Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, president of the Malaysian Islamic Organisation of Consultative Council (Mapim), wants to get one million signatures to lobby for controversial preacher Zakir Naik to remain in Malaysia.
The petition targets Muslims in Malaysia where Zakir has a large following and it will back the Malaysian government’s right not to extradite the preacher sought by India.
Mapim and other Muslim NGOs launched a “one million signatures campaign” yesterday and its promoter Mohd Azmi said the campaign is for Mahathir not to cave in to pressures from certain quarters.
“The Malaysian government has resisted so far and not bowed to pressure from India and certain quarters in Malaysia…
“However, the political climate of late has been worrying.
“So we decided to state our stand and support the government, failing which, Islam would continue to be a tool for those deliberately stirring religious hate,” local media reports say.
The NGO’s believe Zakir’s lectures do not incite to violence or belittle other religions and that he will not be given a fair trial in India.
While Zakir claims the allegations against him are fabricated, the Indian authorities are pressing Interpol to issue a Red Notice against Zakir. With the notice, any country Zakir travels to is bound to arrest him and send him to India.
But Malaysia’s Prime Minister has already assured Zakir that Malaysia will by-pass the Red Notice and will not follow suit with India’s extradition request.
Dr Mahathir said Malaysia has the right to do so and a treaty with India that allows Malaysia to extradite offenders to India can also be withheld if Putrajaya feels there will not be faire trial and torture or mistreatment of the accused.
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