YOURSAY | ‘Zakir is not the first preacher to run down another's religion and he won't be the last.’
Dan: Muslim preacher Zakir Naik overstepped the boundary when he made the remarks for which he has since apologised.
However, his preaching and stay here is in sync with the aspirations of a majority of Muslims in Malaysia.
In Islam, a person seeking refuge from persecution must be given sanctuary. The case against Zakir Naik is non-existent, as Interpol has thrice rejected a request by India.
Likewise, please adduce credible evidence of money laundering and terrorism before the Malaysian government and Muslim majority can decide it's not persecution and he can be sent back.
If not, let’s just live and let live, and agree to disagree.
Rupert16: Just imagine a non-Muslim denigrating Islam the same way Zakir Naik denigrates other religions - will this be acceptable to our Muslim brethren?
The answer is obvious, isn’t it?
So, don’t do unto others what others would do unto you. Respect each other’s religion, that’s the bottom line.
Anonymous_b3cdcd05: How does one view an alleged money launderer and terror instigator, banned from a host of nations, and on the run from his own motherland, being accepted and celebrated here among Muslims as a God-sent preacher cum converter par excellence?
Is it any surprise then that this fugitive rogue preacher is up to no good here inciting the non-Muslims through racist, insulting and offensive speeches that enrage and divide the people, but gains favour with gutter politicians and radical Islamists who support this antagonistic, abhorrent man for their own selfish ends?
Newday: My family - we generally tick all the good Muslim boxes. It is large - many children; just about all the men attend the mosque on Fridays (except for recalcitrant liberal me).
Raya and Ramadan faithfully observed every year. The adults have gone for the umrah. I have yet to ‘doa’ haj, but it is on the bucket list.
All, but two, were fully educated here. Every one of us, apart from the youngest, has gainful employment and our expertise is across many areas.
Not once has anyone in my family, including the more pious ones, ever felt threatened by non-Muslims in any way, shape or form. Not our jobs, not our faith, not our existence as a Malay family in Malaysia.
What has been and still is a threat to us, including our pious kids, are the likes of the hardcore Muslim NGOs, the far right of Umno and PAS.
All we hear are unreasonable, hateful threats made by religious bullies who have no other purpose than to sow discord and harm.
All we see is the ongoing manipulation of the Prophet's words and facile interpretations that end up being completely out of context with his teachings. All we see is fear!
I speak for the family when I say we believe in love and respect, no matter what religion or belief a person professes, no exceptions.
Our faith in Islam is sullied by twisted men like Zakir Naik who doom us to argue and fight when all we desire is love and respect.
I have faith in the younger pious ones in my family and their friends to challenge the ultra-conservatives, and in the long run, prevail over them.
My wife and I are so tired of this ongoing and increasing hatred perpetuated by the narrow-minded.
Love thy neighbour, respect thy neighbour, is straight out of the Christian handbook. We can find exactly the same references in the Quran, yet the likes of Zakir and Co act and talk like these concepts do not exist.
That is not the path or words of the Prophet, just some twisted dude with a grudge spelling out a prescription of hate. Unreservedly, I condemn Zakir and all who follow and support him.
Bravemalaysian: There is the aspect of evangelism, that is, the conversion to one's own faith.
There is nothing wrong with that, provided the person going out to share his faith tells of his faith, and why he believes as such, without resorting to bashing and criticising other religions.
A missionary is like a salesman: the product they are attempting to sell is their faith, their beliefs. A good salesman will try to convince his potential customer of the advantage of his products without running down other brands or companies.
Similarly, a missionary who has to run down other religions is lacking ethics and knowledge of how good and sound his beliefs are. So he resorts to the easy way out: running down other religions, using coercion (such as depriving non-followers of their due rights and benefits).
That's how I would rate Zakir Naik: an unethical man whose appeal is to the ignorant, but innocent masses.
He should not be allowed to further disgrace Islam, not in Malaysia if our government has any decency, integrity and intelligence.
Phoneix: Comparative religion should bring about the beauty, compassion and love of all religions.
It should not to ridicule or sow the seeds of hatred.
Unfortunately, this is what Zakir is doing.
The Wakandan: Well said, writer David Dass. The more knowledgeable we are about reality and the world in general, the more mature our thought.
Immature thought often derives from being unexposed to knowledge outside of our own field of expertise, and erroneously thinking we know.
That, basically, is what the likes of Zakir are saying – “I know about your religion more than you do.” That smacks of intellectual arrogance and, of course, ignorance.
The so-called comparative religion that Zakir Naik is preaching has no real value other than a false pretence of feeling good about oneself.
Where no absolute truth can satisfy the empirical requirement of what truth is, claiming to rebut other faiths and beliefs would merely be just a proclamation from one’s own perspective only.
Thus, an inter-religious debate is of no use if it is trying to prove that the other religion is wrong. It is only beneficial, as the writer said, if the objective is to learn about the beliefs of others.
Vijay47: David Dass, I must admire the restraint with which you comment on painful, alarming issues.
I, on the other hand, tend to be rather passionate, some might say I get carried away, when writing about racial and religious abuse, and the dregs of society like this Zakir Naik. Yes, there I go again! But without the least hint of apology, not when it comes to that fugitive from the law.
Sir, you have expressed your thoughts in a most enlightening way, looking at freedom of religion from the micro and wider perspectives.
But the ugly elephant remains - we still have Muslims making all manner of offensive and threatening statements, we still have Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin from Perlis, leaders of ummah, that former IGP (inspector-general of police) Musa “Mattress” Hassan, even a minister, Mohd Redzuan Yusof, ringing alarm bells loud and large, that liberals and Christians are marching onwards to do in the Malays and Muslims.
It does not in the least matter that these warnings, often accompanied with subtle threats, are absolutely false and unfounded; repeat a lie often enough and it ironically becomes gospel truth.
There is nothing religious about these charges. The intention is to terrify a gullible, ignorant community and get them to rally behind the flag flown by political opportunists.
To balance the equation, we have PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim, IGP Abdul Hamid Bador, even the Pahang mufti Abdul Rahman Osman, urging everyone to be calm, even as they warn that firm action will be taken against those who stir up peaceful waters.
Yet the lies continue, Zakir Naik remains free after all that he has said, and now boldly goes to enjoy dinner with a schoolboy who thinks he is an adult.
Malaysian Bulldog: Living in Malaysia as a non-Muslim, one does fear what the radicalisation of people of one faith will mean for those not in it.
We hear preachers and politicians freely demonise people of other faiths with little or no consequence.
ChuenTick: Zakir is not the first preacher to run down another's religion and he won't be the last.
It tells a great deal about Zakir's spiritual attainment that he has to resort to such base ways to win converts.
Walter White: If your religion teaches you to hate a group of people because of their beliefs, then you need a new religion.
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