Dr Zakir Naik demands answer from Government for haunting him
Mumbai: Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) founder and Islamic televangelist Dr Zakir Naik has tried to defend himself after being blamed for radicalizing Muslim youth in India and elsewhere through his NGO and Peace TV channel. IRF claims that the television channel reaches to as many as 200 million people across the world.
There doesn’t seem to be much exaggeration as his channel is freely available round the clock in much of the Arab world including Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, two backers of his empire.
Zakir Naik, an MBBS doctor turned preacher has released a long letter trying to clear his side and asked people and the government as to what has he done to be called “Dr Terror”.
The open letter is actually posed to the government of India. He asked five questions to the government as to what he has done to earn the tags of “terror preacher”, “Dr Terror”.
The renowned preacher who was recently awarded coveted Shah Faisal Award by Saudi Arabia government asked, “Why now? I have been preaching for 25 years not just in India but across the world. What exactly did I do now to earn the tags of ‘terror preacher’, ‘Dr Terror’? Of 150 countries where I am respected, I am called a ‘terrorist influencer’ in my own country. What an irony”.
While posing another question, the preacher who was earlier based in Mumbai’s Dongri locality said, “Despite exhaustive investigations, not a single conclusive evidence of wrong doing was reported by any governmental agency. But now investigators are being asked to repeat and continue the probe. Why?”
It was not the end of his questionnaire. On the government’s action against his NGO, he asked why would the government renew IRF’s FCRA registration and then cancel it? And that it seemed “illogical”. “Is there design to leaking confidential information of the government, solicitor general and the MHA? Is there a design to leaking selective government documents to the media?” the letter said.
He further said, “This is not just an attack on me, it is an attack against Indian Muslims. And it is an attack against peace, democracy and justice”. On allegations of forced conversion, Naik, who has been away from the country for over two months, said, “While chasing IRF for allegations of forced conversions, why are the agencies ignoring the most basic proof? Where is the converted person and where is his or her statement? Isn’t this person the most basic proof of forced conversion?”
While Naik may be a Salafist preacher there is nothing to actually link him to preaching extremism. “IRF and I have been ‘set up’ for a ban. And if that happens, if IRF and I are banned, it will be the biggest jolt to the country’s democracy in recent times. I do not say this just for me but because this ban will set a precedence of unspeakable injustices against the 20 crore Muslims of India. Naik said he was open to any investigation and “harshest of punishments” if found guilty “I still have faith in the judiciary and I know that truth will ultimately prevail. But it may come at a huge price if the current actions are not checked. My appeal to the government – be fair in your investigation. Be fair in what you allege. Be truthful with facts,” he said.