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Malaysia Refuses Asylum to Controversial Preacher Zakir Naik

Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is an Indian Islamic televangelist, and the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation. He is also the founder of the Peace TV channel through which he reaches 200 million viewers.

Now, it is expected that Naik will leave Malaysia, although he is not likely to be extradited to India. Malaysian officials have said that although they want the controversial leader to leave, they reserve the right not to extradite him.

This comes after the Indian government provided evidence against Naik, who has been granted permanent residence in Malaysia.

Earlier this month, the Indian government said it had been informed by Putrajaya that its request for the extradition of Naik was “under consultation”.

On 13 July 2016, Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Sadhvi Prachi announced a reward of ₹50 lakh (US$72,000) to anyone willing to behead Zakir Naik. This came a day after a Shia group styling itself the “Hussaini Tigers” placed a ₹15 lakh (US$22,000) bounty on his head.

Indian authorities have filed money-laundering charges involving about RM115 million against the 53-year-old televangelist.

Naik has also been accused of inciting enmity and hatred between different religious communities in his preaching.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last month that Malaysia had the right not to deport Naik if he was not going to be accorded justice.

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