Zakir Naik, the fugitive Islamic preacher was questioned by the Malaysian authorities for about 10 hours for making racially sensitive remarks. Naik, who is wanted in India for hate speech and money laundering, found himself in trouble due to his comments on Malaysia’s religious and ethnic minorities. Zakir Naik is a well known Islamic proselytizer, his chauvinistic and extreme interpretation of Islam is believed to have inspired terrorists especially the Dhaka knife attacks of July 2016.
Naik who has always been a polarizing figure had claimed Hindus in Malaysia had “100 times more rights” than the Muslims in India, he also described the Malaysian Chinese as ‘guests of the country’. The ethnic Chinese community of Malaysia are a very influential community and it is highly unlikely for anybody to get away by making such comments against them.
Malaysia is an ethnically diverse country and both race and religion are sensitive matters. Majority of the population are Malay with the rest being ethnic Chinese and Indians. Majority Malays are Muslims while Chinese are Buddhist or non religious ethnic Indians are mostly Hindus.