(File pix) Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik during an event held at Kolej Permata Insan, Nilai, Negri Sembilan. Pix by Hazreen Mohamad

KANGAR: The government should not bow down to pressure from certain political parties who want Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik to be deported back to India to be investigated for allegedly promoting terrorism.

Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Asri Zainal Abidin stressed that the allegation is baseless and until today, there has been no proof to back accusation that the preacher was promoting extremist ideology.

Asri said the issue started among religious fanatic groups, followed by several political figures which issued statements linking Dr Zakir with terrorism and demanding that he be deported to India.

“They will have to prove first which part of his (Dr Zakir) statement promotes terrorism.. All his public speeches are recorded, so show the proof which part of his speech that incites extremism,” he told reporters at his office today.

Asri was responding to calls by certain political parties who are questioning whether Malaysia is providing a shelter to Zakir while the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was being sought in India for probes into his alleged link to terrorism acts.

He added that since certain quarters had beeb objecting to Dr Zakir's presence in Malaysia, the government should also consider vetting the background of preachers from other religions.

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