Skip to main content

Centre has done the right thing to initiate a probe into the funding of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s NGO

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed*
Some ten years ago, while I had started to hear Zakir Naik, my first impression was that he is an Islamic researcher, having command over his other religions’ scriptures, with an amazing memory bank backed by skilled oratory. However, when time progressed and he started disparaging and belittling other religions and their gods and goddesses, I could gauge through his nefarious design of spreading the Wahabi-Salafi brand of exclusivist and dogmatic Islam under which extremism and bigotry are allowed.
The way, Zakir is propagating his petro dollar funded religion with Islamic supremacy and belittling other religions, this is not Islam at all as in Islam, the biggest sin is hurting the other person’s feelings. Naik’s trend is similar to that of the ISIS.
Now that Naik is in the quagmire of an international controversy and banned in the UK, Canada, Indonesia and Malaysia, I could connect to the fact that this quandary was not very far. Though it took almost ten years in secular and safe India for the government to have awakened and understood the purport of the exclusivist and radicalized Naik, however, better late than never.
Even the suicide bombers, absolutely castigated by Islam, are allowed in the obscurantist Wahabi Islam. Perhaps, Zakir Naik was carrying out a design — arabized Islam — a dangerous option. The irony is that this very brand of Islam that he preaches is un-Islamic and has given a u-turn to the a, b, c, d of Islam from amicability to animosity, benignity to barbarism, compassion to cruelty, dialogue to deadlock and rationalism to radicalism.
In radicalized Wahabi Islam, there is no room for modernity and moderation — both inseparable features of Islam preached by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the holy Quran. Wahabis sham Sufi saints and instruct to pull down their graves, including that of the Prophet. Their terrifying vocabulary is fully negative with words like — bidat (infringement), shirk (equating someone with Allah), jahannam (hell) etc. Even for the minutest flaws like seeing a film, dancing, singing etc, a Muslim is hell bent according to Naik’s hellish explanations based on the Salafi tenet which believes in everything that harms and hirts Islam. The Wahabis believe that all the non-Muslims are to be subjected to biggest misery including the Sufis and Shias even. They do not recognize even Prophet Muhammad.
The massive funding by Naik’s supporter, the Saudi government and other unknown sources from various nooks and crannies of the world, aim at tarnishing and defilement of the Sufi or moderate and accommodative version of Islam, basically followed in India and most of the world. Once in the 13th century, the eminent traveler, Ibn-e-Batuta came to India and commented that the Indian version of Islam was the best. It that pluralistic vision that is being hit at its roots by the Wahabi Naik.
Zakir Naik, under the guise of interfaith understanding, is in reality, indulging in misunderstanding and misinterpretation through his mammoth memory of the lines, verses, pages and chapter numbers of the holy scriptures of different faiths which actually casts a magical spell on the innocent and unassuming listeners taking him to be an enigma.
Truth is that it is an impious cocktail after the mix-up of all religion, ritual and orthodoxy in the horrendous cauldron of Naik’s misguided zeal. He takes them for a ride that way. What is very loathsome is the clapping of the huge populace at his gatherings laughing at the mockery and disparaging of the Hindu gods and goddesses.
This immature act will not augur well for a common Muslim as whatever creaking doors of Hindus brethren, are opening upon him, will stop, rather, be banged upon him. Naik will come out of this imbroglio owing to his clout; however, a common Muslim on the street will face the backlash as he will be branded as Zakir or Owaisi follower.
In public, he claims his religion to be the best while disparages others’ faiths. In one of his live lectures, he stated that Ganpati was killed before his father who couldn’t save him; therefore how would Hindu Gods protect their followers. Beyond doubt, it was a very hurting and incendiary comment. How bad the Hindu brethren would have felt? As a matter of fact, Quran says,”Lakum dinokum, waley yadeen”, meaning, “You follow your religion and let’s follow ours.” According to Prophet Muhammad, the most hateful act is hurting somebody and Naik hurts and hurts on the pretext of calling a spade a spade.
Truth is that in Islam, hurting other people’s feelings, is considered to be the biggest sin. The problem is that the adamant preachers like Zakir Naik through their so called intolerant and fanatical homilies and sermons, hurt people beyond redemption. Naik is very arrogant to the point of publicly humiliating those people whose questions challenge him. Anyone who wants to have a debate with him, he turns inflexible and rigid stating that before debating him, one must enjoy the confidence of a gathering of at least ten thousand followers. While uttering all that jargon, he often demeans and publicly humiliates the unassuming person.
Naik preached that all Muslims could turn into terrorists if Islam was in danger. He also stated that the graves and temples need to be demolished. He favoured the breaking the Bamiyan Buddhas’s statues to teach a lesson to the Buddhists. He even praised Yazid who had slashed the jugular of the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Hussain. It is a blasphemy. According to him if a Muslim, out of interfaith goodwill smears a bit of gulal (red powder) on his forehead on the occasion of Holi, he is deprived of his religion and is excommunicated from Islam. What humbug!
Based on false piety, Naik’s explanations regarding polygamy, kufr (atheism), family planning,burqa, talaq and afterlife, are all puerile and unacceptable by a common Muslim. He cursed Sania Mirza playing tennis stating that she was hell bound. He favoured suicide bombing and Osama. There wasn’t a single word by him on Saudi Arab Medina blasts. Owing to being backed by huge funding, he has been branding and packaging the Wahabi tenet from his designer stages worth millions of rupees. Innocent Muslims get carried by that immense spectacle.
The Centre has done the right thing to initiate a probe into the funding of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), after his speeches came under scanner for inspiring the Dhaka attack in which Bangladeshi militants killed 22 people, mostly foreigners as two of the terrorists, Rohan Imtiaz and Nibras Islam, were influenced by his misguided ideology. There are allegations that the NGO's funds were used to “induce” people to follow Islam and radicalize youngsters.
Rohan and Nibras were indoctrinated and brainwashed by the speeches and websites of Zakir Naik like Bangalore’s Kafil who had carried out the Glasgow terror attack, Najibullah Zazi who had carried out the attacks in the US and Rahil Sharif, the 7/11 train blasts accused besides others. While I heard Naik and his ilk stating in defence that they had no hand in the terror attack, it holds no water as what is of paramount importance to note down, is the ideology and logic of the that hideous ghetto mindset that encourages acts of terror.
There are fatwas (an Islamic decree) even against him by the Darul Uloom Deoband that his content and methodology of treating other religions inferior, is against the Islamic tenets and away from knowledge and wisdom (Fatwa 288/ 4894 and Fatwa 1541/ 1322). They call him Ghair Muqallid (not following true Islam).
What is most shocking is that despite having known about his nefarious plans pertaining to Wahabi indoctrination, the previous and present governments besides the Bihar and UP ones, never fixed Naik owing to their own perfidious plans of vote bank politics. He is a half baked preacher with half truths and lies in the market of packaged religions like any other baba! Whether he is imprisoned or not, it is it is for the investigating agencies to decide, however, the way is is avoiding to come to India, smacks of all that is fishy.
---
*Columnist, educationist, chairman of Friends for Education, grandnephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, India’s first Minister of Education

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Kailash Satyarthi NGO makes slum kids laud RSS founder Hedgewar as freedom fighter

By Rajiv Shah  In a move which may raise many an eyebrow, a Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-supported child rights NGO has celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi-intitiated Har Ghar Tiranga by commemorating 75 freedom fighters by "narrating their famous deeds and chanting slogans of each leader", including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai and a person who had little or nothing common with the freedom movement -- RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar. A communique from the Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation (KSCF), which organised the event, said among the freedom fighters celebrated by 75 children on the occasion of 75 years of India's independence placing photographs of each freedom fighter included that of Hedgewar, who is alleged to have maintained a distance from Indian Independence movement led by Gandhiji. According to Hedgewar's biography, when Gandhiji launched the Salt Satyagraha in 1930, Hedgewar sent information ev

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Gujarat's 'low-key' communalism: right-wing groups compete for anti-Muslim space

By Rajiv Shah  Noticing the emergence of a novel trend, a just-released report based on a fact-finding team's observations following its interaction in particular with Hindu and Muslim political activists, administrators and police officials, has claimed that a major reason why chasm between the two communities in Gujarat has lately reached new heights is, a veritable competition between Hindu right-wing groups and leaders to capture the existing communal space. Titled "Hindu Right, Communal Riots and Demolitions: Emerging Pattern of Communal Riots in India", the report has been prepared against the backdrop of what it calls "low intensity" communalism which has characterised rioting in Gujarat in the recent past, especially after the 2002 communal carnage, one of the worst in Independent India. Especially focusing on riots in two Gujarat towns, Himmatnagar and Khambhat, which took place on April 10, the day clashes broke also out in different parts of India on

Gujarat govt 'contradicts' MHA memo while freeing Bilkis Bano gangrape convicts

By Our Representative  The All-India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah "must answer for the decision to free Bilkis Bano's gang rapists." In a statement, AIPWA has wondered, "What was the basis of the Gujarat Government’s decision to free those men on August 15, 2022, to celebrate what the PM Modi calls India’s Amrit Kaal? Was remission and freedom a reward for rape and murder of Muslims?" The statement comes amidst an Ahmedabad-based legal rights non-pofit, which took up the cause of Bilkis Bano and fought her case right up to the Supreme Court, Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), suggesting that the Gujarat government move to allow remission to the convicts contradicts the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Guidelines for Granting Special Remission to Prisoners on August 15, 2022 (75th anniversary of Independence), January 26, 2023, and again on August 15, 2023. Citing the MHA notificat

Need to ask at today's 'critical juncture' of India's history: Whose Freedom@75?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  The official propaganda states that: “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of it's people, culture and achievements. This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The official journey of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commenced on 12th March 2021 which started a 75-week countdown to our 75th anniversary of independence and will end post a year on 15th August 2023.” So as India completes a landmark seventy-five years of freedom – a platinum jubilee – the only question one needs to ask at this critical juncture of the country’s history is “whose freedom@75?” Since March 2020, it has been a di

Har ghar tiranga: will the hungry bellies raise their hand to unfurl the national flag?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians are going to unfurl the tricolour to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India's Independence on 15th of August 2022. Indian freedom struggle has not only shaped India as a modern constitutional democracy but also shaped the nature of state, society and citizenship. The anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggle were the four pillars of Indian freedom struggle that laid the foundation of a sovereign nation state promised to pursue a society based on socialist, scientific and secular values to ensure egalitarian citizenship rights without any form of discrimination. These inalienable values are central to the unity, integrity, peace, prosperity and progress of India as a multicultural society and secular state. It is time to celebrate these values and promises of Indian independence, a product of struggles and sacrifice of millions of working-class people across the country. India at 75 is still a young nation but old e

RSS, Sangh Parivar consider tricolour as "state flag" and not "national flag"

By Teesta Setalvad* Today, when the nation has been independent for 67 years, the Sangh Parivar is set to launch ‘Tiranga yatras’ and Satyagrahas to defend the honour of the flag and the nation. Yet when the Indian people were involved in the decades-long struggle for freedom against British imperialism, the RSS was conspicuous by its absence in the struggle. When thousands of people faced lathis, bullets and jail sentences for hoisting the tiranga and participated all over the country in satyagraha during the Civil Disobedience and Quit India movements against the British Raj, the Sangh publicly took the stand that it would not take part in the movement and seldom missed the opportunity of assuring the British rulers that they would keep to the right side of colonial law and avoid any clash with the authorities. Of course the reason given for this was that the Sangh was secretly strengthening itself and would take on British imperialism only when it was strong enough to do so! A simil