Zakir Naik issues statement on terrorism

NEW DELHI: Dr. Zakir Naik, who is currently staying in Malaysia on Wednesday claimed that he had never promoted terror in his 25 years of lecturing on “Islam and peace” and has always encourage communal peace and harmony.

In the statement issued here through his spokesperson, the Mumbai-born televangelist said, “Over the last few years, thousands of ‘news’ articles, YouTube videos and social media posts have attributed to me appalling statements that I did not make. Often these lies come in the form of images displaying a message alongside a photograph of me. To anybody who does not want Islam to be presented as a religion of peace, this is a quick and dirty way to discredit the faith,” Naik said, reported ABP news.

“I implore anybody who comes across such material to verify it before jumping to conclusions. Because the simple truth is that any statement ascribed to me that is against humanity is a fabricated statement. Time and time again, I have reiterated that a Muslim cannot be a good Muslim unless he is a good human being.”

He further added, “In fact, not a single lecture out of the thousands that I have delivered has ever received objections from non-Muslims in India until in September 2012, when a group of religious fanatics sought to tarnish my image.”

52-year-old Naik also thanked Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia for allowing him to stay in the country despite several efforts made by India.

“I thank the Malaysian government for examining the issue from an unbiased perspective, and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his decision to allow me to stay here, as long as I continue to abide by the law and support the peace and harmony of this country.

“This decision reaffirms my faith in Malaysia’s justice and communal harmony, and is a testimony to the success of the multiracial diversity of this country. I am humbled to be a part of this diversity, and I also acknowledge the sensitivities it entails. I would never wish to disrupt or jeopardize this balance in any way, or to break the rule of law of this country, because it is my primary concern to foster the social harmony currently enjoyed by its citizens,” reported ABP news.

Last week the Malaysian Prime Minister confirmed that Dr. Naik will not be deported to India.

Mahathir’s statement came two days after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the extradition request of Naik made by India is under active consideration by the Malaysian government.

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He came under the lens of security agencies after some militants, allegedly involved in the attack on a cafe in Dhaka in July 2016, reportedly claimed they were inspired by his speeches.