Wanted in India, fiery preacher says he has not broken any law

Naik described himself as a fundamentalist for following the fundamental teachings. (AFP)
Updated 02 December 2018

Wanted in India, fiery preacher says he has not broken any law

  • About 1,000 people turned up for Naik’s speech, along with the state’s chief minister and religious officials

KANGAR, Malaysia: Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, wanted in his home country of India, said he has not broken any Indian law and was being targeted by the “enemies of Islam,” in a rare public speech in Malaysia where he has sought refuge.
Naik, 53, is facing charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, where authorities last year said he has been “promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through public speeches and lectures.”
The preacher has been living in Malaysia, where he has permanent residency, since India started investigating him, but he has kept a low profile over the past year amid criticism that he is a threat to peace in multi-ethnic Malaysia.
Naik said in a late Saturday speech in Kangar, capital of the north Malaysian state of Perlis, that he had never broken any Indian law.
“But because I was spreading peace, I was giving solution for humanity, all the people who don’t like peace to prevail, they don’t like me,” he said, adding he was being targeted because of his work to spread Islam.
“This doesn’t go down (well with) the enemies of Islam. Be it western countries or the country I was born in, India.”
Naik has been controversial because of his puritan brand of Islam — recommending the death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam as their faith, according to media reports.
In a clip on Youtube, Naik says that if Osama bin Laden “is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him.”
Bangladesh suspended a television channel that featured his preachings after media reported that militants who attacked a Dhaka cafe killing 22 people last year were admirers of him.
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack. Britain banned Naik from entering in 2010.
About 1,000 people turned up for Naik’s speech, along with the state’s chief minister and religious officials.
The preacher was known to be close to officials in the previous Malaysian administration, which was unexpectedly defeated in a May general election.
New Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in July said as long as Naik was not creating any problems in Malaysia, he would not be deported. Indian media has reported that India has sought his extradition.
In Kangar, Naik described himself as a fundamentalist for following the fundamental teachings of Islam.
“I am proud to be a fundamentalist Muslim,” he said
A doctor by training, Naik will be delivering more lectures at universities and a mosque on the speaking tour. His wife, Farhat Naik, will address women in separate speeches.


Employee of Britain’s Hong Kong mission held in China over prostitution -report

Updated 1 min 26 sec ago

Employee of Britain’s Hong Kong mission held in China over prostitution -report

  • Police in Shenzhen’s district of Luohu said Cheng had violated article 66 of the law on administrative penalties for public security

BEIJING: An employee of the British consulate in Hong Kong has been detained in China for involvement in prostitution, the state-backed Global Times newspaper said on Thursday, as Britain said it continued to urgently seek information.
China’s foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the employee, Simon Cheng, had been detained in the border city of Shenzhen neighboring Hong Kong.
In a report on its English-language website, the paper, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, cited Shenzhen police as saying Cheng had been detained for 15 days for “solicitation of prostitution.”
Police in Shenzhen’s district of Luohu said Cheng had violated article 66 of the law on administrative penalties for public security, it added.
The law provides for those who engage in prostitution, or who visit prostitutes, to be detained for a period ranging from 10 to 15 days, and they may also be fined 5,000 yuan ($705.15).
Shenzhen police referred Reuters to the Global Times report, saying it contained all the relevant details, and declined to comment further.
In a statement, Britain’s Foreign Office said it was continuing to “urgently seek further information about Simon’s case.”
It added, “Neither we nor Simon’s family have been able to speak to him since his detention. That is our priority and we continue to raise Simon’s case repeatedly in China, Hong Kong and London and have sought to make contact with Simon himself.”
Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 said, citing an interview with his girlfriend and family.
Cheng’s family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday night, saying he traveled from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the morning of Aug. 8 for a business trip.
Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with China accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs.
Britain, the United States and other countries have urged China to respect the “one country, two systems” formula under which Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997.