Chennai: Amid of growing demand for strict action against the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik Several Muslim outfits, including from Social Democratic Party of India, protested in his support in Chennai on Saturday and criticized the Centre and the Maharashtra government for trying to curb his voice.
They said that the launch of a probe against Naik was against the Constitution.
They said. “Don’t distort Article 25 of the Constitution,” the protesters said Article 25 provides one the right to profess, practise and propagate religion and it should not be infringed upon.
The protesters include women who displayed placards saying, “Dont distort the Constitution.” By raising slogans like “Don’t insult a world preacher,” “We support Zakir Naik,” and also displayed placards blaming the BJP -led Centre for “religious intolerance and prejudice.”
Zakir Naik, who is the subject of multiple inquiries in India over allegedly incendiary speeches, is now in Saudi Arabia,
He said in a Skype press conference on Friday that. “I am not running away”. He said that it was always his intent to spend most of this year abroad, and insisted that so far, no Indian official or agency has contacted him with queries.
Talking to media person in Mumbai via Skype from Medina,the Islamic preacher said it was “misinformation” that he had supported suicide bombings, asserting that he has always condemned them since innocent people get killed and it is “anti-Islam”.
“My statements were taken out of context… I am a messenger of peace,” he said, declining the allegation that his speeches have provoked terror.