Thiruvananthapuram: Coming out in support of Islamist preacher Zakir Naik, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP ET Mohammed Basheer, on Tuesday said the founder of Islamic Research Foundation is not a terrorist.
“Zakir Naik can’t be branded a terrorist, he is being targeted,” Basheer said.
Samajwadi Party Maharashtra unit chief Abu Azmi had earlier come out in support of Naik and sought to know why action was not taken for last 25 years if his speeches are inspiring terrorists, and called for a fair inquiry into the charges against him.
Besides the two political parties, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has also jumped in support of Naik.
Reports claim that Naik, who has been in news ever since it emerged that two of the Dhaka attack terrorists were inspired by him, has delayed his return to India amid probes by multiple agencies into his controversial activities.
Naik, 50, is at the centre of a storm with calls for imposing a ban on his TV for allegedly inflammatory speeches.
The Bharatiya Janata Pary-led government in Maharashtra has already ordered a probe into his teachings, speeches and literature. Its ally Shiv Sena has demanded stringent action under law at par with the treatment given to Hindu activists.
The Centre has indicated that Naik could face action if his speeches were found objectionable while the Indian Union Muslim League has come out in his support.
Bangladesh on Monday took his Peace TV off the air.
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