Modi diplomacy: Days after PM’s visit, Malaysia puts Islamist preacher Zakir Naik on watch

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik will be subjected to Malaysia law considering he was awarded Permanent Resident (PR) status by the previous administration, Malay Mail reported the Malaysian Home Minister as saying. The Home Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said, “I have been informed that Zakir Naik has been given PR by the previous administration. So the issue now, if he is a PR just like any of us here, we are still subject to the law.”

This statement comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Malaysia and his meeting with Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya.

The Minister for Home Affairs went on to say, “If you do something that is not in accordance to the law, whether it involves the issue of religion, or crime, whatever it is, you cannot be spared. And if we find they are not in accordance with the law, whether it’s Zakir Naik or anybody for that matter, we will deal with it in a proper manner.”

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Many have objected to his preaching and have asserted that a preacher like him does not belong in a multi-religious, multicultural society while demanding that he be expelled and declared persona non grata. Last year, it was reported that the NIA was moving to revoke his passport. In December 2017, it was reported that NIA was working to secure a provisional arrest for the radical Islamic preacher. The connection between Zakir Naik and the Congress party had also emerged with reports that said Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) had made donations worth lakhs and lakhs of rupees to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust of which Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are trustees. The IRF has been declared an unlawful organization by the Government of India as per a notification dated November 17, 2016.

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