Mumbai: Controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is under attack from all quarters over allegations of promoting terrorism, has denied any wrong doing on his part and welcomed any investigation against him.
Naik, who is the founder of Islamic Research Foundation, has been hogging the headlines after it was revealed that one of the five young militants, who slaughtered 20 innocent people at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka used to follow him.
“It is totally illogical to say that I promote terrorism. Not a single investigative agency says Dr Zakir Naik promotes terrorism. The Home Ministry is most welcome to go through all my speeches,” Naik said in a telephonic interview to a TV news channel.
“I inspire many people because I have a large following. These people might have been inspired by me but I don’t know them personally. I fear media and politicians because they might malign my image. There are people who are using my photographs and misquoting me to defame me. I welcome any investigation against me,” he added.
Naik also refuted that he ever said that all Muslims should be terrorists saying the video which allegedly showed him doing so was doctored.
The controversial preacher was reacting to reports from Bangladesh that two of the terrorists – Rohan Imtiaz and Nibras Islam – who hacked to death 20 people at Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant were inspired by him.
“I always preach no Muslim should terrorise anybody…Anyone who kills people, whether he is Muslim or non-Muslim, will go to hell,” Naik said.
On the context of his controversial speech on Osama Bin Laden, he said, “My speech on Osama Bin Laden made in Singapore was doctored. I never asked to support Osama Bin Laden. The video circulated (in social media) was doctored. I didn’t call Osama either a terrorist or a saint. I don’t even know him.”
On Wednesday, Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had said that investigating agencies were probing his speeches.
Meanwhile, protests broke out today outside Naik’s office in Mumbai.
The Mumbai Police has increased security outside his office.
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