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  1. Digvijay Singh defends speech, says take action against Zakir Naik if he is guilty

Digvijay Singh defends speech, says take action against Zakir Naik if he is guilty

The Congress leader says he "spoke against religious fundamentalism and appealed for communal harmony".

By: | New Delhi | Updated: July 7, 2016 4:42 PM
digvijay-pti-L The video shows Digvijaya Singh saying that people like Zakir Naik can bridge the gap between Hindus and Muslims. (PTI)

Amid raging controversy over his praise of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in a video of a 2012 conference, Congress leader Digvijay Singh has defended himself, saying he “spoke against religious fundamentalism and appealed for communal harmony”.

The video shows Digvijaya Singh saying that people like Zakir Naik can bridge the gap between Hindus and Muslims. “Zakir should travel all over India…I am very happy that he is spreading the message of peace,” he said.

“We need your message to reach the country,” Singh told Zakir Naik back then.

The Congress leader posted a series of tweets today to defend himself.

Zakir Naik has claimed that his ‘hate speech’ inspired one of the five Bangladeshi militants, who hacked to death 22 people at a cafe in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave last week.

Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in the UK and Canada for his ‘hate speech’ aimed at other religions.

One of the Bangladeshi attackers, suspected to be Rohan Imtiaz – the son of a politician of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League – ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting 50-year-old Zakir Naik, a Mumbai-based doctor and an Islamic televangelist, Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ reported.

Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists”.

He is hugely popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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