Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, India’s most controversial Muslim preacher faces a ban in Malaysia after a racist comments made by him towards the Chinese and Hindu community residing in Malaysia, in one of his recent islamic speech this month. Naik is being banned from delivering any further speeches in Malaysia after his disrespectful comments targeted towards the Malaysian religious minorities over the predominantly Muslim Malay majority.
Understanding the gravity of the mistake he has committed through his ‘hate’ speech and it’s repercussions from the Malaysian authorities, Naik appeared in a video to apologize for his deeds. “It was never my intention to upset any individual or community,” Naik said in a statement on Tuesday, quoted Aljazeera. He further added, “It is against the basic tenets of Islam, and I would like to convey my heartfelt apologies for this misunderstanding,”. The apology was conveyed by the Indian origin preacher after being questioned for hours by the Malaysia police.
WATCH: Zakir Naik apologises, says he isn’t racist.
— The Star (@staronline) August 20, 2019
His comments in one of the recent speech saying that the Hindus in Malaysia had 100 times more rights than the Muslim minorities in India, adding that the Malaysian Chinese were the guests of the country. Over which, he was questioned for 10 hours on Monday by the Malaysia police. Later the police informed him about being barred from giving any further public speeches in the country, reported The Star newspaper.
Malaysia Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammed on Sunday cleared that Naik, “can preach but he wasn’t doing that… he was talking about sending the Chinese back to China, Indians back to India, that’s for me a political move,” quoted Bernama, the state news agency. He further added that Naik had crossed a line.
Naik is, reportedly, a permanent resident of Malaysia living there for about three years now. Hence, it is speculated that the Malaysian government have hesitated to take a stand against Naik in fear that it could upset some Muslims. This is because Malaysia marks a majority of 60 percent Muslims out of 32 million population. The rest in the country are Chinese and Hindu Indians.
Naik is wanted by the Indian government and police force for the alleged charges of money laundering, for hate speech and for funding terrorism. He fled out of India within few hours of the Dhaka cafe blast in 2016. After which he has never returned to India and found the citizenship of Malaysia after countries like Britain and Canada rejected his requests for the visas. He faces numerous charges in India and features in the most wanted list.
A turning point came when he was named by one of the bombers involved in the Dhaka terror attack before the Bangladeshi investigators. The one who named Naik was allegedly an influencer of Naik who followed Naik’s YouTube channel. Two Kerala based youth who joined Islamic State (ISIS) also claimed that they were inspired by Naik’s speech before he was found guilty in the Dhaka terror. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a case against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and relevant sections of the Indian Panel Code (IPC) three months after the Dhaka terror, as per a report by India Today.
One year after he fled the country, in July 2016, India canceled Naik’s passport by the time Naik already claimed himself as a Non-Resident Indian (NRI). India has requested Malaysia for extradition of Naik but the country denied India’s plea and currently India is working with the interpol to get a Red Corner Notice (RCN) issued against Naik. After the Dhaka Terror attack, Naik was also found in connection with April bombings in Sri Lanka.
Naik is the founder and president of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) & Peace TV, a UAE based channel. He is also well known for his Islamic preaching in the language of English and not in Urdu or Arabic. His Islamic preaching earned him million of followers but also attracted the attention of security agencies. His Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) established in India has already been declared as an unlawful association by the central government of India.
In 2010, he was banned from entering Britain along with a ban on his preaching including that in Bangladesh, Canada and India. Naik’s preaches which are already barred in India, Canada, Bangladesh and United Kingdom before in Malaysia under anti-terrorism or anti-hate laws. His Peace TV channel also holds a ban in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
In a July 2008 broadcast, Naik allegedly suggested that al-Qaeda was not responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States (US), quoted Aljazzera. “Even a fool will know that this was an inside job,” he reportedly said in one of his videos, claiming hands of then US President George W Bush behind the plot.
With so many countries standing against Naik and his preaches, it is a moment that could possibly benefit India and a recent ban from the Malaysian police could be supportive too for the Indian agencies.