Controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik who has made headlines in the recent past for all the wrong reasons gave an exclusive interview to The Print. In this interview, he talked at length about several issues concerning him. However, the way his interview concluded made it clear that he truly fears the BJP government. While answering a question about returning to India if there is a change in the present regime, he replied that the chances of returning are much more. He also stated in unambiguous words, “I would not like to come back if the BJP is in power.” Though he did not expressly praise the previous regime, he did say that Congress was the lesser evil. He seems to have suggested that the previous regime in India was better.
The remarks of Zakir Naik do not come as much of a surprise. He has been facing a lot of trouble for the last 2-3 years. After the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka in July 2016, his name had surfaced in news reports which stated that at least two of the terrorists were “inspired by his preaching about Islam.” Recently, cable operators in Sri Lanka also reportedly blocked Zakir Naik’s Peace TV. These steps came in the wake of deadly terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka in which more than 250 innocent citizens had lost their lives. The attacks in Sri Lanka that took place on Easter Sunday also witnessed the death of 30 foreigners. His controversial and hateful speeches have been reportedly served as an inspiration for several terror attacks. Even the mastermind of Easter terror attacks in Sri Lanka was reportedly inspired by Naik.
As far as the Modi government is concerned, it has taken tough action against Zakir Naik. The controversial preacher had fled India in 2016. However, the central agencies have been going after him in several cases. Recently, the ED chargesheeted him in a money laundering case. The ED has also attached properties belonging to Naik worth 16.40 crore rupees in Mumbai and Pune.
While the controversial preacher has been made to feel the heat by the current dispensation, he had been called to address IPS officers and speak on “counterterrorism” at the National Police Academy in Hyderabad during the UPA days. Today, the Modi government has made life difficult for Naik. For obvious reasons, people like Zakir Naik and his ilk find this BJP government intolerant and prefer the previous government to the present one.
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