Zakir Naik Not Safe From Indian Public But No Other Nation Wants Him, Says Former Malaysian Prime Minister

Zakir Naik Not Safe From Indian Public But No Other Nation Wants Him, Says Former Malaysian Prime MinisterZakir Naik meets Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. 
Snapshot
  • Naik fled India in 2016 facing charges of provoking communal disharmony and indulging in unlawful activities that incited terror in India.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad Bin Mohamad has said that controversial Islamic preacher and Islamic Research Foundation founder Zakir Naik will not be extradited to India since he will not be safe from the Indian public.

Mahathir said he would send Naik anywhere but India but there were no takers in other countries.

Naik fled India in 2016 facing charges of provoking communal disharmony and indulging in unlawful activities that incited terror in India. Since then, he has taken refugee in Putrajaya, south of capital Kuala Lumpur.

Stating that the Muslim-Hindu relationship in India is not good, the former Malaysia Prime Minister, who was ousted out of power in February this year, alleged that there have been cases of people being lynched.

“So, he is, I think not very welcome in India," he told WION.

Malaysia, which has been asked by India to extradite Naik quite a few times, had initially let him stay “for time being”. Kuala Lumpur would like to send him to some other country where he will be safe, said the 94-year-old former prime minister, who is making a valiant attempt to regain power from Muhyiddin Yasin.

Mahathir said not many countries are willing to accept Naik, who has also been charged with money laundering by Indian officials.

The former prime minister ducked a question on India’s request for the controversial preacher’s extradition, saying Indian people had different ideas and sometimes “the people act rather roughly against Muslims in India”.

Naik, who has already been banned from entering the UK since 2010 for his behaviour and making inflammatory speeches, has been banned from any public activities in Malaysia after his controversial remarks against Malaysian Hindus and Chinese last year.

One of the terrorists involved in the 2016 Dhaka cafe attack has reportedly said that he was inspired by Naik’s speech resulting in the Bangladesh government banning his Peace TV network.

The preacher is also alleged to have inspired the mastermind of the Sri Lanka Easter blasts last year that killed 290 people.

Mahathir’s statement is at variance with Naik, who told his followers on his YouTube channel that Muslims in India get more freedom to practise their religion than any other non-Muslim country, including Western nations.

Last month, reports said that one of the accused in this year’s Delhi riots, Khalif Saifi, had travelled to Malaysia and met with Naik.

“Generally for Muslims in India, it is very close to living in a Muslim country. They have full rights and it is perfectly permissible to live there. A close example of a place (where Muslims get similar privileges) is Singapore,” the preacher said in response to a question whether Muslims in India need to migrate to an Islamic nation, on 16 July.

He, however, qualified his statement saying that things have become a little difficult for Muslims after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.

The problem for other nations, especially the Islamic world, in accepting him is that he has said that most Muslim leaders are corrupt and the choice for the people in those nations was to accept the “best of the worst”.

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