After reports that his speeches inspired the terrorists who attacked the Dhaka restaurant recently that left 20 people dead, Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on Wednesday said he had never said that all Muslim should be terrorist.
Facing backlash for defending Osama Bin Laden in one of his speeches, Naik said the video of the speech was doctored.
“No Muslim should terrorise human being. I was misquoted earlier. I only said Muslim should be terrorists to anti-social elements. Video of my speech on Osama is doctored,” said Naik in an exclusive interview to News18.
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Speaking to The Indian Express on July 5, Naik had said, “I have said that the Quran explicitly says in Chapter 5 that when a person kills another human being, of any religion, it is as though he has killed the whole of humanity. And when a man protects another from being killed, it is as though he has saved all of humanity… Why does the media give only half of my quote? I have said that for a thief, a policeman is a terrorist. And people should be terrorists against anti-social elements. The media misrepresents what I said, so i stopped saying this at my lectures.”
On being asked about defending Osama, Naik said, “I don’t know him. How can they say I am supporting him when I simply say I cannot comment on him because I don’t know him and I have not done any research on him. The Quran does not allow me to speak about a third person regarding whom I have done no research or study.”
Regarding calls in various countries to ban him, Naik said some Hindu “fanatics” are behind such calls. He said that a quarter of his followers on Facebook as well as attendees at his lectures comprise non-Muslims. At lectures, he said, non-Muslims are encouraged to be the first to ask questions. “When I have clarified their doubts, these non-Muslims have a positive view of Islam, and this threatens the fanatics,” he said.