Finding reasons to put bans on famous Muslim speakers, India has once again pulled Zakir Naik into a matter that even he did not know he was related to. Maharashtra state government has already passed orders against him. They are asking Zakir Naik to be investigated and all his content based on news that ran on Bangladeshi TV channels. According to these TV channels one of the attackers involved in the attack on Dhaka café was impressed by Dr. Zakir Naik and so Dr. Zakir Naik has to have a connection with the attacks.
It is funny because so many of the people who commit crimes and happen to have Facebook accounts follow so many different channels, communities, celebrities etc. and these people are never investigated.
There was an attacker named Rohan Imtiaz, who according to Bengali media was urging others to become terrorists. He was asking others to be terrorists and quoting one of the speeches made by Zakir Naik in the past for other people to take as a reference. He tried to run this campaign on Facebook and that’s where the Bengali news channels received all the information from.
Now, after the orders of probing Naik have been passed, his content will be looked into in deep details. His property will be investigated and the authorities will be after the sources of his funding too. Police has also taken it so far that they held their positions outside the Islamic Research Foundation, the foundation started by Dr. Zakir Naik. The police authorities claim that this is only for safety measures
Dr. Zakir Naik has also responded to the sudden surge of criticism and media pursuit against him. He said clearly that he had never condoned terrorism or acts of terror in his speeches. He said that people follow big personalities and celebrities but you can’t blame those celebrities and the people they follow for their actions. He responded to all the chaos in the country through a WhatsApp video. He even challenged that no one can find any instance where he had condoned terrorism or killing of innocent lives so the talks about him being an inspiration for a terrorist are just wrong.
Dr. Zakir Naik is a great figure and putting a ban on him can cause a lot of trouble in India. He has his own channel called Peace TV that has been watched by millions of Muslims around the world for 10 years now. He is also the president of Islamic Research Foundation. He has received several awards for his service of Islam from various Muslim countries such as Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
As for non-Muslim countries, they have not liked him much since his recognition. England had completely banned him from entering their country because they thought his behavior was not acceptable on many occasions in his speeches. Furthermore, he could not deliver a speech in Canada too in the same year when he was banned from entering England.
While this puts Zakir Naik under a lot of pressure, India as a whole is also in trouble for its own policies. Media experts have always thought that India does not have a clear stance on freedom of speech and freedom of expression. They keep going back and forth on their decisions.
They often let extremist Hindus like Baal Thaakrey speak their minds against other countries and religions but put bans on people like Zakir Naik for their peaceful speeches. Oftentimes Indian media people want Zakir Naik to be banned in the country based on the fact that there are some countries that don’t let him come in them.
This argument is also quite baseless but it is used quite often in the media to prevent him from speaking freely in the country. If you go in the past you will find out that even the most recent Indian Prime Minister, Modi, was also banned from entering America. The media has never said that he should not be allowed to speak just because he was banned from entering another country. It has to be seen now if India will really stick with its so-called liberalism or act narrow-minded to ban people for things they have not done.