Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has been banned from giving public speeches anywhere in Malaysia, a day after he was quizzed for over 10 hours by police for his remarks against Malaysian Hindus.
The 53-year-old, who is wanted in India for fuelling extremism, is a controversial figure who labelled the 9/11 terror attacks an “inside job”. He fled India three years ago and moved to Muslim-dominated Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
Malaysian police said the ban on him has been imposed in the interest of national security. Datuk Asmawati Ahmad, head of corporate communications, The Royal Malaysia Police, confirmed the development to the Malay Mail. Naik has already been banned from the Malaysian states of Johor, Selangor, Penang, Kedah and Sarawak.
Naik is alleged to have made controversial remarks against Malaysian Hindus and Malaysian Chinese during a talk in Kota Baru on August 3, prompting calls for him to be deported to India.
Responding to calls for his deportation from Malaysia by suggesting Malaysian Chinese should leave the country first as they were “old guests.” He also said that ethnic Hindus in Malaysia enjoyed “100 times more rights” than Muslims in India and that they believed in the Indian government more than the Malaysian one, media reports said.
Reacting to Naik’s controversial comments, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir on Sunday said it was “quite clear” that Naik wanted to participate in racial politics. “He is stirring up racial feelings. The police will have to investigate whether it is causing tension; obviously, it is,” he said.