This general view shows the Kuala Lumpur city skyline as seen from the KL Tower on August 9, 2016. / AFP / MOHD RASFAN
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Accompanied by a bodyguard, Naik was making a rare public appearance at the Putra Mosque in Malaysia's administrative capital, where the prime minister and his cabinet members often worship.Critics see Naik's presence in Malaysia as another sign of top-level support for hardline Islam in a country with substantial minorities of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, and which has long projected a moderate Islamic image.Support for a more politicised Islam has grown in recent years under Prime Minister Najib Razak, especially after he lost the popular vote in the 2013 general election -- the ruling coalition's worst-ever electoral performance.A group of Malaysian activists has filed suit in the High Court to deport Naik, saying he is a threat to public peace in the multi-racial society -- about 40 percent of Malaysia's population is non-Muslim.Islam is the official religion in Malaysia.Malaysia's nine sultans, who take turns as the mostly ceremonial monarch and are the official guardians of Islam in Malaysia, last month called for unity and religious harmony after what they described as "excessive actions" in the name of Islam. In September, Turkish writer Mustafa Akyol was detained for giving "an unauthorized speech" in the Malaysian capital, in which he argued that governments shouldn't police religion or morality.
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