Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has lashed out at the Narendra Modi government terming it ‘anti-Muslim’ and alleged the ban on his NGO is ‘politically motivated’. Notably, the central government had slapped a ban of five years on Naik’s NGO ‘Islamic Research Foundation’. The BJP-led NDA government also declared it as an outlawed organisation under the anti-terror law for its alleged terror activities. Naik, however, emphasized that he has repeatedly offered his cooperation to Central agencies in their investigations and has justified his decision to steer clear of India saying that he was an NRI and that his work kept him away mostly, a report said. “I’ve repeatedly offered my cooperation to governmental agencies in their investigations. Till a few days ago, no agency bothered to contact me, ask me questions, send me any notice or even lodge an FIR against me. Till date there’s been no contact and the only FIR lodged against me was done after the ban,” Naik said.
Speaking to ANI, Naik said that he will challenge the ban even as his legal team in Delhi and Mumbai has been considering all options possible. Responding to a query as to why he accused the PM Narendra Modi government for the ban and not British Prime Minister Theresa May, Naik said, “I am not banned in the U.K., I have been ‘excluded’, which means I cannot enter U.K. A ban would have meant banning my speeches on television, my NGO as well as my books, audio and video CDs. None of that has happened. My organization and my published materials are very much in circulation in U.K. and doing some commendable work in spreading the message of peace in Islam.”
Rejecting reports that he was granted Malaysian citizenship, Naik said he has neither been banned in Malaysia nor does he have its citizenship. “The Indian media has repeated hundreds of times in the last four months that I was banned in Malaysia. Now it takes a somersault and says that I have been given the citizenship of Malaysia. How can a person, who is banned in a country, be given a passport of that country? Both these reports are absolutely false without any proof. I’m neither banned in Malaysia nor do I have its citizenship,” he said.