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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Zam: Zakir Naik should be banned

Unease with preachers like Zakir Naik runs deep among members of Malay-Muslim society, who are not easily taken up with foreign missionaries.

KUALA LUMPUR - Islamic missionary Zakir Naik, is not someone who gives a positive image of Islam to non-Muslims in particular as a religion that promotes international brotherhood, says former Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin.

In his latest blog posting about the controversial preacher, Zainuddin said, “By pitting religion against religion, he (Zakir Naik) plants prejudice in the minds of the multiracial and multi-religious people in the country.

“Zakir Naik, and people like him, should be banned from entering the country.”

Zainuddin also accused Zakir Naik of being a co-conspirator of the late Ahmed Deedat of South Africa who was at one time brought by elements in ABIM when former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was in government.

“Deedat wasn’t wanted by the Muslims themselves in South Africa,” he added.

The Special Branch however, added Zainuddin, was able to nip the movement in the bud after Deedat himself made a speech at Dataran Merdeka pitting one religion against the other. “He mocked other religions just to show that Islam was greater than all of them. His videos were seized and banned.”

Singapore too, continued Zainuddin, had taken steps to keep out all missionaries including Christians preaching to Muslims.

“The police in Malaysia know the dangers posed by people like Zakir Naik but their efforts have been stymied by politicians seeking support for their cause by using religion.”

The Terengganu Menteri Besar was even willing to award some islands in the Kenyir Lake to Zakir Naik, much to the displeasure of the Terengganu Sultan, noted Zainuddin. “One or two Umno Ministers were also mesmerised by Zakir Naik.”

Zainuddin was commenting on the Mufti of Terengganu, as reported by TranungKita Online, taking a stand on the Zakir Naik controversy. “The Mufti should not deny that he’s uneasy with Zakir Naik.”

Zainuddin ventured that unease with characters like Zakir Naik ran deep within Malay and Muslim society. “They are all about the true roots of being a Malay, and Muslim, and not easily taken up with foreign missionaries who are not at all like the local ulama who have played their role in the process of modernisation and the development of Islam in the country.”

Islam has long co-existed peacefully with other religions in the country, Zainuddin said. “Nowhere can this be seen better than in Sabah and Sarawak.”

Zainuddin, who was once Editor-in-Chief of Utusan Malaysia, also agreed with a remark by Zainah Anwar, who wrote in the Sunday Star on May 8 saying: “Was this the reward that Umno had hoped to gain, endorsement by a charismatic evangelist to push a reluctant PAS worried about its grassroots sentiments, into the arms of its once die-hard enemy?

“Really? Desperate times call for desperate tactics.”

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