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Lately, there has been a flurry of news reports in the media regarding my status and continued presence here in Malaysia. Some sections of the media have attacked me for my supposed ‘incitement to terror’, and it would be naive not to assume that this was done with a broader objective of demonizing Islaam and Muslims. Unable to find any evidence against me, they resorted to doctored video clips, out-of-context quotations and a host of dishonest schemes to accuse me of terrorism, hate speech and even money laundering.
Over the last few years, thousands of ‘news’ articles, YouTube videos and social media posts have attributed to me appalling statements that I did not make. Often these lies come in the form of images displaying a message alongside a photograph of me. To anybody who does not want Islaam to be presented as a religion of peace, this is a quick and dirty way to discredit the faith. I implore anybody who comes across such material to verify it before jumping to conclusions. Because the simple truth is that any statement ascribed to me that is against humanity is a fabricated statement. Time and time again, I have reiterated that a Muslim cannot be a good Muslim unless he is a good human being.
So, an unbiased observer would realize that never in my 25 years of lecturing on Islaam and peace, have I ever promoted terror, in the name of Islaam or otherwise. In fact, not a single lecture out of the thousands that I have delivered, has ever received objections from non-Muslims in India until in September 2012, when a group of religious fanatics sought to tarnish my image. My aim has always been to foster communal peace and harmony—the exact opposite of the accusations hurled at me.
I thank the Malaysian government for examining the issue from an unbiased perspective, and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his decision to allow me to stay here, as long as I continue to abide by the law and support the peace and harmony of this country.
This decision reaffirms my faith in Malaysia’s justice and communal harmony, and is a testimony to the success of the multiracial diversity of this country. I am humbled to be a part of this diversity, and I also acknowledge the sensitivities it entails. I would never wish to disrupt or jeopardize this balance in any way, or to break the rule of law of this country, because it is my primary concern to foster the social harmony currently enjoyed by its citizens. Allaah says, “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other)…” (Al-Qur’aan 49:13).
Finally, while I hope that justice and peace return to my homeland, India, I remain indebted to Malaysia—not just as one seeking fair treatment, but as an individual with a love of humanity. I pray that Allaah continues to bless the nation of Malaysia and its fearless leader Tun Dr Mahathir, and that He makes it, through its leaders and citizens alike, a superpower, a role model nation, and a paragon of virtue for the rest of the world.
Dr Zakir Naik
Servant of Allaah