Perkasa chides interfaith group for Zakir Naik comments

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PETALING JAYA: Malay right-wing group Perkasa has warned the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) not to be too quick in its accusations against controversial Muslim speaker Zakir Naik.

This comes following accusations that Zakir had influenced the terrorists responsible for the recent violence in Bangladesh through his speeches.

“MCCBCHST has accused Dr Zakir of sowing seeds of terror in the minds of youth. Perkasa urges MCCBCHST to be more careful with such statements and generalisations that are based on assumptions and accusations without concrete evidence,” Perkasa Islamic affairs chairman Amini Amir Abdullah said in a statement today.

“He has spoken to millions of people, have these millions become terrorists? Should someone be punished immediately for using Dr Zakir’s name?”

Amini urged them to investigate in depth before making such “biadap” (rude) statements, and not to ape the West with their “baseless news”.

Perkasa also demanded that MCCBCHST retract their “rude” statement, saying that a failure to do so would result in Perkasa assuming that they had bad intentions.

“They only want to ruin Dr Zakir’s good name and stop him from speaking for the sake of religious truth,” Amini said.

Bangladesh newspaper The Daily had recently reported that two of the terrorists involved in the killing of 20 hostages in Dhaka, Bangladesh, were followers of Zakir Naik, and were also believed to be militant recruiters for the Islamic State.

The report had said that one of them, Rohan Imtiaz, had even written on his Facebook page last year that Zakir had urged all Muslims to be terrorists.

MCCBCHST deputy president RS Mohan Shan had urged Putrajaya to cancel the Maal Hijrah award given to Zakir, as well as to ban him from speaking in Malaysia.