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Saturday, August 31, 2019

No Pahang ban but Naik must meet conditions, says mufti

Abdul Rahman Osman, Mufti of Pahang.
PETALING JAYA: In contrast to several other states, the Pahang religious department has imposed conditions but no public speaking ban on Dr Zakir Naik, the state Mufti, Abdul Rahman Osman, said.
He said there was no prohibition on the controversial preacher from making public speeches but Naik must comply with the conditions set by the Pahang Islamic Affairs Department. Among them is obtaining advance approval for the event. He must also obtain permission from the police.
“Everyone who wishes to give public speeches on religion must obtain prior approval,” he told FMT.
The police have advised all state authorities against approving public speeches by Naik since a storm of criticism arose after he gave public lectures in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
He was alleged to have insulted Malaysian Hindus and the Malaysian Chinese community, and was called up by federal police for a series of interviews after more than 100 reports were lodged against him. He has since apologised for his remarks, which he said were taken out of context.
However, Pahang mufti Rahman said Naik had not sought to insult other religions in his speeches, but had only made comparisons to other religions in explaining to fellow Muslims why Islam did not accept other religious beliefs.
“Those who disagree should debate with him, not resort to emotional outbursts,” Rahman said.
He said non-Muslims should respect the freedom of Muslims to evangelise, while the freedom to practise other religions was respected.
The police advice against public speeches by Naik was based on a perceived threat to national security, to strike a balance between growing resentment among non-Muslim groups against the controversial speaker and sympathy among Muslims.

Authorities in Perlis, Sarawak, Sabah, Kedah, Malacca, Penang and Selangor have imposed a temporary ban on public speeches by Naik until the situation calms down. - FMT

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