Is Zakir Naik hiding in Malaysia? That is one question on which Malaysian government is playing hide and seek with not just the world community, specifically India, but also with its own Malaysian Indian citizens who are alarmed by the presence of Zakir Naik on their motherland.
Reacting to a report ” Zakir Naik attends Friday prayer in Putrajaya’ by Free Malaysia Today, Penang Deputy Chief Minister Professor Dr. Ramasamy reacted rather harshly in a press note. His detailed statement reads:
Is it true that despite the denials by the Malaysian government, the controversial Islamic preacher from Bombay, Zakir Naik, India’s one of the most wanted fugitives, might be hiding in Malaysia?
Last week a Facebook user uploaded a photograph of Naik at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque or the Iron Mosque after Friday prayers. He said “Praise be to God, we joined Friday prayers at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque in Malaysia”.
While this Facebook posting provides some credible evidence of Naik’s presence in Malaysia, there are unverified reports that claim that the Malaysian authorities have placed him in a safe house with round the clock security either in Cyberjaya or Putrajaya.
Despite these trickling of information about the whereabouts of Naik, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Nur Jazlan had denied that Naik is in Malaysia. He even denied a report in the Times of India that that Malaysia was harbouring this fugitive.
If it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that Malaysia is indeed harbouring Naik, then such an act does not harbour well for the good diplomatic relationship between India and Malaysia.
Even if there is no extradition treaty between the both the countries, it only makes sense for Malaysia to hand over criminals who have committed crimes in India to the Indian authorities. I am sure India would be expected to reciprocate such a gesture, if found that those who induced in criminal activities are found hiding in India.
Apart from being known as a controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik is wanted by India for terrorist related activities and for having links with the under world. The Indian authorities have found that Zakir Naik preaching had something to do with the terrorist attacks in a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh sometime back. Simillarly the Indian authorities have evidence that he was responsible for instigating some youths in Kerala to take part in in ISIS related activities.
The most damning thing about Zakir Naik is the fact that he had long established links with the Bombay’s underworld. It has surfaced latterly that Iqbal Kaskar, the brother of Dawood Ibrahim, also one of India’s most wanted criminal, had links with Zakir Naik. In fact, Iqbak Kaskar was the chief financial officer who was responsible for raising funds from underworld activities to finance Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). This was the confession made by Iqbal to India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently.
The Malaysian authorities might have a “soft” spot for Muslim intellectuals and preachers. This is fine. But surely they cannot be silent on personw who has brought death and destruction to innocent people by engaging in the worst forms of preaching leading to terrorist activities.
Just because Malaysia has good relationship with Turkey does not mean that it has to function on behest of the government there. Recently, Turkish intellectuals and those who oppose the authoritarian polices of the Erdogan regime have been deported without proper investigation. At the same time, Zakir Naik is given a red-carpet welcome, given the status of permanent resident and if I am not mistaken might even have acquired his citizenship by now.
The Malaysian government must come clean on the matter of the Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik. It cannot keep on denying that he is not here. Events are slowly by surely infolding that even Saudi Arabia are not willing to provide sanctuary to Zakir Naik given the overwhelming evidence against for inciting terrorist activities.
While Malaysia has taken a tough stand in terms of arresting those who are sympathetic and those who support the efforts of ISIS, it continues to harbour criminals who come in the guise of Islamic scholars and preachers. Zakir Naik being the infamous example.
Zakir Naik also is facing Hindraf ‘s opposition, another Malaysian Indian group, which does not want him to be harbored in the country.