Skip to main content

Clamour to ban Zakir Naik’s Peace TV flows from the fact that he can’t be fought intellectually

By Adv Masood Peshiman*
Bangladesh politics is embroiled in the deadly tussle between the two ladies, the Prime Minister Hasina Wajid and Khalida Zia, the opposition leader. In the teeth of the brewing crisis the Prime Minister Hasina Wajid is pushing up the incessant agenda of stifling the opposition, including the Islamists which has given rise to the volatile atmosphere in the neighbouring country. In that volatile situation there are escalating attacks on bloggers, Hindus and non-Muslim minorities.
There is no restraint to curb the terrorising of the non-Muslim minorities, and the Hasina Wajid government is accountable for the rise in the deadly attack on non-Muslim minorities in the neighbouring country.
Any country is judged by its track record of its treatment of the minorities. In our own country, India, minorities are not safe, particularly Muslims, who were quite vulnerable during the communal violence. Now, communal violence is replaced with the false terror cases on Muslim youth, who having spent a lot of time in jail are exonerated or let off.
It is against the backdrop of non-Muslims minorities facing the heat there was the gruesome violent attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulashan area claiming at least 20 lives, thus exposing the weakness at the Hasina government. In the gruesome attack an Indian, Tarishi Jain, was killed along with her Muslim friend who risking his life tried to save her. The Muslim friend would have escaped the murderous attack but he preferred to die to save his friend.
However, this incident escaped the required share of attention. What occupied the centrestage in the entire murky scenario is the report in a Bangladesh newspaper that one of the slain terrorists was the fan of Islamic scholar Zakir Naik.
Once the name of Zakir Naik cropped up there were swift references to the role of Zakir Naik who has denied such allegations and strongly denounced the terror outfit like Islamic State. It is not the question of Zakir Naik, Asaaduddin Awaisi denouncing or condemning terror activities of Islamic State, which is out of frustration or sheer depression over the turmoil in the Middle-East created by the intriguing machinations of superpowers. It is the attack of Muslim nations from Saudi Arabia to Turkey that the Islamic State has unleashed the unending cycle of violence against the Muslim nations.
The Muslim world is bearing the brunt of its hostile opposition to the IS which has completely isolated the IS. The frustration of the IS has gone to such an extent that there was an attack by a suicide bomber in Madina where the body of Prophet Mohammad lies buried. The bomber and the security guards were killed and the worst tragedy was averted. The world, instead of appreciating the role played by the Muslim world, is rather undermining its efforts in fighting terror; it is a myopic approach to oppose terror.
Now the same psyche has worked in our country where a section of the media under the saffron influence actively supporting the hidden, and now open, agenda of the Sangh Parivar, which has left no stone unturned in pouncing upon Zakir Naik for his alleged share in the Dhaka attack by quoting him out of context. The media, serving the saffron agenda, lost no time in conducting media trial, thus sitting on judgement setting afloat all sorts of cock and bull stories when the investigation is under progress and no proof so far found of his alleged involvement in the terror episode.
The prejudicial section of the media is already known to have stepped up its vilification campaign against the alleged terrorists who having spent a larger chunk of time in the jail are later acquitted or exonerated for lack of evidence. Fanatic- and bigotry-inspired media has ignored this.
What is no less significant is to note that the problem of false terror cases is further complicated with the confessional statements given by the accused which are admissible as evidence in laws like POTA and TADA. The situation is easily messed up when such statements of the accused under the shadow of fear and coercion, extracted by investigative agencies, can be directed against any person and can be misused even against the accused.
An eminent Urdu journalist Sarfraz Arrzoo has drawn attention to the anomalous situation in the meeting of the Innocence Network at Marathi Partrakar Sangh in Mumbai working for the cause of innocent Muslims in false terror cases and biased investigation supported by the myopic section of the media.
In the meeting the question was raised as the why inquiry was not initiated against Rajnath Singh for his photo with the alleged terrorist Sadhvi Pragya.
The late Hemant Karkare was on the point of achieving the breakthrough in the investigation to lay his hand over a big fish, and he was bumped off before he could finish his job.
The meeting working for the cause of innocent Muslims in false terror cases was graced by the justice Kolse Patil, MLC Kapil Patil, Ram Punyani, Adv. Mahrukh Adenwala, Adv. Nandita Haskar, Adv. Wahab Khan, Adv. Sharif, Abu Asim Azmi and others.
Another worrisome development concerning Zakir Naik is the internal conflict of faith in the Muslim community. Those not reconciling with the faith and ideology of Zakir Naik are exploring all angles in attacking him. Zakir Naik is an authority over Islam after Ahmad Dedat, and he is equally apt at quoting other scriptures in his essay on the study of the comparative religions and drawing the similarities. How can the person be an extremist, who is endorsing similarities with comparative study of religions?
There are others in Muslims who are opposed to him due to his high quality of knowledge and scholarship. Their disproportionate focus is on some of his views. It is not necessary that others are expected to share his views. Opposition to views is one thing but supporting acts of injustice is entirely a different matter. The persistent clamour to ban his Peace TV flows from the fact that he can’t be fought intellectually.
The present turbulence of Naik is further added with the vociferous protest raised by those living in glass houses. The toxic political class allegedly involved in the demolition of Babri Masjid, genocide of Muslims in Gujarat, participation in the worst ever communal violence and indulging in all sorts of inflammatory utterances are vociferous in talking of extremism and radicalisation. Strange enough, those indicted by Shri Krishna Commission are talking of Zakir Naik promoting prejudice and hatred.  Such paradox is explained in terms of might is right.
While setting afloat terror stories of demolition of Babri Masjid, genocide of Muslims in Gujarat, lynching of Mohammad Akhlaque in Dadri, and the persecution of Muslims in a series of communal riots are cited as reasons provoking Muslims and inciting terror. Why such incidents are repeated on a priority basis? Are these incidents quoted for inciting terror to earn the sympathy for those who have committed such crimes? Are the incidents like the demolition of Babri Masjid or lynching of Akhlaque in Dadri quoted causing provocation to reduce the magnitude or quantum of crime?
There cannot be any unfettered freedom for violence whether by Muslims or someone else.
The Urdu press has lamented the double standards of justice in the country. The “Urdu Times” in its editorial has questioned the stoic silence of the authorities over virulent anti-Muslim vituperation of the people like Yogi Adityanath, Sadhvi Prachi, Pravin Togadia and others. The double standards do not prevail not only concerning Muslims and others in the country but between Indian Muslims and Muslim Nations.
The communal forces targeting Indian Muslims have no compunction in politically seducing and flirting with Muslim nations. Prime Minister Narendrda Modi who refused to wear skull cap offered by Muslims had no compunction in visiting Dubai’s Mosque and quoting Galib in Persian in Iran. A strange paradox.
People are not interested in petty communal issues. They are interested in their daily bread and butter problems. They want the political class to resolve their woes. How they are facing the hardship can well be explained by the fact that in Satara District the water crisis is to the extent that people have to fetch water from a distance of 8 miles. There is even the scarcity of the drinking water.
One Omkar Sawant arranged the supply of the drinking water on his own. With the supply of water the attendance in schools rose from skeleton to 100%. The supply of drinking water was cause enough to raise the appreciable attendance. The admirable work done by Omkar Sawant should have been done by the political class. However, the political class in the country is quite detached from people’s woes. It is only interested in fomenting communal divide benefiting the corporate culture. The fascism in the country is only to promote the interest of corporate culture which people fail to understand blinded by intense hatred and hostility.
The Prime Minister while discussing the benefits of economic progress said that preachers of hate and violence are threats to society. Modi’s words of advice define the solution to present chaos and disturbance in society and can play a meaningful role in defusing the volatile situation in the country.
The political class in our country has given disproportionate attention to the preaching of hate and violence with the Zakir Naik episode, without introspecting its own role in fomenting the same. Herein one is reminded of Bollywood actor Raj Kumar’s words in the vociferous loud and impacting voice that those living in glass houses are not to throw stone on others.
He said in the film ‘jin ke ghar shishe ke hote hain unhe phattar nahi phekhna chaiyye’.
---
Contact: peshimammasood@gmail.com

Comments

TRENDING

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Report on "torture" in Kashmir jails: 44% detainees stripped naked, 29% electrocuted

Counterview Desk
A recent report titled “Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir”, published by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), has claimed to build “on the body of human rights documentation on torture” in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) through an examination of 432 case studies. It seeks to focus on "the trends and patterns, targets, perpetrators, contexts and impact of torture" in the state.

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.

NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the …

Karma tribal festival an occasional to campaign for tribal rights: IPMSDL

By Our Representative
The International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL), in a solidarity statement has suggested that the current Karam festival of Central India -- which seeks to promote sisterhood, friendship, cultural unity, and closer link to nature -- should be the occasion to campaign against alleged efforts to violently drive away forest dwelling communities from their forest homes.
"Millions are threatened to lose lands and livelihood under the implementation of Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006", the statement States, adding, "As corporate interests continues to enter tribal territories and extract profit from its natural resources, indigenous people are pushed to further marginalization and discrimination."
Asserting that indigenous movement in India "remains steadfast in keeping their culture, deeply linked to their lands alive by carrying out their heritage and struggles", IPMSDL, even as extending "…

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Amidst Modi celebrations, thousands protest 'massive' submergence in Narmada Valley

By Our Representative
Thousands of women and men gathered on at the Shaheed Stambh in Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, to raise their voice against what they called "the destruction of the Narmada Valley", protesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat BJP rulers for celebrating the Sardar Sarovar dam being filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL) on September 17, which also happens to be Modi's birthday.
Calling it a black day for the people of the Valley, whose villages and farms got submerged because of highest-ever water level having been achieved in the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which organised the parallel rally across the border with Gujarat, regretted in a statement that Modi's celebration at the dam took place amidst " martyrdom of the Valley".
The demonstration in Badwani was preceded by a vehicles rally, which took rounds of the city streets. They were joined by people from several villages of Dhar district. They gather…

Kandla Port Trust activities 'destroyed' mangroves, affecting rare camel species: NGT

By Rajiv Shah
Taking serious note of large-scale destruction of mangroves on about 750 acres in Bhachau taluka of Kutch district, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Delhi, has “directed” the Gujarat government, its forest department, and the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GSZMA), to “jointly inspect the area” and fix responsibility as to who is “responsible for obstruction of the creeks” next to the Kandla Port Trust (KPT), leading to the damage to the plantations in the area.

Narmada valley: SC notice to Gujarat, MP, M'rashtra on submergence sans rehabilitation

By Our Representative
Thr Supreme Court has issued notice to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments following a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)-backed petition seeking the explanation as to whether large areas of Narmada Valley have gone into submergence by filling up the Sardar Sarovar dam up to the full reservoir level (FRL) without rehabilitating the project affected families (PAFs).