Malaysiakini
OPINIONS

Zakir Naik and his poverty of ideas

S Thayaparan

Published
Modified 12 Apr 2016, 10:47 pm

“People who change their religion should face the death penalty.”

- Zakir Naik

What do Prime Minster Najib Abdul Razak and the so-called Muslim intellectual Zakir Naik have in common? The answer is simple, contemporary and demonstrative of the reality of Islam as opposed to the assertion that it is a religion of peace. Both have received recognition by the Saudi government for “service to Islam”.

In Najib’s case, the recognition came in the form of a “donation” which was subsequently returned or was it through intermediaries or shell companies or complex financial legerdemain... I have lost track on exactly how our prime minister received the monies for “defending Islam” from the House of Saud.

Zakir, on the other hand, “was one of five recipients of the King Faisal International Prize from Saudi Arabia's King Salman”. Apparently the prize is awarded to those who work in the “service of Islam”. Zakir, the well-known Indian Muslim (sic), is controversial only to those who think that his rhetoric, which is often times mendacious, hypocritical and prone to confabulations, is at odds with any kind of rationality...

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