Malaysian authorities to quiz Zakir Naik over racist remarks

Vastavam web: Malaysian authorities will summon controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for questioning after he allegedly made racially sensitive remarks in the multi-ethnic nation, the government said on Thursday. The move came after several ministers demanded Naik’s expulsion on Wednesday after he said Hindus in Malaysia had “100 times more rights” than the Muslim minority in India.

Zakir Naik, who has lived in Malaysia for about three years and faces charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, has come under fire for comments allegedly pitting the country’s ethnic and religious minorities against the ethnic Malay majority, who are predominantly Muslim.

“I would like to remind all parties, including non-citizens, that enforcement agencies under my ministry will not think twice to take legal action against anyone who attempts to threaten public harmony and peace,” Muhyiddin said in a statement. Asked for comment, a representative for Zakir Naik told Reuters he would first need to study the minister’s statement. Race and religion are sensitive issues in Malaysia, where Malay Muslims make up about 60 percent of a population of 32 million.

Zakir Naik, who has repeatedly denied the charges against him in India, has said his detractors were quoting him out of context to malign him. State news agency Bernama quoted Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as saying this week that the controversial Islamic preacher cannot be sent back to India because of fears for his safety.