Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) has come to the defence of Dr Zakir Naik, saying that the controversial Muslim preacher has good intentions behind his speeches.

Amanah Communications Director Khalid Samad said from his knowledge, Zakir was merely explaining that there were certain aspects of Hinduism which were in line with the teachings of Islam.

Hence, the preacher’s study comparing the two religions was not meant to spread hate, but was only aimed at explaining their similarities.

“His thesis can be accepted or rejected by the audience, but the objections should be presented as a matter of fact, not in an insulting manner.

“If we look at his thesis positively, it has the potential to close existing gaps (between the two religions),” said the Shah Alam lawmaker in a statement today.

He added that while Amanah did not deny that there might be some who were offended by the way Zakir had presented his lectures, it did not mean that the latter had any ill intentions.

He said due to the complicated nature of Zakir’s lectures, misunderstanding might occur even if the contents were presented properly.

“Especially if there are certain parties who want to create an altercation. Hence, the negative reactions from the Hindus over Zakir’s speeches should be expected.

“This is also because Zakir is a Muslim who wants to speak on certain aspects of Hinduism that the Hindus themselves haven’t heard of.”

Khalid urged the public to be aware of certain quarters whom he said had acted as provocateurs. He also called on both Muslims and non-Muslims to adopt an open mind and attitude towards such discussions.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy, who yesterday called Zakir “satan”, and has since apologised for using the word, when contacted, however, expressed an opposite reaction and slammed Khalid for taking a pro-Zakir stand.

Ramasamy told FMT that he himself had heard excerpts of Zakir’s speeches and disagreed with the way the preacher had compared the two religions.

“If you want to talk about Islam, then go ahead. But when you compare your religion with others, you tend to belittle and put down the other religion.

“That’s why I disagreed with him coming here to give talks.” – FMT

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