The FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar continues to courtroom controversy. Within the newest, the host nation has invited controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who’s banned in India, to provide sermons through the sporting occasion.
“Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik is current in Qatar through the World Cup and can give many spiritual lectures all through the event,” tweeted Faisal Alhajri, a presenter on the Qatari state-owned sports activities channel Alkass.
The data was confirmed by TV presenter Zain Khan who referred to as Naik “one of the vital widespread Islamic students of our time”.
In India, Naik stays a fugitive. Right here’s a take a look at his many controversies and why he’s needed within the nation.
Additionally learn: Orwellian doublethink: Why West has no ethical proper to lecture Qatar regardless of its jihadi connections
Who’s Zakir Naik?
An Indian Islamic televangelist and preacher, Zakir Naik is a non-Arabic public orator and proponent of the hardline Salafi faculty of thought in Sunni Islam. He’s the founder and president of the Islamic Analysis Basis (IRF) and the Peace TV Community. Whereas he’s recognized for his radical sermons, he additionally holds a level in drugs.
Naik has been accused of giving hate speeches and has been banned in India. His supporters dub him an skilled on comparative faith.
The novel evangelist grew to become widespread within the Nineteen Nineties for his makes an attempt to transform individuals to Islam by means of IRF, his Mumbai-based organisation. Within the early 2000s, his movies grabbed consideration as they tried to determine Islam as a faith superior to others, in accordance with a report in India At the moment.
As he grew to become well-known, Naik went on the launch Peace TV English, which was based mostly in Dubai, and different variations in Urdu and Bangla. Nonetheless, they’ve been banned in a number of nations like India, Canada, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the UK for allegedly spreading hate speech.
Whereas his YouTube channel is restricted in India, his Fb web page which is verified, has 22.8 million followers from internationally.
Zakir Naik fled India in 2016 and is now residing in Malaysia. The Indian authorities’s makes an attempt to extradite him have been futile, resulting in protests within the nation. PTI
Why is he such a controversial determine?
It’s not solely India, Naik is unwelcome in a number of nations, particularly after he expressed assist for Al Qaeda and its now-slain chief Osama bin Laden.
“If bin Laden is preventing the enemies of Islam, I’m for him. If he’s terrorising America, the largest terrorist, I’m with him. Each Muslim ought to be a terrorist,” he reportedly mentioned, in accordance with media reviews however has claimed that he was misquoted.
His controversial feedback on homosexuality have additionally hit headlines. He has mentioned that homosexuals and people changing from Islam to a different faith ought to be sentenced to loss of life. The preacher has endorsed home violence saying that males have the “proper” to beat up their wives “gently”.
Aside from Al Qaeda, he has additionally proven his assist for the Islamic State – lauding the destruction of non-Muslim spiritual locations and the observe of retaining intercourse slaves, in accordance with the India At the moment report.
He’s banned within the UK for calling for the compelled conversion of youth to Islam, supporting suicide bombings, and publishing offensive feedback which are insulting to different religions, together with Hindus and Hindu Gods.
Zakir Naik’s title has come up in a number of terror-related actions linked to the Islamic State. PTI
Why is he needed in India?
Naik has brought about extra harm to India and different nations than simply spewing hate. He faces cash laundering prices and is accused of buying $28 million price of prison belongings to purchase property in India and finance occasions the place he made “provocative speeches,” a declare he denies, reviews Deutsche Welle.
He has been linked to terror-related actions. Two youths from Kerala who joined the Islamic State mentioned they did so after assembly the preacher. He, nevertheless, has mentioned that he had no function to play.
The alleged bombers who carried out an explosion in a café in Bangladesh’s Dhaka in July 2016, which killed 22, mentioned they have been admirers of Naik. Whereas Islamic State took duty for the strike, one of many bombers advised investigators that he watched Naik’s preachings on YouTube.
After his title got here up within the blast, Naik fled the nation in 2016 and since then has not returned. He presently resides in Malaysia.
On 17 November 2016, the IRF was declared an illegal organisation in India beneath the Illegal Actions (Prevention) Act. The ban was prolonged for 5 extra years final yr. In line with the MHA notification, Naik’s talks have been objectionable since he had been praising recognized terrorists.
In line with a report by ANI, the Solicitor Common of India had submitted earlier than the anti-terror tribunal considerable proof that Naik continues to be reaching out to his followers in India by disseminating his teachings by means of movies and giving provocative speeches and lectures which are shared by way of varied social media platforms.
In line with the Ministry of Dwelling Affairs, trustees of the IRF, significantly Zakir Naik, journey to Gulf nations to boost cash. The muse has established different trusts, NGOs, and shell corporations, all of that are getting used for radicalising individuals, particularly Muslim youth.
“These actions represent a type of symbolic but manifested invasion by means of the deliberate perpetuation of hate in the neighborhood carried out by IRF and its workplace bearers. Due to this fact, the aforesaid materials exhibits that there exists enough trigger to carry IRF an illegal affiliation,” the notification had added.
Investigation into the Delhi riots revealed that one of many accused, Kahlid Saifi, met Naik overseas and sought his assist for “spreading his agenda”. Earlier this yr, it was alleged that IIT graduate Murtaza Ahmed Abbasi, who attacked two constables with a sharp-edged weapon exterior the Gorakhnath temple in Uttar Pradesh, used to observe movies by Naik. The suspect too had hyperlinks with the Islamic State.
What steps is India taking towards Naik?
In Could 2020, India requested the extradition of Naik, who resides in exile in Malaysia and has a everlasting residency there. Nonetheless, he has been banned from giving speeches within the nation within the curiosity of “nationwide safety”.
Malaysia has not agreed handy over Naik to Indian authorities. “Naik is seen as an essential spiritual preacher to the conservative Malay citizens – which contains a big portion of the present Perikatan Nasional coalition’s vote-base. Agreeing to extradite Naik dangers eroding that base,” Chye Shu Wen, an analyst on the London-based political consultancy Management Dangers advised Deutsche Welle.
What’s the Qatar connection?
In line with the report, after shifting to Malaysia, Naik obtained funding for IRF from Islamic nations like Qatar, Turkey and Pakistan.
Now amid the controversial World Cup, the preacher has flown to Qatar. His presence within the nation is predicted to ruffle feathers.
After Nupur Sharma’s controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad, Doha raised objections. Nonetheless, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP) has suspended the chief from her publish.
With inputs from businesses
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