Zakir Naik: I never created terrorists!

Zakir Naik: I never created terrorists!

Controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik slammed India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) over claims that the majority of Islamic State (IS) supporters arrested in the country had been radicalised through his videos.

In a statement today he also accused the NIA of making “frivolous statements” about him without any proof or evidence despite years spent investigating him.

“It is unprofessional and unethical of NIA to make frivolous statements about me without backing it up with proof or evidence. It’s unfortunate that the country’s apex investigation body, having spent over three years investigating me, has been publicly making claims connecting me to terrorism without having in possession a single shred of evidence to support it.

The NIA, CBI and the Police have spent over three solid years investigating thousands of my videos, speeches and printed materials but have not come up with a single statement on video or in writing that says I’ve promoted violence. And yet it claims 127 persons caught in terror activities were influenced by me.

That’s a blatant lie. Merely following someone on social media does not make terrorists. Content does, which in this case, is absent. The NIA has not been able to point to a single content – videos or statements of mine – that NIA can say promoted violence among these 127 people. And this stance of NIA is reprehensible.

Thanks to Allah, my talks reach close to 200 million people worldwide. Peace TV is running successfully in over 150 countries including the US, UK and Europe. In India, more than 75 percent of Muslims know me and may even possess my videos. My facebook following is over 17 million.

Of thousands of FB posts and YouTube videos, the NIA needs to point out statements or videos that encourages terrorism, or supports (anti) ISIS. Can the 127 persons in NIA’s custody point to such videos – unedited videos – that prompted them to join anti-ISIS? No, they can’t, nor can the NIA.

Even justice Manmohan Singh of the appellate tribunal had to make that observation to the ED petitioning to seize my properties. The ED wasn’t able to provide any video proof of this same exact claim. Ultimately, the appellate court had to throw out the ED’s petition. NIA needs to take lessons from ED.

My speeches are made publicly, recordings of which are available online. Nowhere, and I repeat, nowhere have I ever encouraged violence.

God forbid, if my talks were creating terrorists – and I have over 200 million followings – trust me they would not be a handful few, they would be in lakhs, perhaps millions.

It is obvious that these individuals were influenced by other reasons or other people perhaps, and the NIA is intentionally – and publicly – lying. As simple as that.

Which brings me to the last point in which the NIA is lying, again. It is that of conversions, with NIA implying forced conversions. In 25 years of my preaching Islam, thousands of people around me have reverted to Islam, and the NIA – in its investigations – has known that. These were cases of individuals not just willing but eager to accept Islam. And their reasons varied from seeking equality and justice, to finding answers to questions on faith, and to finding a sense of belonging in a community. If even a single person was forced, the NIA would have jumped on it.

Anyone who understands Islam knows that forced conversions are anti-Islamic and is not allowed. Qur’an doesn’t allow it, and I strictly follow Qur’an.

If Mr. Alok Mittal, the NIA Inspector General, wants further clarifications, I can host him at Malaysia any time and sort out all of NIA’s misconceptions about me. That’s my open invitation to Mr. Mittal.

Now, whether Mr. Mittal accepts my invitation or not, NIA must stop the witch hunt. More importantly, it has to stop taking political instructions from BJP. It has many serious issues to handle in India, and becoming a tool for divisive politics of the BJP is not the way to do it.

Dr Zakir Naik is currently a permanent resident in Malaysia.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Leaders Online

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