Malaysia ups the heat: Is it game up for radical Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik
Kuala Lumpur, Aug 16: Malaysia has barred controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik form addressing an Islamic event that is being held between August 16-18. The move comes in the wake of Malaysian authorities stating that he would be summoned for questioning.
Authorities in Malaysia have summoned Naik after he made a sensitive comment. Several ministers in Malaysia have now been demanding the expulsion of Naik after he said that Hindus in Malaysia have 100 times more rights than the Muslim majority India.
Naik is under the scanner of the Indian agencies for changes ranging from radicalisation to money laundering.
The police will question Naik and several others for making racially charged statements and for spreading false news, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said. The enforcement agencies under my ministry will not hesitate to take legal action against anyone who attempts to threaten public harmony and peace, he also said.
India and several other countries have pointed out that Naik is a centric figure when it comes to radicalisation.
In the Kerala Islamic State case, his name has cropped in the past as well. The raids that were conducted on Sunday are related to the same case and the NIA has learnt that the members of this module were on the same social media group that the terrorists who undertook the Sri Lanka blasts were. The NIA has however said that it found no direct link between the Kerala module and the one in Sri Lanka.
Last year, the NIA arrested Nashidul Hamzafar a 26 year old management student from Wayanad in Kerala. He was the first ISIS recruit from Kerala to be deported from Afghanistan.
During his interrogation, he details the role played by Islamic preachers such as Naik and what sort of an influence they had on him, which ultimately prompted him to join the ISIS.
Hamzafar says that he was not attracted to the ISIS ideology for long. I found them to be too brutal and the outfit only scared me, he says. My ambition was to pursue my education and find a good job in Dubai.
A lot changed when one of his friends, Shihas sent him an audio clip regarding the Islamic State. My perception towards the outfit changed. Then I began listening to audios of Zakir Naik, Noman Alikhan among others. Their speeches inspired me and my approach towards life changed.
Going by his statements, it becomes clear that the likes of Zakir Naik through his Islamic Research Foundation and the Kerala based Peace Educational Foundation have played a huge role in the radicalisation of youth in Kerala.
Recently a Mumbai court had framed charges against Arshi Qureshi. The case relates to the indoctrination of Ashfak Majid and his associates into extreme jihadi ideology by a group of like-minded youths from Kasaragod district of Kerala. It was also stated that some members of the Zakir Naik run NGO, Islamic Research Foundation too were involved in the radicalisation process.
It was further alleged that these persons had motivated the youth to join the Islamic state.
Naik has repeatedly claimed that he is being targeted due to his religion. An NIA official however says that this is misconstrued and the agency is targeting him for acts of terror.
In a reply to the Interpol, the NIA said that he is under investigation for funding terror suspects. The NIA also pointed out that it had repeatedly sent out summons to Naik, but he has not once presented himself before the agency. The NIA also said that his passport had been revoked.
Further the NIA also said that Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation had been banned by the Government and the same was upheld by the tribunal. He had funded a few terror suspects through his NGO and hence he needs to be questioned in that connection, the NIA also told the Interpol.