ADUN SPEAKS | Zakir Naik, a man banned from entering many countries and wanted in India for money-laundering and inciting terrorism is hero-worshipped in Malaysia. He is said to be a Saudi citizen and is a permanent resident of Malaysia.
This so-called preacher cannot converse in Bahasa Melayu and yet people are mobilised to listen to him. I doubt if many in his audience even understand what he is saying. The question then is what value does he impart to the audience?
This preacher is known for his biased and one-sided comparison of religions. In gatherings comprising mainly Muslims, Zakir Naik uses some random verses from the Hindu scriptures and compares them with verses from the Quran. What good does that exercise serve?
To the ignorant, he seems to be the all-knowing scholar. With his ignorance of the deeper meaning of the religion of others, he misleads and misrepresents the religious scripts of other faiths.
He would be doing a much better job by expounding about the greatness of Islam and their prophets and provide clarity about Islam to his audience. Instead, he ends up making unfair comparisons and criticising other religions.
Does this enlighten his followers and the audience? In fact, what this does is that it may instil hatred in his audience. Do we need this in a multicultural, multi-ethnic society like Malaysia?
As a religious preacher, Zakir Naik should be a role model and win friends among all peoples. Instead, he fosters animosity and hatred among Malaysians. Preachers of faiths must set an exemplary life to be taken seriously. Is this practice of criticising other faiths leadership by example?
As a guest of Malaysia, he should not be talking local politics that sow the seeds of disunity in a multiracial and multi-religious society. Malaysians have come a long way in living in peace and harmony.
But Zakir Naik seems to be unconcerned about our existing cordial race relations, forged with great pain and care after many decades of independence.
It is nothing short of being dangerous providing shelter to such a guest. It is time Malaysia creates clear-cut policies when inviting and hosting controversial preachers and persons.
Zakir Naik’s baseless claim in Kota Bharu that Malaysian Hindus are more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to the Malaysian prime minister is irresponsible and a stark betrayal of his host country.
This unsubstantiated claim alone is enough evidence to deport this controversial preacher. Instead, Zakir Naik is given VIP treatment with police outriders wherever he goes for public talks.
Zakir Naik is wanted in India on allegations that he had radicalised a group of youths who carried out a terror attack on a café in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, which killed 22 people.
He also faces money-laundering charges back in India.
To venerate such a person with celebrity status does not speak well of Malaysia. I humbly urge our prime minister to deport this preacher who does not inculcate any positive values in Muslims and others but instead spreads hatred and animosity.
Please do not give him the opportunity to forge terrorism in our peaceful country.
S RAMAKRISHNAN is state assemblyperson for Bekok and chairperson, Johor Unity, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.