Amid Zakir Naik row, PM Modi says ‘preachers of hate’ threatening society’s fabric

Nairobi (Kenya): Amid the escalating row over controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for the need to counter radicalisation as ‘preachers of hate and violence’ are threatening the fabric of society.
Addressing students at the University of Nairobi here, Prime Minister Modi warned the students present to be watchful of those who spread radical ideologies.

“We live in a world where preachers of hate and violence are threatening the fabric of our society. As young dynamic citizens of Kenya and as members of the African society, you would need to be watchful of those who spread radical ideologies. And, be equally condemning of those who give shelter to terrorists and use them as political instruments,” he said.

He further asserted that the youth can also play an important role in building a counter narrative to extremist’s ideologies.

Meanwhile, with the Indian Government launching a massive investigation against him and facing flak from all quarters, Zakir Naik has said that he has been misquoted by the media as most of the clips shown on the television and his print statements are either out of context or doctored.

Issuing a statement, Naik expressed shock at the ‘media trial on him regarding the recent terrorist attack that took place in Dhaka.’

“According to me, the media is the most important weapon in the world. It can convert a hero into villain or even a villain into a hero. I’m shocked at the media trial on me regarding the recent terrorist attack that took place in Dhaka Bangladesh on 1st July 2016. Most of the clips shown on the television of myself are either out of context, half statements or doctored. So are my statements in the print media,” he said.

“I would have loved to give interviews whether for television channels or for the print media, but I fear that most of them will not publish it unedited or without twisting it. I came to this conclusion after I had given a few interviews, most of which were unfortunately mutilated and mis-utilised to serve the vested agenda of the channel or the newspaper,” the statement added.

The preacher further said that if time permits then he would give replies to some of the major allegations on video and give it to the media as well as put it up on social media as well as other public platforms so that the original answers are also available if the media mis-utilises it.

“So far not a single official Indian government agency has contacted me for any clarification regarding this issue. It would be my pleasure to cooperate with any official Indian government investigation agency for any information they might require from me,” he said.

He also reiterated what according to him he has always maintained-“I do not support terrorism or violence in any form whatsoever.I have never supported any terrorist organisations and have mentioned this over and over again in thousands of my public talks worldwide. I strongly condemn anyone taking my statements out of context and using it for violence of any form.”

Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, 51, is an Islamic preacher, who founded the Islamic Research Foundation in 1991 when he started Dawah or religious preaching.

His lectures mostly revolve around how Islam is superior to all other faiths. While he claims to be an advocate of interfaith dialogue, his preaching’s’ reinforce all the stereotypes which exist against Muslims.

Earlier, following the Centre’s tough stand on Zakir Naik’s controversial comments on terrorism, nine teams from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other agencies began scanning the former’s activities, while special teams scanned every footage of his speeches.

Sources stated that Naik may be banned soon and the Centre has sought fresh legal opinion regarding the controversial preacher.

The government is most likely gearing up to make a strong legal case against Naik. (ANI)