Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa has offered to with meet parties who continue to be unhappy with the presence of controversial Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik in Malaysia.
Despite the fact that the Islamic preacher faces a warrant of arrest in India over claims of incitement of hatred and money-laundering, Mujahid said his primary concern is dealing with certain quarters in Malaysia, who continued to be aghast over the presence of Zakir.
“I cannot say about the government to government dealings (Malaysia and India) over the issue but for the sake of national unity, I am willing to meet individuals or quarters who continue to be unhappy with this issue.”
Mujahid said that he plans to address the issue through a Malaysian approach of mutual respect and high tolerance.
For him, the issue revolves around two points, one is the government to government, which concerns foreign diplomacy and legislation, while another, is the localised unhappiness over Zakir’s history.
“I can only look and address from the standpoint of those unhappy with Zakir in Malaysia,“ Mujahid said after attending a breaking of fast ceremony at Masjid Maqbul in Teluk Kumbar last night.
He is also willing to meet Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P Ramasamy, who has been among those who have criticised the authorities for their continued acceptance of Zakir to remain in the country.
But the minister in charge of religious affairs is willing to meet with the former academician to address any persistent misgivings over the issue.
Mujahid said that he is also initiating a national inter-faith picnic outing after Hari Raya Aidilfitri next month to create a closer rapport among the diverse religious figures and officials in the country.
“The picnic would be held in Putrajaya and we hope to promote our honourable Malaysians identity of mutual respect and strong inter-faith harmony.”
Such initiatives are part of Mujahid’s key policy of promoting a compassionate form of Islam in Malaysia where the pillars of moderation and mutual respect represents the cornerstone of his outreach efforts.
Mujahid was responding to concerns among certain quarters that he has abandoned his efforts to foster stronger inter-faith understanding which he had conceived a decade ago. – The Sun Daily