Indian-born Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik has been banned from giving religious talks or speeches in Malaysia, especially in the state of Melaka, Johor, Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Sarawak.
Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari told the star that the state government avoids any issues that could strain race relationships.
“We want to maintain this. So we decided not to allow Zakir to hold talks or gatherings here, ” he said Sunday.
Johor Religious Islamic Department (JAIJ) director Datuk Md Rofiki A. Shamsudin said it had never given Zakir any approval to conduct religious talks in the state.
“Any religious preacher must get the necessary approval from JAIJ before they are allowed to conduct religious talks. This is to ensure these preachers do not say anything against our creed or aqidah,” he was quoted by the Star as saying.
According to Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, the state would not welcome Zakir to its shores to speak at any public event, adding that this was a decision made six months ago.
“When Zakir visited us, we discussed several things, including his wish to have talks here in Penang.
“But we immediately told him that we felt whatever he wanted to talk about would not be suitable for the state, ” he said.
In Kedah, state Religious Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Dr Ismail Salleh reiterated that Zakir was barred from getting involved in any public event, adding that any of his ceramah would be put on hold as per police advice.
“Not only is Zakir Naik banned from giving ceramah in Kedah, we will also disallow anyone who poses a threat to the unity, harmony and security of the state, ” he said.
“We will not compromise on anything that will jeopardise the unity of the people, ” he added.
Selangor Islamic Council (Mais) chairman Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi said the decision to prohibit Zakir from speaking or preaching in Selangor was made given the controversy surrounding him currently.
“We believe it’s best to not have him deliver talks in Selangor because of what is happening currently, ” he said when contacted.
According to Mohammed Khusrin, other preachers and religious scholars who want to deliver talks or hold events will also be first vetted by a committee that is chaired by the state mufti.
The Negri Sembilan government, however, had yet to decide whether to bar Zakir from giving public lectures in the state, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun.
“Till now, we have not received any application asking for Zakir to be allowed to deliver talks here. If there is, then we will discuss it and decide, ” he said.
The Perak Religious Committee chairman Asmuni Awi said the state would not stop Zakir from speaking publicly but he must get permission first.
“Any ceramah where he will be speaking needs to get permission from the state Islamic Religious Department and the police.
“There are also procedures to follow before a permit is given. This is to ensure any activities held will not affect harmony in the state, ” he said.
“As of now, there are no applications to bring him into the state so the question of whether he is banned does not arise.”
The Sarawak government has banned Zakir from entering the state since the time when the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem was chief minister.
Last Friday (Aug 16), Sarawak confirmed that it had barred Zakir from entering on grounds that he could pose a potential danger to the ethnic and religious harmony of Sarawak.
Perlis banned Zakir from speaking at the “Malaysia Reverts Camp 2019” last Friday, citing concerns that his controversial remarks could affect racial harmony in the state.
On the same day, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Zakir would be banned from entering the state if there were reports of the preacher having extremist views.
“This is the state government’s jurisdiction but such a report hasn’t come to my knowledge yet, ” he said.
Ref: The Star Online