Indian Muslim televangelist Zakir Naik has apologised for the hurt caused to non-Muslim Malaysians over his recent remarks
He continued, "Even though I have clarified myself, I feel I owe an apology to everyone who feels hurt because of this misunderstanding. I do not want any of you to harbour ill feelings for me.
"It was never my intention to upset any individual or community. It is against the basic tenets of Islam, and I would like to convey my heartfelt apologies for this misunderstanding."
The controversial figure also stressed that he is a man of peace who is against racism
"It however saddened me that this entire episode has caused many non-Muslims to think of me as a racist. It also worried me because the ones who are hurt have not heard my speeches but based their impressions on out-of-context quotes of me," he lamented.
"That is a cause of concern for me because it brings harm to the image of Islam and serves to drive people away from it. Racism is an evil I am staunchly against, as is the Qur'an, and it is the exact opposite of everything I stand for as an Islamic preacher," the preacher explained.
Ending his apology, the televangelist made a humble plea to non-Muslims to watch his sermons in its entirety
"At the same time, I would also like to make a humble appeal to all of you, especially to the non-Muslims. Please take out time to listen to my speeches in their entirety. My lectures are on YouTube, Peace TV, and the Peace TV mobile app," he said.
"Last but not the least, I am deeply touched by the hundreds of thousands of people who stood in my support. I would like to express my earnest gratitude to all of you."
Zakir Naik is currently being probed by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) under Section 504 of the Penal Code for provoking a breach of peace
A total of 115 police reports had been made against him over his allegedly 'racist' remarks at a talk in Kelantan on Thursday, 8 August.
PDRM had called in the preacher to record his statement on Friday, 16 August and and yesterday, 19 August, reported New Straits Times.