that the subject will be on Islam and that students risk being taught by religious fanatics with little exposure to other religions.
Islamic groups, in turn, accused the critics of being 'Islamophobic'.