Johor, Penang, And 5 Other States That Have Banned Zakir Naik From Giving Public Speeches

Sarawak has banned the Indian Muslim speaker since the late Tan Sri Pehin Sri Haji Adenan Satem was chief minister.

Cover image via EPA/Al Jazeera (Edited by SAYS)

[UPDATE] PDRM has banned Zakir Naik from giving public speeches all over Malaysia

Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) Head of Corporate Communications Datuk Asmawati Ahmad confirmed the order when contacted by the Malay Mail.

"Yes. Such an order has been given to all police contingents, and this was done in the interest of national security and to preserve racial harmony," she explained.

Previously, seven states in Malaysia banned the controversial speaker from holding public speaking events

At a talk in Kelantan on 8 August, the Indian Muslim preacher allegedly referred to Malaysian Chinese as "old guests" who should "go back" before he did and that Malaysian Hindus are more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

The remarks have drawn criticism from various quarters, most notably Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq, Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources Dr. Xavier Jayakumar, and Cabinet ministers Gobind Singh Deo and M. Kula Segaran.

A petition was also launched, with the aim of getting Zakir Naik deported back to India.

These are the seven states that have banned Zakir Naik so far:

1. Sarawak

A ban on Zakir Naik's entry into Sarawak has been in place since the late Tan Sri Pehin Sri Haji Adenan Satem's time as chief minister from 2014 til 2017.

Muara Tuang assemblyman Datuk Idris Buang confirmed with Dayak Daily that the ban was still in place.

2. Selangor

The Selangor Islamic Council (MAIS) has banned the preacher from giving talks in Selangor given the current controversy surrounding him.

According to The Star, MAIS chairman Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi said, "We believe it's best to not have him deliver talks in Selangor because of what is happening currently."

All preachers and religious scholars who wish to deliver talks or hold events within Selangor have to be vetted by a committee that is chaired by the state mufti.

3. Perlis

theSundaily reported that Zakir Naik and his family - which includes his wife Farhat Naik and their children Fariq, Rushda, and Zikra - were banned from speaking at a recent three-day Muslim reverts camp.

"Zakir can attend the programme but is prohibited from speaking and giving any lecture," said Perlis Police chief SAC Noor Mushar Mohamad.

4. Kedah

Citing harmony as a priority for the state, Kedah Religious Affairs Committee chairman Ismail Salleh said the preacher was banned from participating in public events, but was still welcomed to the state, reported Free Malaysia Today.

"Don't add fuel to the fire. We will not put the unity we have at risk," Ismail added.

5. Melaka

Melaka chief minister Adly Zahari.

Image via Bernama/New Straits Times

Chief Minister Adly Zahari confirmed with The Star on Sunday, 18 August, that the preacher was barred from holding religious talks in the state.

Adly explained that the move was done to avoid 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.

6. Penang

The Star reported Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1 Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman as saying that Zakir had been banned from speaking at public events held in the state since 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 on would not be suitable for the state," Ahmad Zakiyuddin told the news outlet on 18 August.

"So we reached an understanding that Penang would not allow him to speak in public, and he has not returned here since."

7. Johor

While not an outright ban, the Johor Religious Islamic Department (JAIJ) director Datuk Md Rofiki A. Shamsudin told The Star that it had never given the preacher any approval to conduct public talks.

"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 explained.

Malaysians have come out in full force to condemn Zakir Naik's alleged remarks and remind each other about Malaysia's diversity:

Calls to deport Zakir Naik from Malaysia are not new, although several parties have defended him:

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