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Zakir Naik controversy is to create sectarian division among Muslims by the govt

Zakir Naik controversy is to create sectarian division among Muslims by the govt

Aazeen Kirmani

The controversy regarding Dr. Zakir Naik and him allegedly inspiring the Dhaka terrorists had its basis in a report published in a Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star.

While on the basis of that report the social media, mass media, Home Ministry, Information and Broadcasting Ministry and NIA were going berserk outdoing each other in a bid to demonise Dr. Naik, The Daily Star carried a rectification on its front page categorically stating that ‘it did not report that any terrorist was inspired by Zakir Naik to kill innocent people’.

With that disclaimer by The Daily Star a lot many institutions in India including at least three governmental, technically stand with their foot in their mouth now.

For all the Jumlas of good governance and development we have come to a point where government instruments are propelled into action at the behest of the rumour mill rather than on basis of solid evidence. (Who can forget that during the JNU row the Home Ministry had made official statements and conclusions on the basis of tweets from a fake twitter handle of Hafiz Saeed)

It is said that in a democracy people get what they deserve. Though I have not been able to find out exactly what we did, I guess we must have done something seriously terrible to deserve the kind of governments we have to endure one after the other.  Here I am not even talking about ideology or morality. I am talking about basic reason and rationality that should be the driving factor behind every individual and collective action of those who fall in the category of Homo sapiens.

If Dr.Zakir Naik preaches terror and inspire young men to kill innocent people why is it that out of millions of his followers only two have been inspired? Dr. Naik’s alleged role is further diluted by the fact that these men also went to schools and colleges, had friends and other social influences that must get due share of credit in making them who they ultimately became.

Also if Dr. Zakir Naik has been preaching terror and making terrorist for two decades or so, why did it take an attack in another country to wake up our agencies to this fact?

If Naik’s organization was violating FCRA norms and his Peace TV was running without licence since God knows how many years what the concerned departments were doing all this while?

And why was the ever alert and patriotic Times Now slumbering all this while?

Why this sudden display of prudence against Dr. Naik by every Tom, Dick and Harry?

I have followed Dr. Zakir Naik regularly and heard many of his speeches. I can say with full confidence that I am not a terrorist or a sympathiser of any terror outfit. By all means I am a peace loving patriotic Indian and I have not found my secular, patriotic and humanitarian values challenged by what I have heard from Dr. Zakir Naik so far. On the contrary I have found him more peace loving and patriotic than most Indians I know. He has publically advocated revival of Sanskrit which is something most Hindus don’t care about. He has also preached Hindu-Muslim unity in India in no uncertain terms on several occasions.

Preaching of terror cannot possible attract hundreds of non-Muslims to accept Islam which is a common occurrence at Dr. Naik’s public meetings.

If being followed by someone makes a person responsible for his/ her acts where does it place our Prime Minister who is followed by and in turn follows every hate mongering liar worth his name on Twitter?

By any stretch of imagination Dr. Naik cannot be termed as someone who motivates people to carry out terror attacks though he often places unnecessary emphasis on the literal meanings of words which are now being used against him. For example when he said that he urges every Muslim to be a terrorist he had gone on to explain that every Muslim should be a terrorist for anti-social elements.  The later part was conveniently ignored.

The word fundamentalist too was dealt likewise where he said that there is nothing wrong in being a fundamentalist- a scientist is also a fundamentalist of science.

Of course the people now tearing him apart can be trusted to jump at conclusion without ever bothering to hear full speeches and realising their spirit. Weren’t those hundreds of similar people who had reviewed Rana Ayyub’s Gujarat Files with one star on Amazon while only one of them had actually purchased the book!

While the right is demanding a ban on Zakir Naik the seculars are dismissing him as a senseless preacher full of trash. But more unfortunate than that is the opposition he is facing from the Barelvi and Shia sections of Muslims. The Deobandi-Barelvi rift has also given a stick in the hands right wing pseudo nationalists to beat 14% of India’s population (Muslims) with.

It would be pertinent here to mention the recent World Sufi conference which took place in New Delhi with government support and was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi. In 2002 under the government of Narendra Modi 3000 Muslims of Gujarat most of them Barelvis were butchered.The shrine of Sufi saint Wali Gujarati was razed to ground while Narendra Modi had gone on record stating that people should be allowed to vent their anger.

Clearly the purpose of supporting, inaugurating and attending a Sufi conference now was not a lost and found love for Sufism. On the contrary it was an opportunity to widen the rift between Barelvi and Deobandi sects and pit them against each other for the benefit of BJP.

In the conference Deoband was declared as “the epicentre of terrorism”. And all other schools like Wahabi (Ahl-e-Hadis), Deobandi, Jama’t-e-Islami and Tableeghi Jama’at too were said to be linked with terrorism. The conference propagated this false notion despite it being an established fact that every Muslim group and organisation in India has condemned terrorism and issued umpteen statements and fatwas to this effect. This unequivocal attitude by Indian Muslim community leaders is responsible for checking the terror menace among Indian Muslims. The organizers of the Sufi event who have taken sides with BJP impressed that they were the only faithful and patriotic group among the Muslims in India.

With the new strategy, the party may win some voters from among the Barelvi sub-community while defaming other Muslims as supporters of terrorism.

Observers see that the BJP is moving from Hindu-Muslim to Muslim-Muslim strife.

The present controversy against Dr. Zakir Naik is a small part of the larger plan of sectarian division among Muslim. The controversy makes perfect sense when seen in the light of upcoming state assembly elections.

Courtesy: Muslim Mirror