By Shazwan Zulkiffli
Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik looks set to be banned by the PDRM ahead of his scheduled talk at Universiti Teknikal Malaysia (UTeM) in Malacca.
Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said police has banned the the talk based due to complaints that it might be disrespectful to the sensitivities of the multi-religious society.
“@PDRMsia has decided to not let this forum to proceed for public order and religious sensitivities in Malaysia,” he tweeted earlier today.
The talk, scheduled to be held on April 17 at UTeM, was titled “Similarities Between Hinduism and Islam”. Shortly after it was announced, MIC Youth lodged a report against him while Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) pleaded with the government to ban the speaker.
He has also been barred from entering Canada and the United Kingdom after reportedly expressing support for Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group.
But why is Zakir Naik so controversial, to the point that a large number of Muslims across India, his home country, want Dr Zakir Naik expelled from the community? Is it because of his actions in converting people of other religions into islam? Is it because of the arguments he failed to win?
This is why:
Zakir Naik makes up “facts”
In this video, you can see that Zakir Naik made up a bunch of “facts” in one of his speeches, including the death of famous scientist, Galileo Galilei. In his speech, Zakir claims that he was sentenced to death – when in reality Galileo died of old age. He also claims that Homo sapiens died 500,000 years ago, when he himself is a Homo sapien, or in simpler terms, a human being. Watch the video above for more similar incidents.
He condones Terrorism
Zakir Naik was featured on television almost 10 years ago, speaking about the 9/11 tragedy – where he claimed that every Muslim should be a terrorist. However, he has since denied that he said such things, and claimed that he is against all forms of terrorism – even going so far as to blame the media for exaggerating the story.
Sorry Zakir, but they got you on tape.
In the video above, Zakir Naik was caught rigorously comparing how Christians and Muslims view Jesus. Now for many people this act can be counted as harmless, especially when he did it after an attendee of his talk asked him a question regarding Jesus. But for many, it is very sensitive. This probably applies to Hindraf and MIC’s appeal to ban the Mumbai-based speaker, as they were likely unhappy with the theme of his scheduled talk.
Fanatical and Borderline-Extremist Fans
These racism-infused comments were made by fanatical Zakir Naik fans after the Malaysian police called off the event. Now, it’s no wonder that PDRM “decided not to let this forum to proceed for public order and religious sensitivities in Malaysia”. These are comments from Zakir Naik’s supporters and fans made before the event!
And just today, some Zakir Naik fans have started planting the seeds of terrorism, when Penang’s Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ramasamy’service centre got firebombed after after he labeled Naik as “Satan“.
However, PDRM’s decision to cancel the event received a tremendous amount of criticism from both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. With freedom of speech, Zakir Naik should be allowed to speak his mind, especially when such a large number of fans await his return. Non-factual gibberish aside, Zakir Naik can also entertain his fans with his inspirational speeches using quranic verses. Are there angles of approach that Zakir Naik can take so that he can be accepted by the PDRM, and the rest of the nation?
Yes, and its simple. Maybe Zakir Naik should eliminate any elements of comparisons between Islam and any other religion to avoid angering any groups, and encourage any sense of entitlement or superiority in the community. This will also promote harmony and respect, as Islam teaches us to behave.
After recent ISIS attacks in Turkey, Pakistan, France, Belgium, and extremely close to home, – in Indonesia, – Zakir Naik can play a huge role in bringing people together, to go against extremism and radicalism in Islam. If the speaker is truly against suicide bombings or any kind of terrorism, he should publicly prove it – and correct what he said on television a few years ago by rallying behind peace-lovers in an attempt to turn the tide around, and educate Muslims regarding the meaning of the peace-loving religion we know as Islam.
Zakir Naik should also be bold enough to advise his fans on the matter of posting racism-infused slurs in his name. He should remember that he has the power to influence many to do good, and that the core of Islam itself is to show kindness and love towards other people. With his advice, there’s a huge possibility that many Facebook commenters will cool down and avoid any kind of derogatory comments that might disrupt the harmony of the country.
Overall, banning Zakir Naik’s event has only led to negative circumstances so far. “Banning“ should only be implemented if the subject is entirely wrong, unlawful, and harmful. However, if Zakir Naik is to be allowed to speak, he has to follow our rules and regulations, as to avoid any complications and problems after the talk. This way, he would not be able to touch on sensitive issues of other religions, and at the same time be able to deliver his knowledge in Islamic beliefs without any objections.
With this, everyone wins.