KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — Kelantan state executive councillor (exco) Datuk Mohamed Fadzli Hassan has urged local Muslims to defend fugitive preacher Dr Zakir Naik who will embark on a visit there this week.

The PAS law and human rights bureau chief claimed Muslims must not let the televangelist be extradited to India as the latter would inevitably be found guilty of money laundering and inspiring terrorism in his country of origin.

“We all know what would happen afterwards and we have expected it. That is why we must defend for him to stay in this country,” Fadzli was quoted saying by party organ HarakahDaily yesterday.

This comes as Kelantan PAS Youth invited DAP MP Lim Kit Siang and other party leaders to attend Dr Zakir’s programmed in Kota Baru.

“The attendance of DAP leaders will prove that they are not anti-Islam, and follows the party’s principles as democratic, free to speak, and can accept criticism,” wing chief Mohd Ariff Abdullah told HarakahDaily.

“We take the responsibility to send an invitation letter, as proof of support towards the state government’s programme and our solidarity with Dr Zakir Naik.”

The wing said it submitted the invitation to the Kelantan DAP headquarters yesterday but nobody was present.

Last week, Lim said he would never abscond and become an international fugitive unlike Dr Zakir, after PAS lawmaker Ahmad Fadhli Shaari told Lim to leave the country following his criticisms of the preacher.

Iskandar Puteri MP previously expressed support for moderation advocate and author Anas Zubedy’s open letter to Dr Zakir on why he should leave the country voluntarily.

Dr Zakir arrives in Kelantan tomorrow for a lecture with tertiary students in the Kelantan Trade Centre, followed by a sermon with state public servants on Thursday morning.

He will then join popular preacher Azhar Idrus at a grand event in Sultan Muhammad IV on Friday evening.

Last month, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admitted that Malaysia is not keen for Dr Zakir Naik to be here, but is hard-pressed to deport him elsewhere as “many countries” will not accept the controversial Islamic preacher either.