KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik accused critics of manipulating his comments on the local Indian community last week to portray him as questioning their loyalty to Malaysia.
The India-born preacher claimed his remarks from an event in Kelantan last Saturday were maliciously taken out of context in order to get him expelled from Malaysia.
According to the Free Malaysia Today portal, Dr Zakir asserted that he was speaking purely about the local Indian community’s call for the government to extradite him to India.
“What I said was in the context of my own case, that some Hindu groups opted to support the Modi government in its extradition request despite there being no evidence against me, and despite the fact that Interpol, the Indian court and Malaysian government have rejected the false accusations directed at me,” he was quoted as saying.
He insisted that recordings of his remarks differed from detractors’ portrayal of his comments.
Dr Zakir countered allegations against him of inciting racial and religious tensions here by claiming it was his critics who were doing so.
Reports presenting him as saying the local Indian community were more loyal to Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has triggered fresh demands for Putrajaya to deport him.
Yesterday, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran insisted Dr Zakir has overstepped his limits and should be sent back to India to face “charges of terrorism and money laundering charges”.
Others such as retired servicemen’s group Patriot also told the preacher to stop meddling in local affairs and inflaming tensions.
Dr Zakir is wanted in his native country of India on charges of money laundering and accused of inciting extremism.
He reportedly gained Saudi citizenship after India stripped him of his passport but continues to reside in Malaysia that made him a permanent resident in 2015.
India has applied for Malaysia to extradite Dr Zakir but the latter country has refused this on the grounds the preacher might not receive a fair trial.
Last month, Dr Mahathir admitted that Malaysia is not keen for Dr Zakir to be here, but is hard-pressed to deport him elsewhere as “many countries” will not accept the controversial Islamic preacher either.
Yesterday, the prime minister repeated this by saying Malaysia could not send the preacher to India as the latter could “be killed”.
Source - Malay Mail
Picture credit - Bernama