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If you can’t beat them, ban them: Indian Gov finally bans Dr Zakir Naik

Modi’s government in India has taken the predicted step of banning Dr Zakir Naik and his organisation from the country, it has now been reported. This includes the Islamic Research Foundation and linked organisations, involved in Islamic Da’wah and education, namely Peace TV. India has predictably taken a leaf out of its former colonial masters’ book by resorting to the exercise of force when unable to rationally counter someone’s otherwise lawful argument and discourse. Also predictably, as the following article from the Times of India shows, certain press agencies are playing a crucial role in the service of this exercising of force in manufacturing public opinion against this otherwise harmless individual.

Of course, Islam21c does not endorse the following hysterical propaganda but reproduces this for information purposes towards understanding the intersection of Islamophobia and state suppression of ideas, and how far its tentacles extend.

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday banned Islamic Research Foundation(IRF), the NGO of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik+ , as an ‘unlawful organisation’ for five years with immediate effect.

The ban has been enforced under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

TOI had earlier reported that the government intended to ban IRF+ citing Naik’s “objectionable and subversive” speeches, the criminal cases filed against him and other members of IRF in Mumbai and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra and Kerala, as well as his “dubious” links with Peace TV that allegedly features “communal” and “pro-jihad” content as grounds for such a ban.

An ‘unlawful’ association is different from a ‘terrorist’ organisation listed under UAPA. The law defines ‘unlawful association’ as any organisation “which has for its object any activity that is punishable under Section 153A or 153B of IPC” – provisions dealing with threat to social and communal harmony.

Declaration of IRF as ‘unlawful’ under Section 3 of the UAPA will force closure of its offices and interests across the country.

According to sources in the home ministry, there was a solid case+ for proscribing IRF based on inputs and material shared by the Maharashtra government and the central intelligence agencies.

There are FIRs against Naik and other IRF members under Section 153A and 153B of IPC in 2 police stations of Mumbai, 1 in Kerala and two in Sindhudurg. There are several of Naik’s speeches compiled by Intelligence Bureau (IB) including where he extolls Osama bin Laden, claiming that 80% of Indians had not been Hindus as Muslims could have converted them “if we wanted” by sword, justifies suicide bombings, claims Golden Temple may not be sacred as Mecca and makes objectionable comments against Hindu gods. Most of these speeches form the content on Peace TV, a part of which was put together by Mumbai-based Harmony Media Pvt Ltd that once had Naik and his wife as directors. Large money transfers have been detected from UK-based charity IRF International, run by Naik to Harmony Media.

As per the Cabinet note proposing action against IRF, which incorporated legal opinion favouring a ban on the NGO for disturbing communal harmony and attempting forced conversions, Zakir Naik+ has been promoting enmity between religious groups and inspiring Muslim youth in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.

“Such divisive ideology is against India’s pluralistic and secular social fabric and it may be viewed as causing disaffection against India and thereby making it an unlawful activity,” states the draft Cabinet note accessed earlier by TOI. “If urgent steps are not taken (to ban IRF), there is every possibility of more youth being motivated and radicalised to commit terrorist acts,” it warns.

The NIA is also examining the option of slapping terror charges against Naik, based on testimonies of around 50 terror accused and convicts lodged in various jails, stating that they were motivated by his speeches to take up jihad.

Naik came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.

The Islamic orator is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.

He had been popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects. The Mumbai-based preacher has not returned to India ever since the controversy erupted.


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  1. All said with prejudice ;

    His mentor; Ahmed Deedat was much better and less controversial. ZN is poles apart compared to AD. AD wasn’t in the business of creating divisions…he wanted to build bridges that encouraged love and friendship, however ZN seems to be a totally different proposition; he’s too close to British imposed Saudi views on Islam rather then Mohammedian approach to making Islam accessible to all; see last sermon.

    All in all ZN creates divide and hostility towards fellow Muslims and fellow man. This guy needs to be reigned in as he could start a fire with his rhetoric.

  2. If a non-muslim in a muslim country says that Islam is false because 2+2=3 then will muslims accept and treat this as tolerant and peaceful speech?? Why has no “credible” non-muslim converted to Islam because of Zakir Naik?? he has only influenced poor and illiterate people..His logic and rationale does not make sense to intellectuals in the Western world in USA, UK, etc. who have some of the best universities in the world, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, etc..why is this??

    He is banned from UK as Theresa May, the PM of UK said that he was not conducive to the public..is she an illiterate person? Zakir Naik said that because they are against Islam that is why he is banned..Is this not a childish response? He has not condemned Bin Laden, mainly due to Z.N’s role model being Ahmed Deedat who had been heavily financed by Bin Laden himself, is this not hypocrisy? He says that he has not met Bin Laden so he cannot comment on him yet he calls George Bush a terrorist, has he met Bush? Can you see logic now? Please take out your muslim glasses once a while and think diplomatically..

    • What a stupendously thick presumption. All you have to do is watch one of this man’s lectures to find the queue of professionals challenging him and agreeing with his propositions—propositions which are of course perfectly warranted since all the attacks are ad hominem and other fallacies, not actually dealing with issues.

      You’er right about one thing, though. The arguments that ‘Islam is false’ are indeed analogous to 2+2=3 as you (ironically) accidentally let slip! haha

  3. amazing how a man can be hated so much, for..
    enlightening so many millions.
    myself for one,
    can wholeheartedly say he is one of the many miracles of the Almighty on earth.
    strange how salman rushdie (satanic verses), ayatollah khomenei death sentenced, is born in the same state as zakir naik (maybe city too); but so different. i just found out a day or two ago so need to read up further.

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