Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Malaysian authorities has introduced that it’s going to summon Indian Muslim preacher Zakir Naik over controversial statements he made about ethnic minorities within the nation, as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his cupboard contemplate their choices amid contentious debate on his attainable deportation.
Residence Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin mentioned in a press release late on Thursday that the police will query Naik following his remarks about Malaysians of Chinese language and Hindu backgrounds.
Muhyiddin made the assertion as Singapore’s Straits Instances reported that Mahathir’s cupboard members have agreed throughout their assembly on Wednesday that Naik ought to depart the nation.
The police have additionally confirmed that Naik is below investigation, including that the company obtained at the least 115 complaints in opposition to the preacher. It will not say when Naik will seem to reply the criticism.
Felony Investigation Division director Datuk Huzir was quoted by Bernama state information company as saying the Naik’s case is being investigated “for intentional insult with intent to impress a break of peace”.
In keeping with experiences, the police have additionally warned Naik to not converse at a three-day convention for Muslim converts beginning on Friday.
For his half, Muhyiddin mentioned the enforcement companies “is not going to hesitate to take authorized motion in opposition to anybody who threatens the concord and public order of the nation”.
“I want to draw consideration to the tendency of varied events who unfold pretend information and make racist statements with out consideration for the sensitivity of the individuals on this multiracial nation.”
“Investigations are in progress,” Muhyiddin mentioned, including that a number of others are additionally being questioned and a few are presently being monitored.
Naik, a citizen of India, has been granted everlasting residency in Malaysia by the earlier authorities. He was pressured to go away India in 2016, saying he was subjected to harassment and non secular persecution by the Hindu nationalist authorities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
‘Vilification marketing campaign’
Controversy arose in latest days after Naik instructed in a video tackle that ethnic Chinese language minorities ought to depart first, whereas addressing requires him to be expelled. He referred to the ethnic Chinese language as “friends”.
He additionally mentioned that minority Hindus in Malaysia are extra loyal to the prime minister of India than their very own prime minister.
Naik accused the media of misinterpreting his phrases, however his feedback rapidly unfold, dominating the political dialogue within the nation for days.
In a follow-up assertion printed on Thursday, he mentioned that the “vilification marketing campaign” in opposition to him is now in “full swing” and is being performed “with a political motive”.
Abdul Hadi Awang, president of the Malaysian Islamic Get together (PAS), defended Naik saying in a press release that it’s the “obligation” of Muslims “to defend their faith and shield its preachers”.
Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz, a parliament consultant and PAS member, additionally mentioned that “no Muslim can be comfortable” if Naik is “thrown in a foreign country, except he’s a hypocrite and an enormous sinner”.
Muslims make up about 60 % of its 32 million individuals. The remainder are principally ethnic Chinese language and Indians, most of whom are Hindus.
Since arriving in Malaysia, Naik has additionally established a loyal following. Final week, he addressed tens of 1000’s of individuals at a public lecture within the rural state of Kelantan, the place he obtained a rousing reception.
‘Abusing a privilege’
Amid the uproar, outstanding Malaysian civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan mentioned the federal government might revoke Naik’s everlasting residency.
In response, a person threatened by means of social media posts to behead the lawyer.
“You expel Dr Zakir Naik, I’ll hunt you till I discover you, and I’ll separate that pig head of yours out of your physique.”
Syahredzan mentioned he has lodged a police report on Thursday.
“It does present that Dr Zakir’s supporters may be emotional and even overzealous of their defence of the controversial preacher,” Syahredzan instructed Al Jazeera.
Additionally on Thursday, the Sarawak native authorities has reportedly banned Naik from getting into the jap state.
Native press quoted Sarawak’s Deputy Chief Minister James Jemut Masing as saying that Naik’s remarks might pose “a possible hazard to the ethnic and non secular concord” within the state.
In the meantime, the Legal professionals for Liberty (LFL), a human rights group, mentioned that if Naik feels his life is in peril ought to he be despatched again to in India by the Malaysian authorities, he ought to apply to the United Nations Excessive Fee for Refugees (UNHCR) for asylum the place his declare might be decided.
“He has been an especially divisive determine in Malaysia. As a foreigner who has been granted a everlasting residency standing, clearly he has abused this privilege, by pitting Muslims in opposition to non-Muslims, Malays in opposition to non-Malays,” LFL director Melissa Sasidaran instructed Al Jazeera.