Mumbai: Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is “defamed” because he is bringing people from various faiths to Islam, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi today said while demanding a ban on Sanatan Sanstha for “causing terror” in lives of secular-minded individuals.
Naik is under scanner following reports that his alleged “provocative” speeches had inspired some of the militants who carried out Bangladesh’s worst terror attack in a cafe in capital Dhaka on July 1.
“Zakir Naik is being defamed by those who are jealous of his work of bringing people from various religions under the ambit of Islam through constitutional and peaceful way of delivering sermons,” Azmi, who heads state unit of SP, told reporters.
Questioning lack of action against Naik so far if he was indeed inspiring terrorists, Azmi said, “Naik has been a preacher for around 25 years now. If he has been inspiring terrorists, why was no action taken against him for so long?…There should be an inquiry, conducted by a retired Supreme Court judge to prove that he can never do anything of this sort. But, this media trial against him should stop.”
Demanding ban on Sanatan Sanstha as the CBI has named its followers in the murder cases of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi, Azmi clarified that he was not opposing any probe against Naik.
“…While there should be a thorough investigation into Zakir Naik’s speeches, fundings for Islamic Research Foundation, the Centre should first immediately ban Sanatan Sanstha because their members have been named by the CBI for being involved in the killing of those who opposed their way of Hinduism. The organisation is causing terror in lives of secular minded individuals,” he said.
Seeking “justice” for Naik, the SP leader said, “Let the inquiry be conducted by a non-Muslim judge like Justice Srikrishna or Rajindar Sachar or another retired judge of the Supreme Court.