Thiruvananthapuram: MM Akbar who is widely known as Kerala Zakir Naik has been granted bail by a district sessions court in Ernakulam Two weeks ago. Akbar who runs a chain of schools had been arrested from Hyderabad on February 24, on charges of fomenting communal enmity through a textbook for primary school. However, the court observed, that no offending passage against any other community or religion or group of people were found. Akbar claims the same textbook has been taught in 400 schools in the country since 2009.
Akbar is managing director of the Peace International School chain, which has 12 CBSE schools — 10 in Kerala, one each in Minicoy and Mangaluru.
Earlier his schools were also under the scanner in July 2016, when it emerged that a few of the missing youth who had allegedly joined the Islamic State had worked in schools of his chain.
Akbar, 52, is also the director of Kozhikode-based Niche of Truth, an organisation engaged in propagating Islam through various media.
On his appearance in debates in recent years, representing the Muslim side, quoting abundantly from Hindu and Christian religious texts on debates on religion, Akbar says “While working as a schoolteacher, I was interested in religious discourses and writings. Twenty years ago, I quit the school and became a full-time preacher on Islam and comparative religion. So far, I haven’t faced any case for fomenting communal enmity with my speeches”.