Islamic preacher Zakir Naik banned in Malaysia

Zakir Naik has been facing charges against him in India for inciting extremism by his speeches and alleged money laundering, since 2016. (DH photo)

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has been barred from speaking in public in all states in Malaysia after he was quizzed for over 10 hours on Monday.

Datuk Asmawati Ahmad, head of corporate communications, The Royal Malaysia Police, confirmed the ban on Naik on holding religious talks in all Malaysian states, following a leaked circular that was issued to nationwide state-level police chiefs, reported Malay Mail.

"Yes. Such an order has been given to all police contingents, and this was done in the interest of national security and to preserve racial harmony," she said.

The Malaysian Police reportedly said that it was in the interest of national security.

The Malaysian PM said he was yet to find out who gave the PR status to the controversial preacher and added that those holding the status are not allowed to participate in politics.

"Religious teachers can preach but he was not doing that. He was talking about sending Chinese back to China and Indians back to India. That's politics," the PM told on Sunday.

"I have never said this kind of things. But he tells the Chinese to go back. If you want to talk about religion, go ahead, then it is permissible. We don't want to stop him from that. But it is quite clear he wants to participate in racial politics in Malaysia. Now, he is stirring up racial feelings. That is bad," the PM said.

Earlier, Naik had been banned from seven other states - Melaka, Johor, Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Sarawak - for his "racist statements".

After a cabinet meeting was held to figure this issue, Malaysian home minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that some elements were spreading “fake news” and making “racist statements...without considering the sensitivities of Malaysians”.

Human resource minister M Kulasegaran said in a statement that Naik’s “actions do not reflect one deserving of a permanent resident status”.

He further said that the time had come for the “fugitive foreigner to leave Malaysia and to face charges of terrorism and money laundering...in India”.

Zakir Naik has been facing charges against him in India for inciting extremism by his speeches and alleged money laundering, since 2016.

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