PETALING JAYA: A security expert has urged Islamic authorities and enforcement agencies to exercise wisdom in their treatment of public speakers.

“Stop giving people like Zakir Naik safe haven and giving the impression that people like Mustafa Akyol are a threat,” said Khen Han Ming, the principal consultant at JK Associates.

Khen’s call follows a news report about police taking action against a number of inmates at Tapah Prison who had allegedly been radicalised by a fellow prisoner with links to a terrorist network.

He told FMT that prison was one of the more common places for indoctrination.

“The best solution against radicalism, wherever it’s being spread, is preventing it from taking hold in the first place,” he said.

He acknowledged that authorities were trying hard to stop the spread of radicalism, but he said some of their actions, as reported in the media, were hindering their own initiatives.

He said these actions gave the impression that the more hardline interpretations of Islam were the expected norm and the more moderate and liberal interpretations were taboo.

“If those who are seen as promoting liberalism are considered threats, then militant ideologies will start spreading,” he added.

During his most recent visit to Malaysia, acclaimed Turkish writer Mustafa Akyol was detained by religious authorities for teaching Islam without official credentials.

On the other hand, authorities have so far not heeded calls by several human rights groups and activists for action against firebrand preacher Zakir Naik’s presence in the country. These groups and individual activists have pointed out that Naik is a fugitive from his native India.-FMT NEWS-

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