KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 ― Indian preacher Dr Zakir Naik has denied allegations that he is a terrorist amid investigations against him for terrorism in India.
The Muslim televangelist said instead that those who accused him of being a terrorist could be “terrorists” themselves, as those who inflicted the perception of terrorism on the human mind could be considered “terrorists”.
“I have never done a rebellion or conducted terrorist acts against humans all my life. I only deliver a message of peace to people,” Dr Zakir told Malay daily Sinar Harian in an interview at its Karangkraf office in Shah Alam yesterday.
“There are certain quarters who do not want peace in this world. So, they make baseless allegations against me,” he added.
On India’s five-year ban on his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation, Dr Zakir said he was ready to go to court, but only in an international or Malaysian court.
“I ask the Indian government to prosecute me in an international court or in Malaysia,” he said.
India reportedly banned the Islamic Research Foundation for five years starting last November, with the authorities considering prosecuting the televangelist for terrorism based on the testimonies of terror convicts who said they had been motivated by his speeches.
In his interview with Sinar Harian, Dr Zakir also rejected the Terengganu state government’s land offer to set up a research centre.
“I can’t accept it. I’ve received similar offers from other countries but I did not accept them.
“I’m worried that if I should accept the offer here, other countries would feel offended. I don’t want my good relations with these countries to be affected just because of this,” he said.
The Terengganu state government offered last year islands in Tasik Kenyir to Dr Zakir to set up an Islamic research centre.