An NGO promoted by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik will soon be banned under the anti-terror law, with the Home Ministry preparing a draft cabinet note for it. Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) will be declared an ‘unlawful association’ under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act after investigations by the Home Ministry found it to be allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, accused of propagating terrorism, an official source said.
According to the draft note, which is also based on the inputs from Maharashtra Police, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in terror propaganda. Maharashtra Police has also registered criminal cases against Naik for his alleged involvement in radicalisation of youths and luring them into terror activities, a source said.
Naik also transferred IRF’s foreign funds to Peace TV for making “objectionable” programmes. Most of the programmes, which were made in India, contained alleged hate speeches of Naik, who had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists” through Peace TV, sources claimed. Two educational trusts run by Naik have also come under the scanner of the Home Ministry and agencies are looking into their activities.
The draft note will soon be placed before the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for its approval, sources said. Naik is accused of radicalising youths into terror and receiving foreign funds and spending those to lure young people into terrorism.
He came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik. Naik in a lecture, aired on Peace TV, had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists”.
The Islamic orator is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. He is popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects. The Mumbai-based preacher has not returned to India ever since the controversy came to light.
(Feature image source: AFP)