LETTER | I have watched several videos of Zakir Naik’s preaching and in essence, he preaches faith superiority where he posits in no uncertain terms that the religion of Islam is superior to other mainstream religions like Hinduism and Christianity. No doubt, his account of the teachings of other religions as compared to Islam is interesting.
However, the preaching of faith superiority I must say is dangerous. It actually may end up as a disservice to the followers of Islam themselves.
Teaching faith superiority is no different from teaching racial superiority. If one looks at history, the Nazi regime preached racial superiority where Adolf Hitler preached about the Aryan race. A race which he claimed is superior to other races and as a result, millions of Jews were exterminated.
Hitler claimed since the Germans were the Aryan race all human beings from other communities and races were deemed inferior and ought to be annihilated. The teachings of the Islamic State are also mounted on the same premise, i.e., religious superiority.
These type of teachings, whether on a religious or on a racial basis, give rise to a feeling of superiority to its followers and the end result would be on the extreme side, genocide or ethnic cleansing, and on the less extreme side it can lead to discrimination of people from other religions since they are considered inferior. Feelings of prejudice against people of other faiths will also creep in.
This is why I say that Zakir's type of teaching in the name of comparing other religions to Islam is certainly not suitable for a multi-racial and multi-religious society like ours. Period.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s justification in keeping Zakir is clearly misplaced. The prime minister says he may not get a fair trial if extradited to India and that he may even be killed.
He totally ignored the fact that it was an Indian court that did not grant the Indian government an order to seize his properties, pointing out its failure to mention the offences that Zakir had allegedly committed.
With regards to fears of Zakir being killed, apart from a bounty on his head and death threats, there are no reported attempts or incidences of violence against him in India. If Mahathir fears that Zakir Naik will be killed if he’s sent back to India, then it is only prudent that his permanent residency is revoked so he can instead go to Saudi Arabia where he has citizenship.
With his newfound popularity in Malaysia, Zakir has embarked on a tirade of indirectly stirring up hate against non-Muslim communities here by pitting the Muslims against the non-Muslims and Mahathir still insists that he must remain in Malaysia.
The vast majority of non-Muslims gave Mahathir thumping support and voted for him in the last general election and even when he was the prime minister during the time he was in BN but yet he chose to support Zakir Naik.
Even after Zakir has questioned the loyalty of Indians to the government and after making disparaging statements against the Chinese he still chose to side with Zakir. It is as if Mahathir is under a spell.
Mahathir needs only to Google how many non-Muslim officers from the police had laid down their lives for the country and the long list will contain many names of non-Muslim soldiers and police officers especially from the Special Branch who were either killed in ambush or assassinated by the communists.
This is enough proof of the sacrifices of non-Muslims for the country. My late father was a Special Branch operative and there were assassination attempts against him, too, but fortunately, he escaped them and he served with the division for 35 years.
This was their sacrifice for the nation and I ask you Mahathir, what has Zakir sacrificed for the country for you to keep him here? The answer will be "absolutely nothing".
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.