Dr. Zakir Naik has issued an apology causing any “misunderstanding” after being questioned twice over his insensitive remarks against non-Muslim minorities, especially the Chinese and Hindus living in the Muslim-majority nation.
The 53-year-old television preacher said he had clarified himself to the police, but also felt to owed an apology to everyone because of “this misunderstanding”.
In the apology, Dr. Naik said:
“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,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysia’s Star Online.
“I have always been a man of peace because that’s what the Quran stands for. It has been my mission to spread peace throughout the world. Unfortunately, I do face detractors who try to prevent me from carrying out my mission,” Dr. Naik reportedly said in a statement this morning.
“As you must have noticed for the past few days, I am being accused of causing racial discord in the country and my detractors have been using selected sentences taken out of context and adding strange fabrications into them,” he said in a statement this morning.
“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. 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,” he stated.
Furthermore, he added, “Racism is an evil I am staunchly against, as is the Quran, and it is the exact opposite of everything I stand for as an Islamic preacher.”
Dr. Naki, who left India in 2016 and moved to largely Muslim Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency alleged that Hindus in Malaysia has “100 times more rights” than the Muslim minority gets in India, and yet they support the “Prime Minister of India and not the Prime Minister of Malaysia”.
Following the insensitive remark, he was questioned by Malaysian police under Section 504 of the Penal Code.
Despite apology, Dr. Naik was barred from holding religious talks in all states in Malaysia.