Malaysian Ministers Demand Zakir Naik’s Deportation As Islamic Preacher Targets Hindus, Ethnic Chinese Minority 

Zakir Naik (maapu/Wikimedia Commons)

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is again in the limelight for his remarks against non-Muslim minorities in Malaysia.

Naik, who was granted permanent residency in Malaysia, has been living in the country for the last three years. He fled India after the charges of money laundering and inciting religious hatred were levelled against him.

Zakir Naik said that Hindus in Malaysia had "100 times more rights" than the Muslim minority in India, and that they support the "prime minister of India and not the prime minister of Malaysia".

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The Islamic preacher also targeted the ethnic Chinese minority. When asked about the demands for his deportation, Naik said that the Chinese people should leave first.

"You know, someone called me a guest. So I said, before me, the Chinese were the guests. If you want the new guest to go first, ask the old guest to go back," Naik was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.

"The Chinese aren't born here, most of them. Maybe the new generations, yes," said Naik during a dialogue on 8 August in Kelantan state.

The comments caused public outcry in a Muslim majority nation struggling with rise of Islamic extremism.

On Wednesday, several ministers told Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at a cabinet meeting that Naik needs to be deported as his speeches were "inflammatory in nature".

"We have expressed our position which is that action must be taken and that Zakir Naik should no longer be allowed to remain in Malaysia," said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran in a joint statement.

Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Xavier Jayakumar said if Malaysia were to ignore Naik's statements and allow him to continue his "ways" in Malaysia, it would lead to "potential racial and religious division". Malaysia's youngest minister, Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman also backed the demand to deport Naik, saying “Enough is enough”.

Also read: Malaysia: Rising Islamisation Is Fuelling Institutionalised Hindu-Hatred; Will The World Take Notice?

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