KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — A group of 19 human rights activists filed a civil suit against the Malaysian government today, accusing it of failing to protect the country against controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik.
The suit, among others, sought a government declaration that Dr Zakir was a threat to national security, called for a ban to prevent him from entering the country, and for him to be arrested and deported immediately.
The group, comprising plaintiffs from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, said Dr Zakir was an “undesirable person” and “a preacher of hate” who was currently roaming free in Malaysia.
“This application is not meant to insult or question the teachings of Islam and/or insult the feelings of any parties whether Muslim or not, Zakir Naik’s fans, or observers of his speeches,” the group’s spokesman, P. Waytha Moorthy, read to the press from an affidavit.
“There’s nothing on Islam, we’re strictly going on the issue of national security. Strictly on that,” added Waytha Moorthy, who is also chairman of the Hindu Rights Action Force, or Hindraf.
Besides Waytha Moorthy, the 19 plaintiffs included academic Dr Lim Teck Ghee, Sabah lawmaker Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, lawyers Siti Kassim and Asiah Abd Jalil, and Sarawak activist Peter John Jaban.
Other reliefs sought by the plaintiffs include a declaration that Dr Zakir is a threat to country’s security, unity as well as the peaceful and harmonious co-existence of its various faiths and races. Read more