Who is Zakir Naik?
Dr Zakir Naik is a well-known Islamic preacher from India. He is widely regarded as an expert on Salafi ideology while some claim that he is a radical Islamic televangelist, preaching Wahhabism. Born in October 1965 in Mumbai, he studied medicine and acquired his MBBS degree. Dr Naik has always landed in controversies because of his speeches.
According to reports, Maharashtra police has begun an enquiry against the controversial preacher who has been accused of inspiring, through his speeches, at least two of the seven terrorists who opened fire in a Dhaka café on Friday Night in which 20 hostages were hacked to death. His TV channel, Peace TV, is currently banned in India but is illegally being broadcasted in India by some cable operators. Investing Agencies have begun scrutinizing the televised and online sermons of the controversial preacher, after Bangladesh government reported its concern on this issue with its Indian counterparts.
Dr Naik has often been in controversies because of his speeches. His name had come up in a similar case when NIA had busted a terror module from Hyderabad. He has been banned from entering UK, US, China and Canada following his remarks which were allegedly in support of infamous Terrorist Osama Bin Laden. But at the same time he has been honored by countries like Saudi Arabia for His Contribution to Islam.
Dr Naik has claimed his innocence in the matter through a WhatsApp video circulated by his organization. In the video he says” More than 90% Bangladeshis know me, more than 50% are my fans. I disagree that I inspired this act of killing innocent people”.
According to CNN-News18, Naik’s Mumbai based organization, Islamic Research Foundation is the only South Asian Centre listed on the website of Jamat-Ud-Dawa, the militant organization led by 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed. This report has led to widespread protests against the radical preacher.
Though agencies have not come up with any proofs that links the Islamic cleric to any terrorist attack whatsoever, it remains to be seen if he comes out clean this time.