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PAS Says Govt Must Protect Zakir Naik After India Charges Him With Money Laundering

The calls to defend the controversial preacher were made during a rally to protect the "sovereignty of Islam" following claims that the Pakatan Harapan government has been allegedly sidelining Malays and Muslims on various issues related to Islam.

Cover image via FMT

"Please defend Zakir Naik. We cannot allow the Government to extradite him back to India. We have to defend him against slander," PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was heard telling a crowd of over 1,000 at the Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) rally

The Ummah rally, which was held outside the Sogo shopping complex yesterday, 4 May, heard calls to defend the controversial preacher.

Zakir Naik is facing possible deportation back to India where he was formally charged with money laundering by India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday, 2 May.

Indian prosecutors allege that Zakir Naik has acquired USD28 million (RM116 million) worth of criminal assets. They have also accused him of spreading hate speech and inciting terrorism.

According to a report in the BBC, India's Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, told a court in Mumbai while filing the charges against Zakir that the agency had identified assets worth millions of dollars as proceeds of crime.

His "inflammatory speeches and lectures have inspired and incited a number of Muslim youths in India to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts", ED told the court.

The BBC report added that while the Indian agency also accused the controversial preacher of using funds from "dubious or suspicious sources" to buy property in India and finance events where he made "provocative speeches", Zakir Naik had denied such allegations, saying the money was obtained legitimately.

Image via BBC

At the rally yesterday, the PAS deputy president claimed that the opposition to the preacher was due to the seeping of the "liberal agenda" into religious institutions, reported The Malaysian Insight

"This gathering shows that Muslims are aware that the liberal agenda is threatening religious institutions," the news portal quoted Tuan Ibrahim as saying.

Image via Malaysiakini

It should be noted that Putrajaya has shown no interest in extraditing Zakir Naik, with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir saying the preacher will not be sent back unless he breaks any local laws

The Prime Minister was asked yesterday if Putrajaya would assist the Indian government by sending the preacher back to face charges in his home country.

To which, Tun Dr Mahathir replied that they will "study the matter based on legal provisions", Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported.

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