Kuala Lumpur: A petrol bomb was today hurled at the office of a senior ethnic Indian politician in Malaysia after he called the controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik a “satan” in a Facebook post that went viral.
Unidentified people this morning threw petrol bomb at the office of Penang Deputy Chief Minister P Ramasamy, who is also the chairman of the state Hindu Endowment Board.
No one was injured and no damage was reported. Ramasamy said the attack may have been a result of his Facebook post on Naik.
“In my posting on Sunday, I called him ‘satan’ and pointed out that he has been giving hate speeches on faiths other than Islam. I quickly realised the word was inappropriate and I removed it from my Facebook page but it was too late and that posting quickly went viral,” Ramasamy said in a statement.
He said the posting was not meant to be against Islam or Muslims but directed at “this particular person.” “I believe in a multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysia where all religions should be given due respect. I regret the use of the word ‘satan’ which has caused uneasiness and unhappiness among Muslims in Malaysia,” he said.
He added it was not his intention to cause such uneasiness as he has respect for all religions in the country. Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said Naik was barred from giving a talk this Sunday on ‘Similarities Between Hinduism and Islam’ at University Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.
Naik, 51, last visited Malaysia in 2012 and he then also faced similar protests by the minority Hindu community. Conservative views have gained increasing traction in recent years in Malaysia, which generally practises a moderate brand of Islam among its majority Malay community.
Issues related to race, religion and language are considered sensitive in Malaysia, which has witnessed deadly riots mainly between ethnic Malays and Chinese in 1969. Naik has also been denied entry into Canada and Britain in 2012 after reportedly expressing support for terrorist group al-Qaeda.
Naik, president of India’s Islamic Research Foundation, started a series of lectures in Terengganu last week on the invitation of the state government. The controversial public lecture by Naik will be allowed to go on as the topic has been changed, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
“Following this, future religious topics of this sort must obtain approval from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, especially if it involves international speakers,” he told reporters earlier.