Indian Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik made headlines in December as he was spotted attending Kuala Lumpur Summit (KL Summit) 2019.
The four-day summit hosted by Malaysia aims to discuss issues such as Islamophobia, the incarceration of Muslims and mass migration of Muslims due to civil wars.
Over 450 delegates from 56 countries of the Muslim world attended the event.
Apart from attending KL Summit 2019, Zakir Naik made another controversial statement, saying that it is haram (forbidden) for a Muslim to wish ‘Merry Christmas’ to his/her friends who are celebrating Christmas.
However, the statement was made years earlier, not during the summit.
An old tweet by @DrZakirNaikFC which stated that it is a big sin to wish others ‘Merry Christmas’ started to resurface as Christmas draws near.
When asked about the controversial remark, Zakir brushed off the allegation by saying that he does not even has a Twitter account.
It is true that he does not have an account on the social media platform, instead the sensitive tweet was made by a fan club account of the Indian preacher.
In addition, there is also an old video of him preaching to Muslims that it is haram to make the Christmas greeting.
It would be difficult for Zakir to deny his controversial statement as he was reiterating his point a couple of times in the video.
He justified his statement by saying that wishing ‘Merry Christmas’ means one had agreed that Jesus Christ is the son of God. This is because the basis of the celebration is to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In addition, the Islamic preacher also equates the greeting to drinking alcohol, claiming that one does not need to conduct either of those actions just to be friends with non-Muslims.
In response to the news, former minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim tweeted his distaste toward Zakir, questioning on who gave him a permanent residence (PR) status in Malaysia.
Previously, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that Malaysia will not extradite the controversial preacher back to India as he might not be getting a fair trial.
Nevertheless, Zakir Naik was granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia in 2017.
In August, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkapral Singh suggested to the Prime Minister to send Zakir to Saudi Arabia amidst the latter’s inharmonious statements.
Back then, Zakir said that Malaysian Indians are more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi compared to Tun Mahathir, and labelled the Malaysian Chinese as ‘old guests’ in the country.