Zakir Naik apologises to Malaysians for race remarks
PTI, Aug 20, 2019, 4:22 PM IST
Kuala Lumpur: Controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on Tuesday apologised for making comments about race in multi-ethnic Malaysia which sparked calls for his expulsion, a day after being questioned by police.
Naik, a radical television preacher who has called the 9/11 attacks an “inside job”, left India in 2016 and moved to largely Muslim Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
He is wanted in India for inciting extremism and money laundering, and New Delhi last year reportedly asked Malaysia to extradite him — a request that was rejected.
Calls have escalated for Naik to be kicked out after he said Hindus in Malaysia have “100 times” more rights than India’s Muslim minority, and suggested Chinese Malaysians should be expelled before he was.
He was questioned by police for 10 hours Monday on suspicion of committing an intentional insult aimed at provoking a breach of the peace.
On Tuesday, Naik said in a statement his detractors had taken his remarks out of context and added “strange fabrications”. But he went on: “It was never my intention to upset any individual or community.
“It is against the basic tenets of Islam, and I would like to convey my heartfelt apologies for this misunderstanding.”
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Naik crossed the line and several cabinet ministers have called for him to be kicked out, while police have banned him from giving public talks anywhere in Malaysia, state news agency Bernama reported.
The government has in the past appeared reluctant to move against Naik for fear it could upset some Muslims and provide ammunition to political opponents.
About 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 32 million inhabitants are Muslim and the country is also home to substantial ethnic Indian and Chinese communities.
In a July 2008 broadcast Naik — who founded the popular Peace TV channel — suggested that Al-Qaeda was not responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
“Even a fool will know that this was an inside job,” he said in the video, claiming then-President George W. Bush was behind the plot.
Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.
8 task forces formed to monitor development work in Bengaluru
“We will consider,” says Bommai on further cut in fuel tax
Davos set to host WEF Annual Meeting again Ukraine crisis climate change key focus
Related Articles More
Crisis-hit Sri Lanka lifts state of emergency as law and order situation improves
Pakistani origin Spanish sisters murdered by uncle in Punjab province for failure to take husbands to Spain
Singaporians lose SGD 70.8mn to scammers this year: Police
Lanka crisis: India, Japan to provide relief supplies worth millions as threat of severe food shortage looms
Indian democracy is global public good; if that cracks, it’s going to cause problem for planet: Rahul Gandhi in UK
Foxglove blooms bright in J-K’s ‘Valley of Flowers’ but tourism slump continues; locals blame BDA
Music Academy announces Sangita Kalanidhi awards
Biden says monkeypox cases something to ‘be concerned about’
CM leads bicycle rally on drug awareness in Sangrur
Quad Summit will provide opportunity to review progress of grouping’s initiatives: PM Modi