Delhi: Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is under scanner for his ‘controversial’ speeches and writings, said on Monday that so far not a single official Indian government has contacted him for any clarification regarding the issue.
He also said, “Would be my pleasure to cooperate with any official Indian government investigation agency for any information they might require from me,” and maintained, “I do not support terrorism or violence in any form whatsoever. I have never supported any terrorist organisations.”
“I strongly condemn anyone taking my statements out of context and using it for violence of any form,” he pointed out.
At the same time, he said, “If time permits in next few days I will give replies to some of the major allegations on video and give it to the media as well.”
Meanwhile, Naik, who was expected back in India today from Saudi Arabia, is unlikely to return to the country for another two to three weeks as he is planning to visit some African countries for public speeches.
Naik also cancelled his press conference planned through skype for tomorrow on the allegations of inspiring militants through his speeches, an aide of the preacher said today.
“Dr Zakir Naik was never supposed to be physically present for the media briefing that was to take place on Tuesday. He had decided that he will address the media through Skype and answer all queries that media persons may have had,” he said, as per PTI.
“His (Naik’s) travel schedule had been made long back. After performing Umrah, he is scheduled to travel to Jeddah from where he will visit Africa for his public talks scheduled there. He is therefore not expected in the country for another 2-3 weeks at least,” he added.
On the other hand, Bangladesh today cancelled downlink permission for Naik’s ‘Peace TV’, a day after it banned the channel over reports that his ‘provocative’ speeches encouraged some of the militants to unleash the worst terror attack in the Muslim-majority nation.
Reports from Bangladesh said that cable operators have begun stopping broadcast of the channel throughout the country after the government order.
The doctor-turned televangelist is facing heat in India and Bangladesh after it emerged that Naik’s speeches goaded some of the militants who stormed the upmarket cafe in Dhaka’s diplomatic area on July 1, triggering to a hostage-situation.
Rohan Imtiaz, one of the young terrorists who carried out the attack on the cafe, had quoted Naik in a Facebook post in January where he urged “all Muslims to be terrorists”.
Twenty two people, including 9 Italians, 7 Japanese, and an Indian girl, were hacked to death in the brutal attack.
‘Peace TV’ was launched by Naik’s Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation in 2006. An Urdu version was launched in 2009, followed by a Bangla version in 2011. The contents in English, Urdu and Bangla are telecast from Dubai.
Britain and Canada have banned Naik from visiting the two countries several years ago while Malaysia banned his lectures fearing that they could instigate inter-racial tensions.
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