Would like to send Zakir Naik to some country where he will be safe, says Mahathir Mohamad to WION

WION Web Team New Delhi Aug 07, 2020, 08.49 PM(IST)

Zakir Naik. Photograph:( DNA )

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Former Malaysia PM Mahathir Mohamad during an exclusive chat with WION asserted that he would send Zakir Naik anywhere but India although he conceded that "not many countries are willing to accept him."

In an exclusive interview with WION's Executive Editor Palki Sharma, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad said that Zakir Naik who has been charged in India with money laundering and inciting terrorism won't be extradited since he felt the fundamentalist Islamic preacher "will not be safe from the Indian public."

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"The situation in India with regard to the Muslim-Hindu relationship is not so good. There have been cases of people being lynched. So, he is, I think not very welcome in India," the former Malaysian prime minister told WION.

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"We thought that for the time being he can stay here but we would like to send him to some other country where he would be safe," Mahathir Mohamad said, adding,"unfortunately, not many countries are willing to accept him."

India's Enforcement Directorate(ED) had filed a case against Naik accusing him of promoting religious hatred and unlawful activity. Naik had fled to Malaysia in 2017.

When reminded that the Indian government had asked for Naik's extradition, Mahathir Mohamad made a sweeping remark, asserting, "The government is one thing, the people have got different ideas. Sometimes the people act rather roughly on Muslims in India."

In fact, Mahathir Mohamad asserted that he would send Naik anywhere but India although conceding that "not many countries are willing to accept him."

Zakir Naik was banned from entering the UK in 2010 for "unacceptable behaviour" and for making inflammatory speeches.

In 2016, during the Dhaka cafe attack, Bangladesh media had reported that one of the terrorists was inspired by Zakir Naik's speeches as the Bangladeshi government moved to ban his Peace TV network.