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Perkasa wants to be a party in Zakir Naik suit

 | March 14, 2017

The suit to prevent Zakir from entering or staying in Malaysia will affect the rights of Muslims to obtain knowledge through his talks, says Ibrahim Ali.

ibrahim-ali-zakir

KUALA LUMPUR: Malay right wing group Perkasa has filed an application to intervene in a suit filed by 19 people against the government for allegedly harbouring controversial preacher Zakir Naik.

Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali, who affirmed an affidavit in support of the application, said the suit had affected the rights and interests of Muslims in Malaysia.

“The suit will affect our rights to obtain knowledge through talks given by Zakir,” he said.

Ibrahim, a former MP, said Perkasa had a direct interest as the organisation was formed to uphold and strengthen Islam as the official religion of the country.

Speaking to reporters, he said he hoped Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy, one of the 19 who filed the suit, would not object to Perkasa’s application.

“Allow us to intervene and let the court make a decision based on the merit of the case,” he said.

Ibrahim claimed Zakir was a reputable international Islamic figure and that it was unfair for the 19 to paint a negative picture of him.

“I have not been violent after attending Zakir’s discourse,” said Ibrahim in reference to public perception that the preacher advocated violence and extremism.

He said there was nothing wrong with Zakir doing a comparative study between Islam and other religions during his talks.

“We do that in universities. Anyway, Muslims here do not object to non-Muslims preaching their religion and Perkasa has no qualms about Muslims attending such events,” he added.

The 19 claimed the preacher, who is a citizen of India, was capable of threatening national security and harmony.

The group is also seeking a court order that Zakir be considered a threat to Malaysia, and with that, is requesting an order to stop him from coming to the country or remaining here, if he is already in the country.

The lawsuit named Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the director-general of the Immigration Department, the director-general of the National Registration Department, inspector-general of police and the Malaysian government as defendants.

Last year, Zakir made headlines after the Hindustan Times reported that he allegedly held dual Indian-Malaysian citizenships. However the home ministry denied the claim.

Zakir is under investigation in India for spreading communal hatred and glorifying terrorism. He was also reported to be sought by India’s Enforcement Directorate over a money laundering case.

The republic’s National Investigation Agency was also investigating 78 bank accounts and investments amounting to Rs100 crore (RM65 million) linked to him, NDTV had reported.

He is also reported to have been banned from the United Kingdom and Canada, following his apparent support of terror groups. Bangladesh has banned his TV station from telecasting there.


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