Zakir Naik Might Not Be Deported Even If Interpol Comes After Him

Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad reiterated yesterday, 10 June that Malaysia has the right to not allow Zakir to be extradited.

Cover image via DNA

Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad reiterated the government's refusal to deport controversial preacher Zakir Naik yesterday, 10 June

Zakir and Mahathir during a meeting in Putrajaya last year.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

Free Malaysia Today reported Mahathir as saying that Malaysia has the right to not allow Zakir to be extradited if he would not be accorded justice.

According to The Star, the Prime Minister was speaking to reporters after launching an affordable homes scheme in Melaka yesterday. 

Mahathir then referred to Australia's refusal to extradite Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted in 2015 for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu

The Prime Minister likened Zakir's case to the government's effort to bring Sirul home. 

"We requested Australia to extradite Sirul, and they are afraid we are going to send him to the gallows," Mahathir said. 

"Zakir Naik in general feels that he is not going to get a fair trial (in India)," he added.

The Prime Minister was responding to reports of an impending Interpol arrest warrant for the preacher, who had been granted permanent residence in Malaysia

Image via Malay Mail

According to The Hindu, India's Enforcement Directorate (ED) is applying for a non-bailable arrest warrant for Zakir from a Mumbai court, which is expected to be secured on 19 June. 

With the warrant, Indian authorities plan to approach the Interpol for a Red Notice – which will require the assistance of all member countries to arrest Zakir. As one of the member countries, Malaysia also has an extradition treaty with India. 

The controversial preacher was previously slapped with money-laundering charges involving about RM115 million, on top of inciting religious hatred through his preaching.

In light of Mahathir's stance over Zakir's extradition, Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin welcomed the government's decision through a Facebook post earlier today, 11 June

(From right) Zakir Naik, Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, and Muslim scholar Abullaith al-Khair.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

"This proves that (Mahathir) will not bow to the injustice and oppression in India," the mufti wrote in his Facebook post

Asri also accused Zakir's critics of owing their allegiance to India. 

"On the Zakir Naik issue, it is obvious their loyalty is not to Malaysia but to India," he wrote. 

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