KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― Controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, currently on the run from Indian authorities investigating him for terrorism, will deliver a lecture at Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Unimap) tomorrow before his Friday sermon in Arau.
Dr Zakir’s lecture is titled “Quran and modern science: Conflict or conciliation” and the event will run for four hours.
The poster of the event was publicised on the official Facebook page of Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin yesterday.
Asri had previously promoted the Friday sermon by Dr Zakir, jointly organised by the Perlis Islamic Religious Affairs Department, the Islamic and Perlis Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs Council, and Asri’s office.
Asri had repeatedly refused comment on his involvement when contacted by Malay Mail Online.
However, earlier this month, he lambasted Hindu group Hindraf for criticising Dr Zakir’s presence in Perlis, calling the group “radical” and “ungrateful”.
Asri said the group had not only questioned the daily affairs of Muslims, but had dared to give warning to Muslim leaders on the issue.
In December, Dr Zakir visited a private Islamic-centric university in Shah Alam, Selangor, which is also under investigation for radical teachings after two students were arrested on suspicion of being Islamic State recruits planning a terror attack locally.
Although a fugitive in India, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the controversial Islamic preacher is free to travel in Malaysia because he is not on the terror list here.
He has been reported by several Indian newspapers to be on the run to avoid prosecution in India.
The Salafist preacher has also been banned from several countries like Bangladesh, Canada and the UK.
In November last year, Times of India reported the Indian government has imposed a five-year ban on Dr Zakir’s NGO, the Islamic Research Foundation.
The daily reported that India’s authorities are also mulling terror charges against Dr Zakir, reportedly based on testimonies of about 50 terror suspects and convicts recorded from various jails, with those caught citing the medical doctor as their motivation and source of inspiration.