Zakir Naik claims to be victim of ‘media trial’, denies supporting terrorism

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2016 21:32 IST
Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has promised to cooperate with any probe that the government agencies want to conduct against him. (Vijayanand Gupta/ HT File Photo)

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik said he was a victim of “media trial” and promised to cooperate with any probe that the government agencies want to conduct against him.

Naik’s trouble started after it was reported that some of the attackers of a bakery in Dhaka were influenced by his preachings. The Islamic State-inspired attackers killed more than 20 people in the bakery.

In a TV interview broadcast on Monday, Naik said he has been targeted by the media. He added that he has never supported terrorism.

“I have heard many allegations against me in the India far as being afraid is concerned... I am not afraid at all. So far there has been not a single Indian government authority which has called me. Just because the media has labelled allegations against me ...I am not going to come to India for a media trial,” he told India Today news channel from Saudi Arabia.

Naik also supported what he termed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to improve relations between Hindus and Muslims and between India and other Muslim countries.

“If PM Modi is trying to build harmony between Hindus and Muslims, I am all for it,” Naik said, adding that Modi is the only PM to have visited so many Muslim countries in such a short span of time.

Naik also questioned the use of term “Islamic State” to describe the terror group that has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria. He said the group was “Anti-Islamic State” as it kills innocent people, an act prohibited in Islam.

“The Quran says one who kills an innocent being, kills the entire humanity,” said Naik.

He claimed that he never supported terrorism, whether it was in Dhaka, London or New York.

Naik, who also runs Peace TV to broadcast his preachings around the world, said he was for a uniform civil code, provided it was fair.

“Let’s have an objective panel and chose the best code. I believe the Islamic code is the best. I will argue on behalf of Islam,” Naik told the channel.

The government has launched a crackdown on Peace TV, asking cable operators not to broadcast it as it does not have a license in India.

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