Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is under the scanner of probe agencies for allegedly fuelling hatred through speeches, has slammed the Indian media for ‘publishing and broadcasting false news’ against him.
Naik, who is currently staying in Malaysia as a permanent resident, posted a video on Facebook on Friday in which he said, “I would like to thank television channels and newspapers for publishing false news against me. Two days ago, on July 4, 2018, most of the Indian newspapers and channels published and broadcasted that Dr Zakir Naik has been arrested in Malaysia and he is going to be deported the same day. With no doubt, it was proven to be fake news.”
“…. This is how they sensationalise the issue and make the viewer believe that it is a fact. Today, it has been proved that it (the news) was totally baseless and false. This is what Indian media has been doing against me for the last two years. On July 4, it was exactly two years since they started hounding me.”
While referring to a case in which a Bangladeshi local allegedly published a piece of ‘fake’ news against the Islamic preacher but later retracted its statements, Naik, who is the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), said, “On July 1, 2016, there was a terrorist attack in Dhaka where more than 20 people were killed. One newspaper in Dhaka, it printed an article which said that one of the terrorists killed has been influenced by Dr Zakir Naik. The following day, all the other newspapers and channels started speaking against me. While the newspaper which first published the allegation retracted the information, the Indian media did not and kept hounding me for two years.”
“Why the Indian media is after me – whether for money, TRP or vote – I have no idea. Most of the articles published against me in the last two years were fake and out of context. Very soon, it will be proved that it had no basis and was false,” he added.
Citing the Quran, Naik said, “In the Quran, Allah says that whenever you get information, you pass it on for checking to another person. I request the viewers and readers to do the same.”
On Friday, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Zakir Naik will not be deported to India. Addressing a press conference, Mohamad said Naik would not be sent back as long as he was not creating any problem in the country, reported news agency AFP.
Naik left India in 2016 for Malaysia where he was granted permanent residency. He is wanted in India for allegedly conducting terror-related activities and giving hate speeches.
“As long as he is not creating any problem, we will not deport him because he has been given permanent residency status,” Mahathir was quoted as saying by AFP.
India, on the other hand, has made a formal request for the extradition of Naik. India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the country’s request is under ‘active consideration’.