Hindraf walks tightrope on Tokoh Maal Hijrah Zakir Naik

Photo credit: The Malaysian Times

The court will disregard any arguments by plaintiffs that the case was not against Islam and/or was about saving the religion from an alleged “extremist”.
COMMENT Human rights advocate P. Waytha Moorthy and 18 other plaintiffs  appear to have avoided the judicial review trap by opting instead on Wed for an originating summons on Tokoh Maal Hijrah Zakir Naik from India.

Patently, it’s not known what kind of decision the authorities concerned made on the controversial preacher. Hence, a judicial review bid would have been more of a gamble on the odds.

However, if the plaintiffs want to focus on the national security threat posed by Zakir’s presence in the country, comments like that by lawyer Siti Zabedah Kassim are unhelpful. Zabedah, one of the 19 plaintiffs, held before the media that the Zakir case was not against Islam. In fact, she said, it was about upholding Islamic teachings.

Plaintiff Asiah Abd Jalil, concerned by Zakir’s speeches, believes that Islam was not about belittling the cultures and religions of others.

The ummah only needs to hear Islam being mentioned to conclude that something against their religion was in the works. Hopefully, Muslim public opinion would view the Zakir Naik issue in the right perspective i.e. not link it with Islam and Muslims.

The onus is on Waytha, who leads Hindraf Makkal Sakthi, to ensure that Islam and Muslims don’t enter the arguments in court. The court, as evident from The Herald case on Allah, is no forum for theology.

The court will disregard any arguments by plaintiffs that the Zakir case was not against Islam and/or was about saving the religion from an alleged “extremist”.

The filing by plaintiffs makes clear that national security must be the thrust of the case against Zakir.

The Government of Malaysia should comply with the Immigration Act which clearly states that “undesirable aliens” should not be permitted entry. http://www.jimlondon.net/seksyen8.html

The plaintiff should prove, to the satisfaction of the court, that Zakir was an “undesirable alien” within the ambit of the Immigration Act. Already, he has been barred entry by the United Kingdom and Canada, among others, as a threat to national security.

Specifically, it has been alleged that he preaches hate. That has been documented by his own government in India which has reportedly acted against him and his now outlawed Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).

By allowing Zakir to freely enter Malaysia, the Home Minister in particular is creating a dangerous precedent which will catch up with the government to haunt its future.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

The collective good of the people takes precedence over the case of an “undesirable alien” like Zakir Naik.

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