KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 — Controversial Mumbai-born Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik extolled Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s courage before a crowd of tens of thousands during a public lecture in PAS-led Kelantan last night.
News portal Malaysiakini reported that the preacher wanted in India on money laundering charges called the prime minister the “only Muslim leader” with courage to stand up to the US and the UK for their alleged war crimes in the Middle East.
“Mahathir is the only Muslim leader who set up the war crimes tribunal in 2011 which found that the US and UK had given false evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
“No other Muslim country had such courage except for Malaysia,” he was quoted saying at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium in Kota Baru.
Dr Zakir was also reported to have claimed that former US president George W. Bush and former UK prime minister Tony Blair would be arrested if they ever visited Malaysia in future, due to their orders to invade Iraq in 2003. This too, he attributed to Dr Mahathir.
“He is the only Muslim leader who had courage.
“If Bush and Blair set foot in this country, they would be arrested,” he was quoted saying, referring to the 2011 verdict reached by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that found Bush and Blair guilty of crimes against peace, humanity, and of genocide in the Iraq war.
The commission is also known as the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal and was established by Dr Mahathir in 2007.
“No Muslim country did this except for Malaysia, Alhamdulillah,” Dr Zakir reportedly said again to cheers from the audience
Dr Zakir is a Malaysian permanent resident.
Dr Mahathir recently said in an interview that his government is in a difficult position to extradite Dr Zakir as he acknowledged a significant number of Malaysians wanted the preacher out, but added that at the same time, no other country wanted to take the latter in.