Victim of media trial or Dr Terror? Zakir Naik praises PM Narendra Modi

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New Delhi | Updated: July 25, 2016 8:04:22 PM

Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the latter's efforts to improve relations between Hindu and Muslim communities in India

Several Muslim outfits staged a protest here today, expressing solidarity with controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. Claiming himself to be a “victim of media trial”, Naik said he never preached anybody to take up arms.

Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who has been at the centre of a controversy over his teachings which allegedly inspired terrorists who killed over 20 people in an attack on a posh Dhaka eatery, has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the latter’s efforts to improve relations between Hindu and Muslim communities in India. In an exclusive interview to India Today TV, the controversial preacher said Modi is the only PM who has visited so many Muslim countries in such a small time.

Claiming himself to be a “victim of media trial”, Naik said he never preached anybody to take up arms.
“Have never ever supported terrorism and never will. The Quran says one who kills an innocent being, kills the entire humanity,” Naik said.

Naik, an NRI, is presently in Saudi Arabia. Ever since the controversy over his preachings, which allegedly inspired the attackers of Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1 in Dhaka, erupted, Naik had refused to speak to the media, blaming the latter of falsely implicating him for spreading terror. The controversy also reached the Parliament when Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad condemned the media of running a trial against him, and asked the government to conduct a thorough probe against him, if necessary. Even Congress leader Digvijay Singh faced burnt when a video of him praising the controversial preacher erupted.

While the government has been treading cautiously while dealing with Naik’s case, despite of demands from several quarters, the preacher told the channel:  ” No government agency has tried to get in touch or question me. It is only a section of the media which is leveling allegations against me.” On Monday, as the India Today started the telecast of the exclusive interview, #DrTerror also started trending on Twitter, with several of his supporters and those who don’t agree with his preaching venting their opinions.

Naik also rubbished the claim that he had ever asked people to take up arms against America. “No religion teaches us to kill,” he said.

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