Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has reportedly apologised for his comments Malaysian Chinese stating that his intention was never to hurt anyone. Naik had controversially said that Chinese living in Malaysia were the Muslim-dominated country’s guests.
“It is against the basic tenets of Islam, and I would like to convey my heartfelt apologies for this misunderstanding,” Aljazeera website quoted a statement from Naik. This came after the Islamic preacher was questioned for 10 hours for his recent controversial comments on Malaysian Chinese and Hindus.
Malaysian newspaper The Star reported that the police had banned him from making any public speeches. Naik, who’s facing charges of money laundering and promoting terrorism by the Indian authorities, had said that Hindus living in Malaysia enjoyed ‘100 times more rights’ than the Muslim minority in India.
His comments had sparked angry reactions with several ministers from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad demanding strict action against the preacher. Naik, who enjoys a permanent residency in Malaysia, had also irked the Malaysian PM, who has been backing him up until now. Mohamad, according to the government news agency Bernama, said on Sunday that Naik had crossed the line adding that he can preach but he ‘wasn’t doing that… he was talking about sending the Chinese back to China, Indians back to India, that’s for me a political move.’
“I never say that kind of thing…I never ask the Chinese to go back, but he (Zakir) comes here and asks them to go back (to China),” Mohamad said adding that it was really a bad move by Zakir to stir up racial feeling. “So whatever action that we take will be in accordance with the law…this government respects the rule of law,” the Malaysian PM had told reporters on Sunday.
Muslims constitute nearly 60 percent of the 32 million people, who live in Malaysia. Chinese and Indians, mostly Hindus, are the country’s two largest minority groups.