Zakir Naik, has come under the scanner after reports of one of the young militants of the Dhaka attack having been inspired by the Islamic scholar surfaced.
However Naik, the Mumbai-based founder of Islamic Research Foundation, has condemned the attack and said that the term Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS) is actually “un-Islamic”, reported Indian Express.
“By using the name Islamic State, we are condemning Islam… They are the anti-Islamic state of Iraq and Syria that has killed innocent foreigners. The name is given by enemies of Islam.” said Zakir Naik.
Zakir Naik reaffirmed that he did not endorse the militant's methods. He said that though a lot of people come close to Islam because of him, these people then listen to other speakers, including those, who in the name of Islam, misguide thousands.
"My speeches on Islam and terror are being taken out of context", said Naik in an interview with CNNNews18.
Naik defended himself saying that he never propagated or supported killing of innocent non-Muslims. He lamented of having been misquoted time and time again.
Regarding the Dhaka attackers being inspired by his teachings, Zakir Naik said that he was not shocked that they knew him, reported India Today.
Zakir Naik also claimed to have never supported Osama. The video of Zakir Naik's speech on Osama in Singapore too, Naik said was doctored, as reported by CNNNews18.
Naik also declared that when a person kills someone, 'it is as though he has killed the whole of humanity'.
The government on Wednesday indicated taking action against Naik.
"Zakir Naik's speech is a matter of concern for us. Our agencies are working on this. But as a minister, I will not comment what action will be taken," Minister of State for HomeAffairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters.
Rijiju said India has good relations and a mutual understanding with Bangladesh, especially in the matter of co-operation on fighting terrorism. "Terror can be defeated only through close coordination and by fighting together (against it)," he said.
Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star had reported that militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik. Zakir Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists".
Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is one among the 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. Zakir Naik is also hugely popular in Bangladesh through Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said.
Another Dhaka attacker Nibras Islam used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of Islamic State — Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness — on Twitter in 2014.
Shami Witness is the Twitter account of 24-year-old Mehdi Biswas, who is facing trial in India for running propaganda for terror group Islamic State (IS). He was arrested in December 2014 following an investigation into his Twitter account, which was last active in August 2014.
Biswas was charged with operating the "single most influential pro-ISIS Twitter account". Choudary, a Pakistan-origin British citizen, is now facing a trial in England for breaking the British anti-terrorism law. His Twitter account turned inactive since August 2015 after terror charges were brought against him.
With inputs from agencies.
First Published On : Jul 6, 2016 17:20 IST