This is a Press Statement by Mission Possible for Justice & Rights
Dr. Zakir Naik is a world-renowned Indian Islamic scholar and speaker, who is a doctor by education. For more than two decades now, Dr.Naik has been delivering lectures and holding debates with numerous high-ranking figures of various faiths across the world from the likes of Dr. William F. Campbell, Pastor Ruknuddin, Prof Rashmi Zaveri and more.
In his speeches and debates, which are available on the internet, he mainly talks about comparative religion. He makes sure he brings forward exact quotations of the prominent religious scriptures of various faiths as an attempt to put forth commonalities and bridge gaps between communities.
With regards to the topic of terrorism, he has delivered various lectures, answered various questions on stage, and also his written material is available on this topic. He has explicitly put forward the Islamic point of view with regards to terrorism and he has always quoted the Quran mentioning “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Qur’an, 5:32).
When questioned about ISIS, he has stated many times that ISIS is ‘un-Islamic’ and has called the terror group as enemies of Islam. He has in fact gone a step ahead to call them NISIS – Non-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Doesn’t this give a clear view of what his thoughts are with regards to ISIS.
However, it is surprising that the Indian media is targeting someone like Dr. Zakir Naik and misleading the general masses of this country that Dr. Naik is a hatemonger, and is running a media trial against him.
Following the tragic attack in Dhaka, on 1st July 2016, against innocent civilians by a group of young men, allegedly affiliated to the terror group ISIS, reports have started to appear in Indian newspapers, which deliberately attempt to link Islamic Scholar Dr. Zakir Naik to the attackers.
Our question to media organisations in this country, who are deliberately concocting a public opinion and making a case against him, is how can a man, who denounces terrorism, be responsible for such heinous terror attacks?
What proof, do these media houses have against him?
Media reports claim that one of the Dhaka terrorists had shared Dr. Naik’s quote on his Facebook page, and have based their entire argument against Dr. Naik around that one statement. (Refer: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/government-hints-action-against-islamic-preacher-zakir-naik-for-hate-speech/articleshow/53080185.cms)
This is Dr. Zakir Naik’s quote:
“A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly, every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits, and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact, a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent people.”
How can this statement, inspire a terrorist attack? Can any sane person believe in such claims made by the media?
In fact, Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper, which first reported that the attacker had shared Dr. Naik’s statement, has refuted Indian Media’s coverage, clarifying that Dr. Naik did not inspire the terrorists.
This is what the Daily Star said: “The Daily Star categorically denies this allegation and wants to say it did not report that any terrorist was inspired by Zakir Naik to kill innocent people.” (Refer: http://www.thedailystar.net/dhaka-attack/the-daily-star-protests-dr-naiks-claims-1251064)
Arnab Goswami in his NewsHour program on TimesNow said that Dr. Naik should be banned because he says Islam is the only true religion. Yes, Dr. Naik says that. Every Muslim believes that Islam is the only true religion, just like the practitioners of every other religion, believe what they follow is true. (Refer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPtc61n-n9g)
He also claimed that “it has been proved that Zakir Naik inspired the terrorist strike in Dhaka,” without bothering to check how it had been proved.
How can someone’s statement, which does not remotely incite violence in any shape or form inspire a terrorist attack?
It has been reported that one of the attackers, was an admirer of Bollywood actress, Shraddha Kapoor. Does that mean, Shraddha Kapoor inspired him to carry out the horrible massacre?
Media’s arguments against Dr. Naik are absurd.
The media is also pitting Muslims against each other, by quoting internal fatwas against Dr. Naik arguing that Muslims are themselves against him. The Darul Uloom Deoband has slammed the media for ‘deliberately highlighting’ such fatwas and said that associating Dr. Naik to terrorism is wrong. (Refer: http://www.jantakareporter.com/india/deoband-objects-indian-media-quoting-fatwa-zakir-naik-says-wrong-objectionable/50301)
Dr. Zakir Naik has never said anything, which goes against the Constitution of India, in any of his speeches. Practicing and propagating one’s religion in a peaceful manner is a right every citizen of this country enjoys and that’s what Dr. Naik has been doing for more than 20 years now.