Zakir Naik to Interpol: I am targeted for being Muslim, never support Jihad

NEW DELHI: Televangelist Zakir Naik has contested NIA’s request to Interpol for a red-corner notice, the Times of India reported.

The Mumbai-based preacher who is currently abroad has alleged that the case against him is linked to “religious persecution of minorities in India”.

According to sources told TOI, Naik, in his plea to Interpol, has submitted that for the past 25 years, he had been delivering speeches and lectures on Islam across multiple countries and was respected and welcomed in these countries.

Zakir Naik, who has been accused of spreading hatred by his provocative speeches said that the lectures had only promoted peace and nowhere they incite Muslim to commit terrorist acts nor it support terror or Jihad.

In his report,  a medical doctor-turned preacher has alleged that Indian agencies unfairly targeting him because he was a Muslim.

They banned his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and prevented him from delivering speeches on Islam, thereby violating his freedom of expression.

In his plea,  the 51-year-old televangelist also cited that Indian prisons were in “poor condition” and there were “human rights violations”. He would be subjected to any abuse if he were to be sent to an Indian jail.

NIA had in May, approached Interpol to issue red-corner notice against him which ensures that Naik will be officially declared an international fugitive, and can be arrested by any law enforcing agency.

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Naik, whose passport was revoked earlier in July, is being probed for charges related to terror and money laundering.

Naik, who left India on July 1, 2016, came under the lens of security agencies after some terrorists allegedly involved in the attack on a cafe in Dhaka in July last year reportedly claimed they were inspired by his speeches.

The NIA had on November 18, 2016, registered a case against Naik at its Mumbai branch under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

With PTI inputs