Nothing against Islam, just Zakir Naik, say Indian NGOs

The Indian government should take responsibility for its citizen Zakir Naik, say 28 local Indian NGOs as they hand over a memorandum to the Indian High Commission.

KUALA LUMPUR: After receiving nothing but silence from the Malaysian government on controversial preacher Zakir Naik, a group of 28 local Indian NGOs is now putting the pressure on the Indian government instead.
Following a two-hour protest outside the Indian High Commission here today, the group handed over a memorandum addressed to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others.
Satees Muniandy, who is secretary of the Penang Society for the Advancement of Tamils, told reporters during the protest that since the Malaysian government, “for some reasons”, had chosen not to act against Naik, they were hoping that the Indian authorities would assume responsibility instead.
Naik is, after all, “a citizen of India”, he said.
“We don’t want Malaysia to be the platform for Naik to spread and incite hatred in the multiracial and multi-religious society here.
“For almost 60 years, we have all lived in peace and harmony. Naik’s presence is a threat to this.”
In the background, chants of “Zakir Naik, go back to India”, and “Zakir Naik, illegal immigrant” could be heard from the group.
“Take back this citizen of yours. We don’t want to talk to the Malaysian government anymore. We don’t want this citizen of yours,” the 30-odd protesters said.
A Elangovan, chairman of the Malaysian Indian Education Transformation Association, said the protesters were angered by Naik, who had crossed the line by talking about Hinduism despite his limited knowledge on the matter.
“If a learned religious leader like (Perlis mufti) Mohd Asri (Zainul Abidin) can be influenced by Naik to say bad things about the Indian government, what about the laymen?
“They can be easily influenced by Naik’s speeches to hate those from other religions.
“So we want the Indian government to take action by getting Interpol to issue a red alert on Naik, or to extradite him,” Elangovan said.
Tamilar Kural president David Marshel added that if the Indian government failed to take immediate action, especially after the memorandum today, they might consider going to India and filing a case against the country in its own court.
“We are discussing this possibility with other NGOs and our friends in India.”
He said the protesters had nothing against Islam or any other Muslim preachers.
“We are only objecting to Naik, because he’s threatening the country’s religious harmony.”
The memorandum was handed to S Ramakrishnan, the attache in charge of labour at the Indian High Commission.
India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has issued a notice to Naik to return to the country for questioning.
Authorities there have also filed a money-laundering case against Naik, while his Mumbai-based outfit Islamic Research Foundation has been accused of inciting Muslims and promoting enmity between different communities.
But earlier this month, Naik, attending a Perkasa event to confer him with a warrior award, claimed he would be tortured if he were to return to India.

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