Zakir Naik controversy, when things are taken out of context

Yes, so maybe Zakir Naik should preach in Tamil and Mandarin to avoid any misunderstanding in future. Apparently, according to the Special Branch, writing or preaching in English results in misunderstandings. And Chinese and Indians sometimes speak English worse than the Malays.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Wong Jae Senn wrote a very interesting article titled ‘What I think of Zakir Naik’. I would suggest those of you who have passed judgement on Dr Zakir Naik, the IGP included, without actually listening to his entire speech in Kota Bharu, read this article (READ HERE).

Yes, by now you may have detected that I support Zakir Naik. And I support him for many reasons.

First of all is because I know both him and his wife personally and have actually driven them around Kuala Lumpur maybe 20 years or so ago. So, I know for a fact he is no terrorist or racist.

Secondly, to know Zakir Naik you need to also know Sheikh Ahmed Deedat. Zakir Naik is Ahmed Deedat’s protégé so invariably Zakir Naik is a sort of carbon-copy of Ahmed Deedat.

Sheikh Ahmed Deedat (born July 1918-died August 2005)

Now, Ahmed Deedat (born July 1918-died August 2005) was a South African preacher and evangelist (pendakwah) during the time of Apartheid when ‘blacks’ and Muslims faced persecution. Hence Ahmed Deedat’s methods were very ‘combative’. And Zakir Naik, for obvious reasons, has adopted his guru’s style of debating (abrasive, combative, attack-mode, etc.).

If you separate the man from his ‘stage image’, Zakir Naik is actually a very soft-spoken and humble person (unless he has changed since I last met him 20 years ago). And this appears to be the same for many preachers and evangelists. They are two different people onstage and offstage and this is a case of ‘will the real Zakir Naik please stand up’!

Thirdly, say what you like, what Zakir Naik said, whether faux pas or otherwise, is not as damaging as what many others have said. So why has he been targeted for assassination? The answer is simple. DAP needs to distract Malaysians from many other more important or more crucial matters so they need to use Zakir Naik as a Weapon of Mass Distraction (WMD).

If I were to list down what others said, which are more damaging than what Zakir Naik said, this article would run into twenty pages. Some examples would be Mat Sabu saying the Communist Terrorists were patriots and freedom fighters. Then Dr Mahathir commented about Prophet Muhammad’s beard, labelled the Chinese educationists as Communists, said the Jews have crooked noses and rule the world by proxy, etc. In the west, Dr Mahathir would have been arrested and jailed for just one of the hundreds of comments he has made.

Even up to today there are many ‘criminal’ comments being uttered but no one cares. Just read all those comments in Malaysiakini made by non-Malays against the Malays and Islam and in just one day you can file 500 criminal charges against those running Malaysiakini. Why does no one care and why has no action been taken whereas what Malaysiakini published are ten times worse than what Zakir Naik said?

They are twisting what Zakir Naik said to distract Malaysians from the real problems the country is facing and Pakatan Harapan’s failure to solve the problems

Yes, you need to ponder on that for a while. Did Zakir Naik utter something terrible or is this issue merely to distract Malaysians from what is really terrible? Because of the Zakir Naik issue, Malaysians have forgotten about the real problems facing Malaysia and which Pakatan Harapan is unable to overcome. I do not need to list down all those ailments afflicting the country as most of you know what they are.

Finally, and what is most important, is as what Wong Jae Senn wrote in his article titled ‘What I think of Zakir Naik’. Did Zakir Naik really say what he said or was what he said taken out of context? Wong Jae Senn has already answered this question so just read his article if you are interested to know the truth.

The reason I said “finally, and what is most important,” is because I, too, have suffered this same fate many times.

Take my Statutory Declaration of June 2008 regarding Rosmah Mansor and Altantuya Shaariibuu as one example. I have been accused of saying what I did not say.

A friend once spoke to a lawyer about the matter and my friend tried to explain what I really said. “Read the SD,” said my friend, and the lawyer replied, “I am not interested in reading anything that Raja Petra writes.”

Can you imagine that? This chap is a lawyer. Yet he refuses to read anything I write but he is commenting and passing judgement on what he alleged I wrote although he has not read what I wrote. What type of lawyer is this?

And there is this story going around that after signing the June 2008 SD, I did a U-turn by signing a second SD. What second SD? There is only that one SD of June 2008. There is no second SD. So what U-turn and second SD are all these people talking about?

Pakatan Harapan has failed and public opinion is turning against them so they need to distract Malaysians through a Zakir Naik ‘false flag’ operation

When I was detained by the Special Branch in 2001, they accused me of insulting Islam and of inciting a riot. Then they referred to the articles I wrote where I had insulted Islam and incited people to riot.

I asked them to show me the articles and I spent hours going through the article word-by-word, line-by-line and sentence-by sentence.

Apparently, they mistook my comment “fight fire with fire” as me inciting people to burn the country down. They did not know what idioms are. In fact, Harakah once translated an article of mine where I said “when pigs can fly” as “bila babi boleh terbang” when it should have been “bila kucing bertanduk”.

The allegation that I had insulted Islam was where I said in my article “Muslims are the real enemies of Islam and not the Jews and Christians.” I had to explain to the Special Branch officers what I meant is that Islam is suffering from a bad image or negative perception problem and that this is because Muslims themselves are giving Islam a bad name. I mean, Malays refuse to eat pork, or even beef and chicken that are not halal, but they have no problems taking bribes or paying/receiving interest, which is more haram than pork.

After half-a-day of explaining what I meant in those articles and how what I said was taken out of context, the Special Branch officers said that Malays do not really understand English, and this is the reason they made police reports against me, so maybe I should write in Bahasa Malaysia instead of English to avoid any misunderstanding in future.

Yes, so maybe Zakir Naik should preach in Tamil and Mandarin to also avoid any misunderstanding in future. Apparently, according to the Special Branch, writing or preaching in English results in misunderstandings. And Chinese and Indians sometimes speak English worse than the Malays.