PETALING JAYA: An Amanah leader today defended Zakir Naik against accusations that the Indian Muslim preacher was promoting terrorism.
Amanah communications director Khalid Samad said although Naik’s blunt style had not been well-received by many including Muslims, it is not an excuse to accuse him of supporting terrorism, a charge levelled by authorities in India who are seeking his extradition from Malaysia.
Khalid, who is also the Shah Alam MP, said Naik should not be faulted in the Dhaka attack last year just because those involved were his followers.
“Does this mean we can accuse the director of Star Wars and the WWE management of promoting terrorism?” he asked.
He said millions followed Naik’s talks but only a small number were involved in terrorism.
He said it would be a different case if at least 20 to 30% of his followers would be terrorists.
New Delhi has accused the 52-year-old of funding terrorism, and is in the process of making an official request to the Malaysian government to extradite Naik based on a mutual treaty.
India’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) also accuses Naik of insulting the religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians as well as Shia, Barelvi and Sufi Muslims.
Naik’s Mumbai-based NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), was banned by the Indian government in 2016.