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Stay away from M’sia, Zakir

 | September 26, 2012

The call is growing louder for the government to bar controversial Muslim preacher from coming here.

GEORGE TOWN: Hindraf Makkal Sakti and a local Gerakan leader have called on the government to bar controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik from Malaysia.

Former president of Malaysian chapter of Transparency International, Tunku Aziz Ibrahim, meanwhile cautioned Zakir not to “come here and insult Malaysians”.

Hindraf national coordinator W Sambulingam was uncompromising with the movement’s stand, saying that Zakir must be banned from the country.

He said Zakir was known for pouring scorns on other faiths, pointing out that the controversial orator was banned in Canada and United Kingdom.

He said Zakir would be a menace to the country’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-culture and multi-language landscape.

“He is a national threat against peace and harmony that we all cherish. He must be barred and banned altogether.

“He is the last person that Malaysia wants,” Sambulingam told FMT here today.

Gerakan’s Baljit Singh concurred with Sambulingam, saying that Malaysia had no place for religious fanatics like Zakir.

He said the government should be sensitive to all religious sentiments as Zakir would likely insult other religions in his speeches.

“His reputation precedes him,” said Baljit, who heads Penang Gerakan’s legal and human rights bureau.

He noted that all Malaysians had demonstrated a united stand in condemning the controversial US-made movie “Innocence of Muslims”.

Similarly, he called on all Malaysians to also speak out with one voice to compel the government to stop Zakir coming here.

Zakir of Mumbai, India, is expected to address several forums across the country, including in PWTC, until Oct 7.

“Malaysians should demonstrate their consistent stand against religious extremism. It’s time for all Malaysians to oppose Zakir and stop him from coming here,” said Baljit.

“The government should not issue a visa to Zakir. The government should be sensitive to all religions,” he added.

Constitutional duty

Tunku Aziz said that the government probably cannot bar Zakir.

But, he said the government has a constitutional duty to caution Zakir and the Malaysian host for his trip, Saba Islamic Media, “on the impact of what he says on the country’s multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural set-up.”

“No Malaysian would want a foreigner to come here and insult Malaysians,” he said.

Citing the Muslims’ latest outrage against the video “Innocence of Muslims”, he urged Muslims to be consistent in their stand to oppose all forms of religious extremism that would incite violence and hatred among Malaysians.

He reminded Muslims that Islam is a religion of peace strictly forbidding violence, hatred or insults on others.

“The Federal Constitution upholds freedom of religion for all Malaysians. All Malaysians are duty- bound to uphold the freedom.

“Hence, Muslims should safeguard the interests, rights and sensitivity of non-Muslims,” Tunku Aziz said.

Zakir’s imminent arrival has sparked a storm in cyber space, especially in social network Facebook.

Many complained that Zakir frequently insults Hinduism, the latest during last week’s Vinaayagar Chathurti, a Hindu festival marking the birth of Lord Ganesha (elephant-faced deity).


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