In 1970, Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad wrote a controversial book, The Malay Dilemma. As prime minister of Malaysia for the second time at the ripe age of 93, he faces another dilemma—how to deal with the presence of fugitive controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in his country. In fact, Naik has become a Hafiz Saeed of sorts for Malaysia.
His presence has frayed racial tensions and is posing a headache for the new Malaysian government. It cannot deport him because of his popularity among the Malay Muslims but, at the same time, wants to keep a check on his controversial sermons as they threaten to rip apart the multi-racial fabric of Malaysian society.
Unlike India, where he faces terror and money-laundering charges, the hardline Islamic preacher is a popular figure in Malaysia where more than 60 percent of the population is Muslim. This is the reason why both Mahathir and his predecessor, Read more