PETALING JAYA: Controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik says that the ‘vilification campaign’ against him is in full swing and is being done with a political motive.
The televangelist in a statement said that haters have again taken another point out of context to ‘malign’ him referring to reports of him addressing calls for him to leave the country, by saying that Malaysian Chinese should leave first as they were “guests” of Malaysia at a talk in Kelantan on Aug 8.
“This is the second time a statement has been taken out of context. And yes, modern technology enables you to do that.”
“Sadly, I have no choice but to defend myself again because I cannot let misinformation pass by without clarifying.”
“It’s being said that I said the Chinese should go back to their country. One of the headlines even said, ‘Outrage in Malaysia as Zakir Naik suggests Chinese expulsion’.
“If this was really true, why did it take the media five days to bring it up? It is not true,” he questioned.
Zakir explained that he was replying an audience on the fourth most common misconception about Islam that ‘Islam was spread by the sword’ during his talk in Kota Baru when the statement was said.
“This is what I said, in full context:
“These 75% non-Muslims in India, they are giving shahadah, they are bearing witness, that Islam wasn’t spread by the sword.
“Which Muslim army went to Indonesia, which has the largest population of Muslims in the world? Which Muslim army came to Malaysia? Which Muslim army went to the East Coast of Africa, where many countries — majority of the population — are Muslims? Which sword? They did by their Akhlaq (character). Traders went. Which army came to Malaysia? Which army went to Indonesia? The majority, almost all, were non-Muslims, and almost all became Muslims, Masha’Allah.
“And later on, now there are people coming afterwards, Malaysia, became fully Muslim, then you had the Chinese coming, you had the Indians coming, the Britishers coming, they are our new guests. You know, somebody called me a guest, so I said, ‘Before me, the Chinese are the guests.’ They aren’t born here. So if you want the new guests to go, first ask the old guests to go back. The Chinese, they’re not born here, most of them. Maybe the new generation, yes. So if you want the guest to go back, and those guests, which are bringing peace in the community, they are a benefit for the family.”
While replying to the allegation that Islam was spread by the sword I gave historical evidence that in most parts of the world Islam was spread by the propagation of ideas and by good character, and not by the sword. This includes Malaysia, where majority of the population were non-Muslims, who later became Muslims. At that time nearly all Malaysians were Muslims. Later the Chinese, Indians and others migrated to Malaysia.
“This ruckus was raised by a citizen of Malaysia who called me a “guest” and demanded I leave Malaysia. An influential Chinese politician agreed with him and voiced his support for the same. Who is he to ask me to leave?”
“In my reply to him and to everyone who backed his statement I had said If you want the new guests to go, first ask the old guests to go back.”
“This was a retort to his fallacious argument that as a guest I must leave the country.” he said.
Zakir said that he never suggested that the Chinese should leave; rather, only ‘pointed out’ the flaw in the Malaysian’s argument by reminding him that he was as much a “guest” as Zakir was.
“How does this suggest ‘Chinese expulsion’ as my haters allege? In my following statement I also made it clear that any “guest” bringing peace to the country must be encouraged to live here, whether Chinese or Indian or any other nationality.”
“How can my reply to Chinese supporting demands of my deportation makes me communal to them?”
He said that he is a man whose mission is to spread peace and truth but said that “ few hate-mongers, many with political agendas, want to disrupt his mission, by misquoting him and fabricating information against him.
He then requested that the people of Malaysia and the media, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, to verify the information received and the context before believing in it or passing it on.
“Please do not blindly believe every source of information you come across – including my statements – without verifying the truth. Most of my lectures are available on YouTube and social media.”
“I would appreciate if you would listen to my complete lecture or programme, rather than listening to a small clip, before arriving at conclusions.”
“Nearly all non-Muslims who have watched my complete lectures, whether in India or Malaysia or anywhere else in the world, respect and appreciate my work.”
He then said if the non-Muslims in Malaysia were to listen to some of his complete lectures, they too will appreciate his work and support his mission.