LIVE: Zakir Naik breaks his silence on Skype, says he is messenger of peace

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LIVE: Zakir Naik breaks his silence on Skype, says he is messenger of peace
  • 13:29 (IST)

    Many Indian Muslims have denounced Zakir Naik's speeches

    Earlier this week, many senior members of Mumbai’s Muslim community and clerics held a media briefing denouncing Zakir Naik's speeches and distancing from his religious ideas.

    Except a handful of people who went to the streets in Kashmir shouting slogans in favour of Zakir Naik and the likes of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader, Asaduddin Owaisi and Kerala’s Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Naik doesn’t have any support from his own community, for that matter, even his own neighborhood.

    As Firstpost writer Dinesh Unnikrishnan points out in this piece, "No one wants to associate with the preacher, who has been allegedly advocating the sole supremacy of Islam over other religions. Naik often connects the lines in different religious scriptures with his enchanting memory skills to come to his final point. Why Islam is one true religion and the rest aren’t and why Muslims should fight against the ‘enemies of Islam’. Such speeches have allegedly inspired Islamic State terrorists who perpetrated the attack in the upscale Dhaka cafe and even youth in India to join the terror outfit." Read full article here

  • 13:22 (IST)

    Zakir Naik  has earlier condemned homosexuality as "haraam". He has also called for death penalty for those indulging in homosexual acts.

  • 13:08 (IST)

    While the world condemned Osama and the 9/11 attacks, he chose to blame the US instead. However, Zakir Naik says he has been misquoted.

  • 13:07 (IST)

    'Every Muslim should be a terrorist': Zakir Naik had said

    Zakir Naik is in the eye of a storm after investigation agencies found two of the terrorists killed in the Dhaka terror attack had been influenced by the Mumbai-based Islamic preacher. Indian investigation agencies have been examining his speeches for any potential threat to national security.

    However, Naik, who is the founder of Dubai-based Peace TV, is not new to controversies. In the past too, he has made many a statement during his sermons that created quite a flutter in India and across the world. His controversial speeches also led to him being banned from entering the United Kingdom. Sample this:

  • 13:03 (IST)

    Why Islamic scholars can dismantle influence of extremist theology

    Friday's address of Zakir Naik was the fourth attempt to speak with the media. Previously, he cancelled the media briefing three times. It came as a surprise to many who have viewed him fiercely debating with the leaders of other faiths, loudly proclaiming numerous supremacist and incendiary statements.

    The controversial Salafist preacher, who is currently on a lecture tour in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Africa addressing large Muslim gatherings, was supposed to appear in front of the media in Mumbai via video-conference, after the IRF managed to get a venue on Wednesday. But the supporters and the official spokespersons of the IRF maintain that they are not getting any venue to address the media in Mumbai. “At least four venues, including three five-star hotels and the World Trade Centre (WTC), had declined permission for conducting his press conference via Skype,” they told the media.

    As Sreemoy Talukdar of Firstpost argues: "Moreover, one wonders why Naik hasn't come for a direct interaction with the media and several scholars who have critiqued his flawed understanding of Islam. He insists on speaking only in his own press conference organised by the IRF, as his expertise lies only in his pre-planned and well-worked-out public speaking. Is it his 'unwillingness' or 'inability' to face the Indian media, journalists and the well-established classical Islamic scholars asking him direct straightforward questions?" Read the full article here

  • 12:57 (IST)

    Naik on fatwas against him, "I do not criticise any sect of Islam, I may disagree on interpretations."

  • 12:57 (IST)

    Knowingly, haven't met terroritst: Naik

    Ban can only be if a country has given downlinking permission. When India hasn't given the permit, then how can they ban the channel? No government official authority has approached us with any question. So far, I have had no problem with Indian govt or the police. Knowingly, I have never met any terrorist, but if some people stand next to me and take photographs, I smile. I dont know who they are," Zakir Naik

    Naik added: "I am a messenger of peace."

  • 12:49 (IST)

    Zakir Naik said: 

    "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. Chapter 5,verse 32 Quran says killing innocents is crime. No scripture othr than Quran says killing innocent people is killing humanity."

  • 12:47 (IST)

    Commotion during presscon after Naik accuses reporter of not having 'tameez'

  • 12:47 (IST)

    One of the slain attackers of the terrorist attack in Dhaka's high-security Gulshan area, the 22-year-old Rohan Imtiaz quoted Naik in a Facebook post in January this year where he urged "all Muslims to be terrorists". Twenty-two people were killed in the brutal late-night attack. Six days later, militants attacked police guarding the largest Eid gathering in Bangladesh and killed three more people.

    The activities of Naik's Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation are also under the scanner of Indian Home Ministry amid allegations that funds from abroad received by it have been spent on political activities and inspiring people towards radical views.

  • 12:40 (IST)

    I am a messenger of peace: Naik

    "I did not inspire the Dhaka attack terrorists. Newspaper which blamed me for Dhaka attack later corrected itself and exonerated me. My statements were taken out of context. Media for ulterior motives change meaning of my statements. My answers are altered and misguide people. Those who do that should be held responsible."

    Zakir Naik says he has replies to all allegations made on TV and they are on pen drives for reporters. "I condemn all terror attacks anywhere in the world, will speak for hours if needed. This is misinformation that I have advocated people to kill. I am a messenger of peace."

  • 12:37 (IST)

    "My answers are altered and used to misguide people. Those who do that should be held responsible"

  • 12:31 (IST)

    Zakir Naik condemns Nice Attacks

    The radical televangelist Zakir Naik began his address on Friday by condemning the attack in Nice, which killed 84 people on Friday. 

    The Peace TV owner dodged most of the tricky questions posed by journalists in Mumbai. However, when asked to explain his stand on suicide bombers, Naik said, suicide attack in war at behest of commander is justified.

  • 12:25 (IST)

    According to Zakir Naik, he is being targetted because he runs an Islamic channel. "There is a media trial against me in India. Media has twisted my statements and presented it out of context," Naik added. Naik also attacked the Union government for banning his Peace TV.

  • 12:19 (IST)

    Presenting his defence to the media, Naik said:

    I have been giving lectures for 25 years, never encouraged terrorism. Newspaper which blamed me for Dhaka Attack later corrected itself and exonerated me."

  • 12:17 (IST)

    Controversial televangelist Zakir Naik finally broke silence and addressed the media via Skype

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, facing the heat over allegations of inspiring some of the attackers in Dhaka through his speeches, addressed the media via Skype on Friday. Naik had previously cancelled his press briefing thrice, citing pressure from the authorities at the venue where he was slated to interact with the media.

He was slated to interact with media via Skype on Thursday, and arrangements had been made at a small hall in South Mumbai. However, it appears that the management of the hall has now withdrawn its support.

Zakir-Naik_reuters380"The management of the Mehfil hall in Agripada told our team present at the venue around 11 PM on Wednesday night that they cannot allow the press conference to take place and that we should dismantle and pack up all the venue arrangements we had made. Given no choice, our teams dismantled everything and left around midnight," an aide of Naik said in a statement.

Naik's media interaction was first scheduled earlier this week at the Trident Hotel in South Mumbai, but the venue was subsequently changed to the World Trade Centre. The venue was changed again and a hall in the congested Agripada area of South Mumbai was then chosen for the press briefing. But it now appears this has also been cancelled now.

The organisers of the press briefing had claimed on Wednesday that the Mumbai police have instructed top hotels in the city to refrain from providing space to hold a conference, a charge which they later retracted.

Facing heat over allegations of inspiring the Dhaka attackers through his speeches and under the scanner of state and central agencies, Naik was expected to clarify his position during the media interaction. There were media reports that "provocative" speeches had inspired some of the terrorists who carried out Bangladesh's worst terror attack at a cafe in Dhaka that left 22 dead.

A top Home department official in Maharashtra had earlier said that a report on Naik would be submitted to the state government before the commencement of the Monsoon Session of the state legislature, which starts on 18 July.

"Contrary to media reports, Zakir Naik has not been given a clean chit by the the Mumbai police. All angles are being probed and a report will be submitted to the government before the Monsoon Session of the state legislature," a senior government official had told PTI requesting anonymity.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 15, 2016 13:29 PM

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