Thursday, July 12, 2018
Zakir Naik and his extradiction
The decision by the Prime Minister,Tn Dr. Mahathir not to extradite controversial Muslim preacher Dr.Zakir Naik has been criticised by many non-Muslims in the country. However the Muslims in general are happy with the decision. Either way it has spit the already divided citizens along religious lines. This of course not good for the country and poses another challenged to the multiracial and multireligious Pakatan Harapan coalition which has promised to tackle the delicate and sensitive interracial and interfaith problems facing the people today.
Most of us, ordinary citizens, do not know about the details of the extradition treaty signed with the Indian government and the real reasons why Zakir Naik was not extradited. We do not know what transpired in the meeting between Tun M and Indian PM Modi soon after the former was sworn as PM. It appeared the Modi was in a hurry and eager to meet our new premier and from what was shown to us it was a happy meeting. Politicians are mysterious creatures...who are difficult to understand and predict most of the time.
While the politicians and their supporters continue to argue on whether to deport Zakir or not we ordinary citizens of all faiths have to accept that the controversial preacher is here to stay with us at least for the time being. Since he is going to be with us now, we need to send him a message. He has to realize that he is in Malaysia which is a multiracial and multi religious country with a significant non-Muslim population. Dr Zakir, belonging to a religious minority in his own country, should in a better position to understand the feelings of the religious minorities in Malaysia.
He must know how to behave and act with caution and respect to non - Muslims citizens here. As Tun Mahathir advised he must ‘behave’ himself and not provoke or insult other religions, an act that is also forbidden even in own religion.
Of late Malaysia is struggling to improve inter-religious harmony, respect and tolerance among its citizens. We don’t need outsiders to destroy what we are doing. They may not be able to help us but at least they should not hinder our efforts that already appear futile. We need to build bridges not destroy whatever bridges we have built with great sacrifice.
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