MIC Youth: Zakir Naik lecture ok, but authorities must ensure preacher toes line

Sivarraajh claimed while Dr Zakir (right) often talks about unity between Islam and other religion, he would allegedly divert the topic to justify the supremacy of Islam.  — Bernama pic
Sivarraajh claimed while Dr Zakir (right) often talks about unity between Islam and other religion, he would allegedly divert the topic to justify the supremacy of Islam. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — MIC Youth gave its nod today to controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik's talks here, but demanded the authorities ensure that the Mumbai-based speaker does not make derogatory remarks or comparisons between Islam and other beliefs.

MIC Youth leader C Sivarraajh claimed while Dr Zakir often talks about unity between Islam and other religion, he would allegedly divert the topic to justify the supremacy of Islam.

Sivarraajh claimed the preacher has done this in a few of his previous talks which was the reason Hindus here were upset.

"Dr Zakir uses his knowledge of other faith to counter arguments or questions posed to him about different religion other than Islam. What's the point of this?" he asked.

"That's what he has done before. So it defeats the purpose of the topic he claims to preach. We at MIC are fine with his talks but the IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim must ensure that Dr Zakir respects the sensitivity of the multi-faith communities we have here," he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

"We are very clear in what we want. Dr Zakir should not talk about or belittle Hinduism and other religions. Just focus on talking good things about Islam to Muslim friends. That's all," he added.

Earlier today, Shahidan who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, confirmed that authorities will allow a forum by controversial preacher Dr Zakir to proceed here, despite the cancellation of another event in Malacca.

He said that authorities only asked that the title of the forum, which focused on the similarities between Islam and Hinduism be amended to be more sensible.

Federal police chief Khalid yesterday told organisers of a comparative religion lecture series featuring Dr Naik in Malacca to cancel the event, saying that such discourse was not beneficial.

The event in Bukit Jalil had been in doubt until Shahidan’s confirmation today.

On April 10, several MIC and Indian-based groups lodged police reports over the lecture series that was scheduled to be held at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia in Malacca on April 17.

Sivarraajh said the police reports were lodged to prevent the controversial Muslim preacher from speaking in Malaysia, for fear of sparking unrest in public.

Last Friday, non-governmental group Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) demanded Putrajaya ban the preacher from entering Malaysia to start a series of lectures at Terengganu, calling Dr Naik a “virus” to the country’s multicultural communities.

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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