PETALING JAYA: Controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik has thanked the Malaysian government and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for allowing him to stay here and for examining his case from an “unbiased perspective”.
He said the decision reaffirmed his faith in Malaysia’s justice and communal harmony, adding that this is a testimony to the success of the multiracial diversity of the country.
“I am humbled to be a part of this diversity, and I also acknowledge the sensitivities it entails. I would never wish to disrupt or jeopardise this balance in any way or to break the rule of law of this country because it is my primary concern to foster the social harmony currently enjoyed by its citizens,” he said in a statement on Tuesday (July 10).
He said that while he hoped for justice and peace to return to his homeland, India, he remained indebted to Malaysia - not just as one seeking fair treatment, but as an "individual with a love of humanity".
“I pray that Allah continues to bless the nation of Malaysia and its fearless leader Tun Dr Mahathir, and that He makes it a superpower, a role model nation and a paragon of virtue for the rest of the world through its leaders and citizens alike,” he said.
Dr Zakir also claimed that over the last few years, thousands of news articles, YouTube videos and social media posts have attributed "appalling statements" to him that he did not make.
“To anybody who does not want Islam to be presented as a religion of peace, this is a quick and dirty way to discredit the faith. I implore anybody who comes across such material to verify it before jumping to conclusions," said Dr Zakir.
“Because the simple truth is that any statement ascribed to me that is against humanity is a fabricated statement. Time and time again, I have reiterated that a Muslim cannot be a good Muslim unless he is a good human being,” he added.
Dr Zakir, who is a permanent resident of Malaysia, is wanted by the Indian government for alleged money-laundering and terrorism.
According to Free Malaysia Today, Dr Zakir Naik had a short unscheduled meeting with Dr Mahathir on July 4, although it is unclear what the two discussed during the meeting.
Dr Mahathir had said that Malaysia would not deport Dr Zakir "as long as he is not creating any problems" here.