PETALING JAYA: Preacher Dr Zakir Naik has apologised to Malaysians for his insensitive remarks, saying it was never his intention to cause outrage.
He insisted that he was not racist, saying that his detractors had taken his remarks out of context and added “strange fabrications into them”.
“Even though I have clarified myself, I feel I owe an apology to everyone who feels hurt because of this misunderstanding. I do not want any of you to harbour ill feelings towards me.
“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, ” he said in a statement yesterday.
Zakir said that it was always his mission to spread peace around the world but he lamented that he faces detractors who are trying to prevent him from carrying out his mission.
“As you must have noticed for the past few days, I am being accused of causing racial discord in the country and my detractors have been using selective sentences taken out of context and adding strange fabrications into them, ” he said
He added that he was saddened his remarks had caused many non-Muslims to think of him as a racist.
“It also worried me because the ones who are hurt have not heard my speeches but based their impressions on out-of-context quotes of me.
“That is a cause of concern for me because it brings harm to the image of Islam and serves to drive people away from it.
“Racism is an evil I am staunchly against, as is the Quran and it is the exact opposite of everything I stand for as an Islamic preacher, ” he added.
Zakir appealed to Malaysians, particularly non-Muslims, to listen to his speeches in their entirety.
“My lectures are on YouTube, Peace TV, and the Peace TV mobile app, ” he added.
“Last but not the least, I am deeply touched by the hundreds of thousands of people who stood in my support.
“I would like to express my earnest gratitude to all of you. May Allah reward all of you with the best, ” he added.
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