Perkasa wants Dr Zakir Naik suit withdrawn

BY TARRENCE TAN
Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali speaking during a press conference after the ‘IJTEMA of 150 Malaysian Muslim Scholars with Dr Zakir Naik’ event in Kuala Lumpur, April 16, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Perkasa called today for the withdrawal of a civil suit filed against the government that sought the deportation of Indian televangelist Dr Zakir Naik.

The Malay rights group chief Datuk Ibrahim Ibrahim reminded Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy, one of the 19 who filed the suit, that protests against Dr Zakir in the country were not welcomed because the majority of Muslims and a small group of non-Muslims who attended his lectures were there on their own free will.

“This same argument could be applied on why thousands of people converge to Batu Caves on Thaipusam. Majority of them, including several Hindu gurus from India, came to Batu Caves on this day for religious purposes.

“But, there are also Muslims, including the Prime Minister who came to Batu Caves on the basis of goodwill, racial unity and religious tolerance,” Ibrahim said during his speech at the “Istimak session of Dr Zakir Naik with 150 Malaysian Muslim Intellectuals” today.

On the same context, Ibrahim said that non-Muslims had also turned up at Dr Zakir’s lectures. He said it was inappropriate for organisers to evict them.

“Hence, if several of these people embrace Islam after listening to Dr Zakir, it is unwise for us to blame the organiser or him.

“As such, I sincerely hope that Hindraf would erase its negative perception on Dr Zakir’s lectures on Islam; and Mr Waythamoorthy and 18 others, would kindly withdraw their case against Dr Zakir, which was already filed in the Kuala Lumpur High Court,” he said.

Ibrahim also urged Hindraf, a Hindu rights group, to stop attacking Islam.

“I hope that Hindraf would be gentlemen and kind enough to stop its politics of hate on Islam and politicisation on Dr Zakir’s lectures in Malaysia.”

The suit filed last month by several Muslim and non-Muslim activists had sought a government declaration that Dr Zakir was a threat to national security.

It also urged the government to ban the Mumbai-born Islamic preacher from entering the county, and for him to be arrested and deported immediately.

According to media reports, a Mumbai court recently issued an arrest warrant against Dr Zakir, who is under investigation for speeches that allegedly “spread enmity” among communities after some perpetrators of the Bangladesh terror attack last year said they had followed his sermons.