Zakir Naik pleads innocence, accuses media of ulterior motives

Mumbai: Pleading innocence that he never encouraged terrorism, controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on Friday alleged that the Indian media started trying him just because one of the Bangladesh newspapers reported that one of the terrorists involved in the Dhaka cafe attack was inspired by him.

“I am seeing that there is an India media cry on me just because a report came in one of the Bangladesh newspapers ‘The Daily Star’ that one of the terrorists who was involved in the attack was inspired by me, and the media trial started. On July 29, the newspaper corrected themselves that they never said that Dr Zakir inspired him and Dr Zakir did not inspire any terrorist to kill innocent people,” Naik told a press conference in Mumbai via Skype from Medina.

He said that his answers were altered and misguided people, adding those who did that shall be held responsible.

“Media for ulterior motives change meaning of my statements,” he said.

Naik said he condemns all terror attacks anywhere in world and will speak for hours if needed.

“Suicide bombings where innocents are killed is ‘haraam’. But as tactic of war it is permitted say many scholars,” said Naik, who began his press conference by condemning the France terror attack.

He said, “Verse 32 in Chapter 5 of the Quran says killing innocents is crime. No scripture other than the Quran says one innocent killed is killing of the humanity.”

“Knowingly I have never met any terrorist, but if some people stand next to me to take photographs, I smile. I don’t know who they are? I am a messenger of peace. I do not criticise any sect of Islam, I may disagree on interpretations,” he said.

Meanwhile, there was utter chaos during the press conference after Naik accused a reporter of Zee News of not having ‘tameez’ (discipline) after he posed a question to the controversial Islamic preacher.

He said he has replies to all allegations made on TV, adding they are available on pen drives for reporters.

“I challenge you to show me any unedited answer of mine where I have not condemned suicide bombing of the kind that is happening. Why are you relying on a doctored clip or an answer which is out of context? I challenge you to show my any unedited clip,” said Naik.

Naik claimed that no official or government authority has approached him with any question, adding that he has no problem with the Indian government or police so far.

“I will cooperate 100 percent with any government authority, which wants to speak with me,” he said.

He claimed that Peace TV had in 2008 applied for downlinking permission, which was denied by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

“The only reason I can think of why I&B Ministry had not given permission to Peace TV for downlinking in India is because it is a Muslim channel,” he added. (ANI)