Dr Zakir Naik only banned in UK, Canada but welcomed everywhere else, organiser says

Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (left) attending a lecture presented by Islamic scholar Dr Zakir Naik (right) in Gong Badak Indoor Stadium, April 10, 2016. - Bernama pic
Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (left) attending a lecture presented by Islamic scholar Dr Zakir Naik (right) in Gong Badak Indoor Stadium, April 10, 2016. - Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Dr Zakir Naik may be banned in the United Kingdom and Canada but he is still highly sought after and welcomed in many other countries, the organisers of a lecturer series featuring the Mumbai-based speaker said today.

Abu Shariz Sarajun Hoda, the programme director for ‘Public Talk Dr Zakir Naik 2016’ said that Malaysia should not be influenced with the decisions of other countries which have banned Dr Naik.

“The decision making or affairs of other countries have nothing to do with us. If you mention that, logically, two countries have banned him, then probably there are 200 countries which have not banned him.

“Alhamdullilah, The Malaysian citizens are very welcoming towards Dr Zakir Naik, and we can see everybody is so happy. Malaysia is a sovereign country and we should respect the laws of our country,” he told reporters here today.

Abu Shariz pointed out that Dr Naik has so far more than 4000 official lecture invitations from countries all over the world, but chose to prioritise Malaysia.

“For your information, Dr Zakir Naik has more than 4000 official invitation throughout the world, inviting him to come and give lectures, and if he goes to every lectures everyday, it will take him 12 years to complete one round.. and he has given priority to Malaysia because Malaysia is a very hospitable country,” Abu Shariz added.

“Non-Muslims have opportunities to come and ask questions, and openly clear their doubts first hand...don’t have to go through speculations on social media which are untrue,” he said.

Several MIC and Indian-based groups have lodged police reports over the lecture series that was scheduled to be held at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UTem) in Malacca on April 17.

Dr Naik, who received the government’s Tokoh Maal Hijrah award in 2013, previously angered the Hindu community here by allegedly insulting their deities along with the vegetarian practices of the faith.

The Islamic Research Foundation president had also been denied entry to Canada and United Kingdom in 2012 after he reportedly expressed his support of terrorist group Al-Qaeda.

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