His politics for politics sake nature saw the political need to make Zakir a controversy.
Before Zakir said those words deemed sensitive to Chinese, Indian and Malaysians of immigrant roots in Kota Baru, Mahathir dropped a hint that the government has no choice but to keep him. If sent back to India, he is a dead man. And no other country wants him.
It is either him giving new excuse to retain Zakir in Malaysia or giving fodders for the like of his fellow party man like Tan Sri Rais Yatim, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Syed Saddiq to call for his extradition back to India. Typical Mahathir testing the water.
Mahathir was also throwing a spanner into the work. It seemed intended to anger the Hindu and Malay Muslims, in which subsequent solution will amaze the public with his brilliance and regain the support from both segment of voters for the waning PH.
The Hindu including Hindraf worked well and orchestrated a good campaign against Zakir. They planned to ouster Zakir for years and likely received input from their South Asian counterpart in the old country.
However, those hurtful words in Kota Baru were the go-ahead for them to work more aggresively.
Why should they be blamed for "our" own stupidity (me not included)?
Knowing his already precarious situation, Zakir has only himself to blame.
Unless he has other intentions, in which it is beyond us to confidently guess as to what is in his heart. It is the affair and knowledge of God. One can only make intelligent guesswork from physical and visible actons.
The intentions of Hindraf is known, but the intention of Zakir to chose to seek refuge in Malaysia is not known. Untold by Mahathir is that there are other countries interested to host Zakir but maybe the countries may have changed their mind.
This blog's position have been clearly expressed in two postings in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Zakir issue is viewed as a Keling issue i.e. an Indian problem and attitude, has legitimate security concern, problem of inappropriaate manner (adab) of a pendakwah (preacher), and Wahabism.
Again, to reiterate the matter of adab, adversarial dakwah is unsuitable for Malay archipelago. It is impolite, insensitive and unwise to preach your religion by openly condemning or insulting other religion irrespective whether it is called comparative religion..
This is where Dato Ibrahim Ali's defense of Zakir lacked both knowledge and substance to be convincing and give justice to shield Zakir from critics. Tokoh or personality as Ibrahim claimed, he is indeed but the rest he should have reserved his comments.
Ibrahim Ali used to argue it is government prerogative. Likewise, it is now current government prerogative to send him back. However, Ibrahim has long lost the credibility in his defense of Zakir by promoting for his citizenship.
To defend Zakir because Hindraf orchestrated a perception war against him, it is not sufficient and strong a basis. It is similar to a staunch Ibrahim Ali and Mahathir supporter, who argued vehemently for Zakir because he could make people convert to Islam instantaneously on stage.
Christian TV Evangelist does it every Saturday and Sunday morning in the US. The loud exclamations of "Jesus saved me!" , "I saw the light!", etc are duplicated by Zakir's eloquence to answer a questions from a non-Muslim in a Q&A and voila they profess to Islam.
To argue in defense of Zakir, it must not be based on riding his massive followers or popularism for political expediency or personal opportunism. Both is unsustainable in promoting nation building and ummah development.
More so, most of the defense tend to be shallow as in Muslim must defend another Muslim at all cost, but fail to give good undisputable reasons to support. Then there is the "tidak apa", and "apa salahnya" arguments with various diversion like why splitting Islam with divisive belief, ideology and philospohical differences.
Then, what is Zakir trying to do in Malaysia?
Zakir does not fit with the adab of dakwah and the manner it is done in Malaysia and Nusantara. The medical trained Zakir was merely a student in comparative religion, a subject they learned at UIA. However, he is not trained and learned on Islamic jurisprudence.
Few learned pentafsir and hadith experts (interpretors of Quran and Prophet sayings) said Zakir translated the quoted Quran and Hadith literally. He was giving a hint of the branch of Islam he subscribed to.
An Islamic website, Fitrah Islami Online wrote in March this year that he subscribe to Wahabism.
Wahabism is an extreme form of salafi movement. The salafi movement was initially meant to cleanse Islam of innovation or practises not taught by the Prophet and of doubtful nature and origin. However, Wahhabi took it to a more extreme level to sow hatred.
Wahabism has no direct connection to terrorism, but ISIS has its origin and roots among Wahabi followers. More so, western media have been accusing Saudi Arabia and Wahabism as the hand behind and funding ISIS and global terrorism. It is the same western media or think tank that is claiming Saudi and Wahabism is doing Uncle Sam's bidding in the Islamic world.
Geo-global political observers could notice, where Crown Prince Muhammad Salman is coming from and going to. No more a keen follower as he lied personally to yours truly, but do take account of the latest analysis of Islamic eschalogist, Shekh Imran Hussein with Muhammad Salman taken into account.
If anything, reaction to Zakir Naik may have split Malaysian apart; Malaysian Malay Muslims versus Malaysian Chinese and Indians. However, there are divisiveness between Muslims and Muslims.
SYEIKHUNA Abdul Aziz Syed Ali made an in-depth analysis on the current discourse on Zakir in Fitrah Islami Online. He categorised the views for and against Zakir and argued Zakir erred on matters of Islamic jurisprudence.
He studied under Ahmad Deedat on comparative religion but unlike Deedat who professed to Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, Zakir is a Wahabi.
Is Wahabism sufficient ground to send him back?
Maybe not enough.
There are syiah and wahabi followers in this country. As long as they practise peacefully and in private to not disrupt the akidah and practises of the ASWJ masses, they are fine.
Several mufti are suspect wahabi followers or more clear categorisation is salafi, which is nothing wrong really. Though at odd to each other, there is tendency in every other Muslims to agree with aspects of salafism and leaning for sufism.
As far as sending or allowing Zakir to stay in Malaysia, it should be dependent on police security finding. By the manner IGP openly kow tow to the desperate Mahathir, it looks likely Zakir could be send away.
However, there are those like Cambridge trained lawyer, Lukman Sheriff, who questioned the argument his statement in Kota Baru as insulting the Chinese and Indians and it is a foreigner encroaching into local politics.
He saw it as a Malaysiakini doing excess spin and putting words into Zakir's mouth. It was then responded by Hindraf and maybe Tamil Elam elements.
Zakir's comment is comparatively pittance response and it was not done as rude and insulting as what leaders and supporters of PH has done on Malays and Muslims. In anger to what they have been saying (read Husin Lempoyang cynicial comment here), Zakir statement to say the earlier migrants should balik first feeds into the sentiment. They are more to blame. From 1969 to 2019, the same script is being played again.
Zakir has apologised and it could be the end for this episode till some other issue flare up. For SUHAKAM to say he has lost his rights to free speech is absolute bollock and Roberspierre in the aftermath of the French Revolution.
Nevertheless, the arguments from the Malay Muslim side in support of Zakir tend to be emotional, reactive and quite often patronising. It needs substance based on facts and sound argument.
It cannot be based on the logic of a taxi driver turned nasi beriyani seller arguing in a online coffee shop that ignores and refuse to take account genuine substantiated concerns and plucking logic off the top of a school dropout head.