“A liar is always lavish of oaths.”
- Pierre Corneille
COMMENT | Let us get one thing out of the way. The non-issue with Zakir Naik, the alleged money-launderer and religious instigator, is that he and his supporters believe that his freedom of speech (and theirs) trumps the non-Muslim’s freedom of speech in this country. This is par for the course in this country.
The real danger this English-speaking religious provocateur presents to this country is that he could radicalise a specific class of racial and religious provocateurs, galvanise the far-right and influence Malay power structures into acting against the interests of the country in the name of religious supremacy.
In numerous articles, I have elaborated on the phenomenon of “external” religious agents of influence whose agenda is to undermine “native” Islamic practices in the service of disparate Islamic groupings intent on establishing some sort of Islamic caliphate in the region. The use of proxies and other “useful idiots” – a Russian term – is well-known and well-documented.
Furthermore, credible defence journals, non-partisan think-tanks and the collation of reportage by independent journalists, not to mention the pronouncement of radical Islamists, indicate that Southeast Asia is the new theatre of operations for radical Islamic groups. This is beyond dispute.
Ever since Zakir Naik was given refuge in this country, he has...