How would you define terrorism, Zahid?

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A few days ago, I read about our beloved Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed that Zakir Naik, the fugitive Indian preacher, had never promoted terrorism – and I almost fell off my chair.

“How could a leader of a nation comprising of people of different race and religion claim that an individual, who sows seeds of hatred among different faiths, is not performing an act of terrorism?” I thought.

No other religion should be allowed to propagate in an Islamic country.

People who change their religion should face the death penalty.

Every Muslim should be a terrorist if they are terrorising the enemy of Islam.

The above three are among many statements made by Zakir Naik in his previous sermons. Do they not promote terrorism?

Or do we only perceive those who attach explosives onto themselves, spray bullets into open space or drive trucks into crowds as acts of terrorism?

In the past, terrorism has always been linked to the action of deliberately hurting or killing innocent people – but the thing is, terrorism doesn’t take one to kill another.

Terrorism doesn’t necessarily involve weapons to carry out bloody acts, for terrorism can also involve the use of the media and internet to spread fear among the public.

Terrorism is a strategy used by creating terror or fear against a targeted group or an individual to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim – that is how the United Nations described terrorism since 1994...

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