Zakir Naik and UMNO Desperadoes

May 11, 2016

Zakir Naik and UMNO Desperadoes

by Zainah Anwar

“The question to be asked of the authorities and the Menteri Besar of Terengganu who sponsored Zakir Naik’s Malaysian visit is whether this is truly the “moderate” Islam that authorities believe in? I shudder at what deeper damage Zakir Naik’s ilk will cause with the opening up of his ideological factory in Tasek Kenyir.”–Zainah Anwar

HOW is it that Zakir Naik, a televangelist considered divisive and banned by a number of countries and frequently censured for preaching hate, instigating communal tensions and radicalising the Muslim community, can be embraced by national leaders here?


UMNO Menteri Besar Ahmad Rafiz Abdul Rahman gifted three islands in Tasik Kenyir to  Zakir Naik

And be sponsored on his tour by the Terengganu state government and rewarded with islands in Tasek Kenyir for him to train “mini Zakir Naiks” to preach his divisive and supremacist version of Islam in a multi-religious country?

And he has even grander plans for Malaysia: to spread his “Peace TV” satellite channel to Malaysia, broadcasting in Bahasa Malaysia in a joint venture with a local TV station and a training programme already underway to produce six Malaysian protégés to be part of his evangelical network.

Why have these leaders embraced the kind of Islam that Zakir Naik is propagating? Even in his home country of India, the dominant and conservative Deobandi Darul Uloom has issued several fatwas against him over the years, accusing him of “spreading mischievous things and misguiding simple Muslims to the wrong path”, that he is “religiously deviated”, and a “ghair muqallidin”, someone who does not follow the teachings of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (the followers of the four accepted schools of Sunni Islam), a position upheld by Malaysia’s Islamic religious authorities.

 Just as there is a multi-million dollar industry promoting the English-speaking and suit-wearing Zakir Naik as a global Muslim evangelist of peace and an expert on comparative religion, there is a dedicated online industry out to prove him as a charlatan. These challengers scrutinise his speeches and pronouncements and counter them with referenced facts and evidence to question his breathtaking and blithe misrepresentation of science, history, names, dates and data.


A Google search on “Zakir Naik, controversies” spew out a laundry list of his views that have caused him to be banned in some countries and generated concerted attempts to get his audience to think more critically about what he claims is truth and evidence.

There is a widely viewed YouTube video where one of his dogged challengers identified 25 false statements within five minutes Zakir Naik made in a strident discussion on evolution, misrepresenting scientific and historic facts, and quoting one unknown person after another who have no record of existence, to make his points.

There’s another video where he justified his support for polygamy by stating that if every woman got married to only one man, there would be over 30 million women in the United States, four million in Britain, five million in Germany and nine million in Russia who would not find a husband!

Any rational person will instantly conclude that these countries must be practising male infanticide to have such a disproportionate ratio of females to males. It was not difficult for his challengers to use the population data to show how wrong this man is. In fact in all the countries, there are slightly more men than women. And if indeed one man marries more than one woman, he is in fact depriving other men the ability to find wives!

And yet Zakir Naik speaks to thousands who applaud and cheer him on. How could someone who unashamedly disgorges such fictional data to make his points attract a following numbering millions on social media and attract tens of thousands to his public talks? I leave it to the psychologists to analyse the state of mind of preacher and followers.

But for me, more disturbing are his inflammatory statements on a whole range of issues that should be of real concern to the Malaysian authorities if they are serious about battling extremism here. The evidence is widespread and readily available, and yet one Deputy Minister proclaimed that Zakir Naik was a “voice of moderation” who could counter extremist voices and was capable of convincing non-Muslims that Islam was a “religion of moderation”! I wonder what his sources of information were. Certainly not from his allies within Barisan Nasional. Both MIC and MCA had protested Zakir Naik’s presence here to preach his divisive message.

A quick check of his speeches in Malaysia showed a YouTube video of a speech in Terengganu where he repeatedly forbade Malaysian Muslims from wishing Merry Christmas to Christians. Because to do so, he said, is to endorse the belief that Jesus is the son of God. Does anyone know of any Muslim who believes Jesus is the son of God and whose faith is undermined whenever he or she wishes Merry Christmas to Christian friends? To say this to Malaysia that celebrates all major holidays together? Heck, the Government even sells this message of “Malaysia, Truly Asia” to the rest of the world and earn billions from tourist dollars.

The question to be asked of the authorities and the Menteri Besar of Terengganu who sponsored Zakir Naik’s Malaysian visit is whether this is truly the “moderate” Islam that authorities believe in? I shudder at what deeper damage Zakir Naik’s ilk will cause with the opening up of his ideological factory in Tasek Kenyir.

Zakir Naik’s most infamous statement that probably led to his ban from entering Britain and Canada was his much-quoted position on Osama bin Laden and terrorism in a widely viewed YouTube video of 2007: “If he (Osama bin Laden) is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him … If he is terrorising America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist.”

Given the far-reaching consequences of that statement, he later, of course, claimed he was misquoted: “I have said Muslims should become terrorists in the sense that they should strike terror in the hearts of criminals and anti-socials.”

He believes 9/11 was “an inside job”, and that “every fool will know” it was orchestrated by George W. Bush. He supports the ban on the construction of houses of worship for those of other religions in Muslim countries. He lauds the Taliban destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas. He urges Muslims in India to support the hudud punishments for all Indians. Needless to say, he believes in the death penalty for homosexuals and for apostasy.

There is a reported list of suicide bombers and those arrested and charged with extremist violence who quoted him as their source of inspiration. One of them was found with several cassette tapes of Zakir Naik’s speeches.

Thousands flocked to his speeches in Terengganu, Malacca and Kuala Lumpur. Zakir Naik’s Salafi-Wahabi brand of Islam has seeped deep into the Malaysian Malay psyche after decades of propagation by Islamist groups, and sanctioned by the religious authorities.

But of concern to Malaysians who care about the future of this multi-religious and multi-ethnic country is the fact that such a deeply controversial and divisive figure is embraced and endorsed by the leadership. He was awarded the Tokoh Maal Hijrah award in 2013 (and the King Faisal International Prize for service to Islam in 2015) and met with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, PAS President and a list of other VIPs on this visit.

The Ponorogo Man and His Guru

He even ventured into Malaysian politics, making headlines in Utusan Malaysia by calling on UMNO and PAS to work together to prevent the “enemies of Islam” (a favourite phrase of his) from gaining influence. “If Muslims don’t unite and gain support, we will lose in politics,” he said.

The next day were more headlines in the Utusan with rejoinders by other religious leaders, not least the Mufti of Perak, supporting Zakir Naik’s call.Was this the reward that UMNO had hoped to gain – endorsement by a charismatic evangelist to push a reluctant PAS worried about its grassroots sentiment into the arms of its once die-hard enemy?

Really? Desperate times call for desperate tactics.


12 thoughts on “Zakir Naik and UMNO Desperadoes

  1. It amazes me that every single detail of Zakir Naik was not paraded and trumpeted through every corner of Sarawak election. There is no immigration power that can stop the influence of the likes of Zakir Naik to just enough few to devastate the very fabric of a state and way of life for everyone.

    This DAP and the rest of the opposition failed to do. What was the foul mouth Superman Hew doing instead of applying his talent to this.

    • ‘A man who can’t sell his wares at home will sell it abroad.’

      People are fascinated with things labelled ‘foreign’ and are willing to pay prices which may be higher than their value in their own country.

      It is perceived that
      – foreign spouses bring status if they are fair as white is equated with beauty;
      – foreign goods are of better quality if they come from US-UK-Aust-NZ-etc
      – foreign vehicles are more reliable if they from Japan-Korea-Germany-UK
      – foreign fashion is better than the God given features of human body
      Also may apply to other things foreign including religions.

  2. A teacher asked her students – What career do you want when you grow up?

    Most answered – Doctor-Engineer-Lawyer-Financial professionals, etc;
    One answered that he would want to be a politician;
    Only one answered that he want to be a Religious Missionary.

    When asked to explain the reason for their choice:

    Most replied that there was high income and respect and easy to marry and get high dowry [for societies where dowry is common though it may be illegal];

    The one who chose a career in politics explained that successful politicians it paid the most number of opportunities to have high income-perks-luxurious lifestyles and ability to be multi-millionaires and possibly billionaires, not to mention high social status and ability to get beautiful [legal/illegal] companions ;.and

    The person who chose the being a successful Religious Missionary as a career would provide lifetime luxurious lifestyles with wealth under their direct control in billions but also the indirect control of his followers who include the very rich be they politicians [as in India] but also from the corporate sectors all of whom will be at their beck and call anytime called and do their bidding.

  3. Zakir Naik shows so much of arrogance and anger that he can hardly ever be a preacher or scholar of good model. This man with a gift of the gap, and a charlatan with irresistible egoism wants to establish himself as the cleverest of Islamic scholars known in the world today He is a theology terrorist in the making.

    A man who can’t sell his wares at home will sell it abroad. The Indian Government should lock him up for good. He can forsake his Indian citizenship and accept that of another country. I am sure many countries in the Middle East and Malaysia will be most willing to grant him citizenship.

    One Zakir Naik is one too many for the Islamic world to bear. People like him sully the sanctity of Islam. The nineteenth century French sociologist Auguste Comte (1778-1857) observed that with the discovery of science, it would be no longer possible, in the modern world for anyone intelligent to believe in God. Faith would henceforth be limited to the uneducated, the fanatical, children and those suffering the final stages of incurable diseases.

  4. Hawking Eye, I can’t agree more. Morons like this arrogant prophet wannabe should be kept behind bars for the good of mankind. Religion has spawned nothing but bloodshed and misery. Look at the Middle East.

    As a peace-loving citizen of this bountiful country, this goatee-suit-and-ketayap- wearing Zakar (Tak) Naik is one big trouble. Those worshiping him don’t know what they are into.

    And Umno being Umno anything that can keep the Malays spellbound, speechless and in check is Heaven-sent. They don’t realise what havoc they gonna evoke. But there again, what can you expect from idiots?

  5. I have never liked the style or content of this person, nor that of his earlier mate, Ahmad Deedat…But please let us not confuse Faith with Religion… Comte was one such person…

  6. Should we expect anything different from our UMNO government trying ever so hard to win over the malays muslims using people like Zakir Naik? This country has gone down the drain and it’s only a matter of how many more years it will take before Malaysia becomes another Afghanistan or Pakistan.

  7. “Comte was one such person…” Isa

    Yup. He was stuck in Freudian Anal stage, while trying to work out of his Oedipal urges.. The World and Humanity is much more complicated than what ‘Sociologists’ can ever hope to understand. The only thing that remains irreducible, is Idiocy.

    Orwellian we are Not and Huxleyian we can’t be. So much for the Doctrine of Positivism. And those chaps have positively no idea of what Chaos and Order really mean. Besides the Anthropic Principle, we have the Entropic Reality.

    Why can’t most folks understand this? Are they all irreducible Mechanistic Newtonian Automata?

    The only thing Positive about the Naik story, is that the Embezzlers Turun Maruah..

    And to say that Nail is a genius with eidetic (photographic) memory, simply reinforces my gut feeling that he suffers from a high functioning Asperger Syndrome (i.e autistic). Kindly refer to wiki for further insight.

  8. He may have enough knowledge in Islam, when he starts to compare between one religion to another that is the end of his fame. The MB of Trengganu proudly claimed he is a very special human I have to disagree with him. Well, should his awards were removed it has served him well.

  9. /// Gursharan Singh C.M.I.I.A. May 12, 2016 at 9:58 am
    ‘A man who can’t sell his wares at home will sell it abroad.’
    People are fascinated with things labelled ‘foreign’ and are willing to pay prices which may be higher than their value in their own country. ///

    Yes. When these unthinking Malaysians need to go for an operation, they will refuse local or general anaesthesia and insist on foreign anaesthesia.

  10. Zaid Ibrahim made the observation that Malays, unable to understand the workings of Wall Street and high finance, turns readily to God, Zakir Nair being their conduit to Heaven. If only that is true: we, too, would queue up to get some of the Zakir holy sprinkles.

    Make Money Online :

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s