Dr. Zakir Naik

Malaysian police yesterday questioned a controversial Indian Islamic preacher
for allegedly making insensitive remarks about race in the multiethnic country,
as pressure mounts on authorities to kick him out. Zakir Naik, a radical
television preacher who has called the 9/11 attacks an "inside job",
left India in 2016 and moved to largely Muslim Malaysia, where he was granted
permanent residency. He is wanted in India for inciting extremism and money
laundering, and New Delhi last year asked Malaysia to extradite him, according
to reports - a request that was rejected.

Calls are now
mounting for action after Naik said Hindus in Malaysia have "100
times" more rights than India's Muslim minority, and suggested Chinese
Malaysians should be expelled before he was. Several cabinet ministers have
publicly called for Naik to be kicked out, while even Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad said he had crossed the line. His lawyer, Akberdin Abdul Kader, told
AFP that Naik was "being interviewed by the police" for a second day
yesterday, after first being hauled in last week. He is accused of making an
intentional insult aimed at provoking a breach of the peace, according to state
news agency Bernama.

Mahathir said
Sunday that Naik "can preach but he wasn't doing that... he was talking
about sending the Chinese back to China, Indians back to India, that's for me a
political move", according to the news agency. The government has in the
past appeared reluctant to move against Naik for fear it could upset some
Muslims as well as provide ammunition to political opponents.

In 2010 Naik -
who founded the Peace TV channel, which has a huge global following - was
barred from entering Britain. In a July 2008 broadcast Naik suggested that
Al-Qaeda was not responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United
States. "Even a fool will know that this was an inside job," he said
in the video, claiming then-President George W Bush was behind the plot. - AFP