One cannot draw a parallel between Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini as Khomeini had no criminal charges against him, says ex-law minister.
PETALING JAYA: Perkasa’s defence of the permanent resident (PR) status granted to controversial preacher Zakir Naik has not gone down well with former law minister Zaid Ibrahim.
Zaid said the Malay pressure group’s reference to the French government’s decision in 1978 to grant political asylum to Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini was not applicable to Naik’s situation.
“Khomeini had no criminal charges against him, like money laundering, for a start,” Zaid said on his Twitter account today.
Khomeini was fleeing persecution, but returned to Iran in 1979 to lead the revolution that toppled the Shah and replaced the Iranian monarchy with an Islamic republic.
On the other hand, Naik, who was granted Malaysian PR status five years ago, is wanted by Indian authorities over money laundering and terrorism-related charges.
“Also, Khomeini never said other religions are useless, and he did not indulge in hate speech. He was opposed to the Shah, that’s all,” Zaid said.
Two separate courts in India have issued warrants of arrest for Naik, the latest on Thursday.
Authorities there have filed a money-laundering case against Naik. He and his Mumbai-based outfit, Islamic Research Foundation, have been accused of inciting Muslims and promoting enmity between different communities.
Last weekend, Naik, attending a Perkasa event, claimed he would be tortured if he returned to India.