close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

World

AFP
August 20, 2019

Zakir Naik apologises to Malaysians on controversial remarks

World

AFP
Tue, Aug 20, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Indian preacher Zakir Naik apologised Tuesday for making comments about race in multi-ethnic Malaysia which sparked calls for his expulsion, a day after being questioned by police.

Naik left India in 2016 and moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.

He is wanted in India for inciting extremism and money laundering, and New Delhi last year reportedly asked Malaysia to extradite him -- a request that was rejected.

Calls have escalated for Naik to be kicked out after he said Hindus in Malaysia have "100 times" more rights than India’s Muslim minority, and suggested Chinese Malaysians should be expelled before he was.

He was questioned by police for 10 hours Monday on suspicion of committing an intentional insult aimed at provoking a breach of the peace.

On Tuesday, Naik said in a statement his detractors had taken his remarks out of context and added "strange fabrications".

But he went on: "It was never my intention to upset any individual or community.

"It is against the basic tenets of Islam, and I would like to convey my heartfelt apologies for this misunderstanding."

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said Naik crossed the line and several cabinet ministers have called for him to be kicked out, while police have banned him from giving public talks anywhere in Malaysia, state news agency Bernama reported.

The government has in the past appeared reluctant to move against Naik for fear it could upset some Muslims and provide ammunition to political opponents.

About 60 percent of Malaysia´s 32 million inhabitants are Muslim and the country is also home to substantial ethnic Indian and Chinese communities.