CONTROVERSIAL preacher Dr Zakir Naik is not a problem, let alone an enemy, said Utusan Malaysia.
The newspaper through its editorial pseudonym Awang Selamat said the Muslim televangelist was the victim of baseless accusations.
“By right, Zakir Naik who is an expert in comparative religion should be confronted through intellectual discourse, not wild and extreme sentiments,” Awang Selamat wrote.
“I pity the preacher who is the victim of baseless accusations. Even the Malaysian government is dragged into the situation, pressured by certain parties.
On Wednesday, Zahid had told Parliament that Zakir had not flouted any local laws, and had not committed any crime in Malaysia.
The home minister also confirmed that Zakir had no links to terrorism or money laundering.
However, he said Malaysian authorities would continue to monitor the situation.
Zakir, a 52-year-old medical doctor, has stirred controversy with his extreme brand of Islam, in which he had recommended the death penalty for homosexuals and apostates, according to media reports.
India’s counter-terrorism agency had prepared charges against Zakir, saying he has been “promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through public speeches and lectures”.