Why isn’t Zakir Naik suing ex-IGP Rahim Noor? - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Malaysiakini : “Many detained al-Qaeda activists have reportedly told authorities
that he had been a huge influence on them. He has been living a
self-exiled life in the Middle East after being blamed for "influencing"
the Dhaka terror attackers on July 1 this year. His offices and schools
have since been raided and sealed.” - The influence of controversial preacher Zakir Naik (BBC).
COMMENT | Zakir Naik is going on a binge suing Indian political operatives. His latest target
is former Batu Uban assemblyperson S Raveentharan who apparently posted
articles which according to Naik – “imputed that the former is a person
of bad character and is a threat to the national security, peace, and
harmony of Malaysia.”
If Zakir Naik has the audacity to claim that
the articles imputed that he was a threat to national security which is
why he is suing, then why not sue the former inspector-general of
police Rahim Noor (above) who said that not only is the evidence against Zakir Naik strong but that Pakatan Harapan should rescind his permanent resident status. “With
solid evidence of what he said in Kelantan and what he did in India, I
urge the government to revoke Zakir’s PR status and hand him over to the
Indian government and let him face the laws there.”
If Zakir Naik is so concerned about his reputation, especially when
it comes to imputations that he is a threat to national security, why
isn't he concerned that the former top cop has deemed him a threat
to national security? After all, Rahim Noor said this: “His recent
speeches in Kelantan are bad for national security and the relationship
among (the different) races.”
Furthermore, the former IGP also questioned the manner
in which Zakir Naik was given his PR status thereby implying that the
process was suspect and inferring that Naik is a wanted felon from
another country: “How can such a foreigner be granted PR in the
blink of an eye? To my knowledge, it’ll take years for someone to be
given PR status, despite his or her contribution to the economy or
social causes. I also wonder whether proper due diligence and thorough
background checks were conducted by the authorities before the PR was
is not some random politician but rather the former top cop of the
state security apparatus questioning Naik’s status in this country and
warning the public that he is a national security threat. And yet, not a peep from this inspiring icon. Why is that? I
get that going after Indian political operatives who highlight Naik’s
narratives is something which is acceptable in this current climate.
After all, the IGP has said numerous times that the “investigation”
papers have been sent to the attorney-general but yet the rakyat has not been told what the outcome of the investigations is.
Contrast this with the way how the state persecuted the LTTE 12,
and you will get why Zakir is busy suing Indian political personalities
all the while painting his detractors as liars and political agitators.
I have no idea how these lawsuits can be sustained when some have
demonstrated that Naik is a threat to public order. The fact that he has been banned
on social media and public speaking is evidence that all these
so-called defamatory posts about Zakir Naik have probative value. Now as
someone whose views on free speech are a matter of public record, ordinarily I couldn't care less what this man says.
I make an exception for Zakir Naik because I think he is a threat to
national security and believes that his charges of money-laundering are
more than just routine behaviour of some religious operatives. Add to
this his advocacy and then denial of terrorist acts, this makes him a
useful figure for the dissemination of ideas that suit his agenda.
As for Zakir definition of what a terrorist is, you should refer to my article here. “As
(Court of Appeal judge) Gross LJ observes, Dr Naik's explanation that
he used the word ‘terrorist’ to support terrorising ‘anti-social
elements’ is difficult enough to follow on its own terms, even with time
to analyse the written word; this ‘convoluted explanation’ would simply
be lost on a ‘live’ audience. “In any event, the notion that for a
robber, a policeman is a ‘terrorist’, belongs in the realms of
linguistic fantasy. – Gross LJ.”
Keep in mind that Zakir delivers
his “speeches” in English hence the only people who may misinterpret
what he says are his fans who speak Malay as their first and probably
their only language.
don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are Malays who understand him and
are fluent in English but on the whole, most Malay-speaking adherents
rely on interpretations of his speeches from the various local
mouthpieces that are part of his entourage.
For instance, when Zakir Naik said that there were passages in the Bible that were pornographic,
most of his audience probably have not read the Bible. He further
claimed that his religion did not allow him to read “obscene things in
front of the audience” even for a million dollars, so he would refrain
from quoting those passages. Zakir Naik reassured the audience that he
was not there to “degrade” the Bible.
So when Zakir Naik sues
anyone for defamation, what he is really doing is suing people for
disagreeing with his interpretations. His modus operandi is saying something “offensive” and then claiming that it was not his intention to insult. I’ll
end this piece with a stark reminder from another of Zakir Naik's
detractors and someone who is the target of Naik's cowardly lawsuits,
former ambassador Dennis Ignatious: “What all this says is that the
'Malaysia Baru' that many of us are celebrating is simply a passing
phase, a prelude to a more radical religious state. With no leader of
consequence willing to defend the secular constitutional foundations of
our nation, democracy’s days may well be numbered.
The future, it seems,
belongs to the likes of Zakir Naik.”