Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Preacher Zakir Naik speeches under scanner
Government agencies are examining the speeches made by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, particularly in the wake of reports that a Bangladeshi militant involved in the recent terror attack in Dhaka had been following him regularly on the social media.Minister of state for home Kiren Rijijusaid that while Zakir Naik’s speeches were a matter of concern, he refused to elaborate on what possible action would be taken against him. Mr Rijiju said that India had good relations and mutual understanding with Bangladesh, especially in the matter of co-operation on fighting terrorism.
“Terror can be defeated only through close co-ordination and by fighting together against it,” the minister said. Local Bangladeshi media had reported that militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year, quoting Zakir Naik. The preacher, who is also the founder of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speeches aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.
However, Zakir Naik is popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preaching often demeans other religions and even other Muslim sects, local media reports said. Another Dhaka attacker, Nibras Islam, used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of the Islamic State — Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness — on Twitter in 2014. Shami Witness is the Twitter account of 24-year-old Mehdi Biswas, who is facing trial in India.Biswas was arrested in December 2014, following an investigation into his Twitter account, which was last active in August 2014. He was charged with operating the “single most influential pro-ISIS Twitter account”.Meanwhile, Choudary, a Pakistan-origin British citizen, is now facing trial in England for breaking the British anti-terrorism law. His Twitter account turned inactive since August 2015 after terror charges were pressed against him.