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Zakir Naik: Barisan Nasional’s Election Weapon?

Earlier this year a group of 19 Malaysians from various NGO and faith based groups including prominent activists, Waytha Moorthy, Dr. Lim Teck Ghee and Siti Kasim initiated court action calling on the government to arrest Zakir Naik, the hate preacher.

I welcome the initiative which is long overdue.

Zakir has been visiting Malaysia for some years now. Each time he is here he heaps scorn and hate on other religions and engages in extremist and even terrorist-inciting activities.

The man is not a man of peace. He is actually a radical Islamic war monger in the same mould as ISIS and Al-Queda. In fact he approves of, or at least, has refused to condemn the two terrorist organizations. This has led several countries such as UK, Canada and Singapore to deny him entry.

Even moderate Muslims have condemned Zakir.

For example, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen described Naik as “dangerous” because he “promotes 7th century Quranic texts on sex slaves, polygamy and wife beating in 21st century”. She said in a series of tweets that, “I listened to Zakir Naik’s speeches. He cites Quranic texts and tries to justify. He’s dangerous because it’s dangerous to spread 7th century texts in the 21st century,”. Referring to the deadly attacks in Bangladesh by terrorists, she said that “Many Bangladeshi would-be-terrorists are inspired by Zakir Naik. He is not having machetes in hands. But his followers are having machetes in hands”.

In Malaysia this court action has received much support from members of the public. Since then further developments should convince the great majority of Malaysians that Naik needs to have his PR status revoked and sent out of the country immediately; and we should not wait for any court action before this takes place.

The key development is the non-bailable arrest warrant recently issued against him in India in connection with a money laundering case.

This warrant has been issued by the National Investigation Agency of India whose mission is to combat terror in the country. According to the central probe agency although Naik has been served summons repeatedly, he has failed to appear before it.

Naik appears to be evading arrest too after some perpetrators of the Dhaka terror strike last year claimed they were inspired by him. According to one report he has been booked along with unnamed Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) officials under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony) of the Indian Penal Code, besides various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Is Zakir Naik UMNO’s Vote Getter

The implications of Naik’s continuing presence and freedom to preach religious-based intolerance and hatred is not just a black mark against UMNO.

It is the entire BN coalition of supposedly moderate, multi-religious parties who are at fault for allowing this terror specialist televangelist to be running around the country giving talks on the superiority of Islam over other religions, and Muslims over other communities.

I can understand UMNO closing both eyes to the presence of Naik as it is desperately trying to win the Muslim vote in the coming election but the other BN parties?

Surely these BN leaders are literate and can follow the news from India. At the very least, the other BN leaders should insist at the next Cabinet meeting on raising the issue as to why this fugitive from Indian justice has been permitted Malaysian PR status and to demand that this PR status be revoked.

It is not only the political parties and politicians who appear to be blind to the huge danger that Naik poses to our country’s peace and security and good relationship with India.

But what about the neutral and independent public sector that is supposed to be safeguarding our peace and security?

What do the senior officials in Police, Immigration, Foreign Affairs and other relevant Ministries have to say since they have all presumably had a say in approving the PR status of this religious war monger?

 

Are the Malaysian authorities condoning a fugitive to seek refuge in Malaysia simply because he raises the flag of religion? If this is the case, we can be sure that we are well on the way to being labelled a pariah state.

 

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