Muslim academics and religious scholars asked the government on Tuesday to “tread cautiously” on the issue of action against Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
“While all sections of the society have to take a united stand against anything which remotely promotes extremism, the ongoing attempts to single out Zakir Naik even before any investigation has been conducted doesn’t bode well”, spokesperson of Nadwatul Uloom, Lucknow Maulana Syed Hamza Nadwi said.
“We differ with them on some matters, but we are yet to find evidence of any hate content in their teachings,” he said.
General secretary of the Paghamey Insaniyat Committee, Maulana Syed Bilal Hasni said, “we have always had reservations about some of the teachings of the Ahle Hadees school of thought. They have full right to their views, but we do not approve of their approach of running down other schools of thought, while trying to appropriate Islam”.
However, he said, any attempt to “single” out Zakir Naik without proper investigations is not “correct” and government should “tread cautiously” on the issue.
“It is apparent that many other people in the country are preaching hatred and issuing inflammatory statements in all forms, and no action is being taken. There has to be a single yardstick,” he said.
Prof Asmar Baig of department of political science at Aligarh Muslim University said that the ongoing attempt to drag AMU in the controversy surrounding Zakir Naik is “unfortunate”.
Baig said, “Naik’s three year term as a member of the AMU court began and ended much before the government found anything inappropriate in his preaching. He played no role whatsoever in AMU affairs.”