KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 — News portal Malaysiakini will be investigated by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry for linking controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik to terrorism, minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak vowed.
Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia today quoted Salleh saying the ministry is mulling to take action on the portal after it published allegedly “rude” readers’ comments that “offended the sensitivities” of Muslims.
“We will investigate and use what powers we have to take action,” he was quoted telling the daily.
Salleh did not state which offence had been committed by Malaysiakini that merited an investigation.
Salleh’s remark came following pressure from Islamist and Malay groups such as Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) dan Perkasa urging a strong response against so-called insults against Islam.
Bangladeshi English-language newspaper The Daily Star reported that Rohan Imtiaz and Nibras Islam, two of the terrorists involved in attack in Dhaka that killed 20, were social media followers of Dr Zakir.
The report said one of the terrorists, Rohan Imtiaz, had last year posted on Facebook quoting Dr Zakir “urging all Muslims to be terrorists”.
Dr Zakir has since admitted that a video clip of his speech purportedly exhorting “every Muslim to be a terrorist” was not altered, after previously claiming parts of the video was doctored.
The Salafist preacher is now under investigation by both Indian and Bangladeshi authorities after the terror attack, and the Peace TV channel spearheaded by him has been banned by both countries.
Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told Malay Mail Online last week that he will review the Muslim cleric’s sermons and speeches made in India and Bangladesh before deciding whether or not police action is required.