Friday March 22, 2019

Zakir Naik: A Muslim who turned into a Hardcore Islamist and a hate monger

Zakir Naik turned Islamist, declaring non-Muslims as "disoriented", justifying sex with female slaves and calling upon Indian Muslims to refrain from saying "namaste".

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Dr. Zakir Naik. Image Source: www.halaltube.com

-by Kushagra Dixit 

  • Zakir Naik turned Islamist, declaring non-Muslims as “disoriented”, justifying sex with female slaves and calling upon Indian Muslims to refrain from saying “namaste”
  • Naik, now 50, is founder of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and Peace TV, which has over 100 million viewers
  • As Naik’s hate poison spread, he began to face bans in many countries including the US, Canada and the UK

NEW DELHI: He began with talks on comparative religion, exhibiting a huge storehouse of knowledge that attracted a large number of Muslims and many non-Muslims too. But as his popularity grew, Zakir Naik turned Islamist, declaring non-Muslims as “disoriented”, justifying sex with female slaves and calling upon Indian Muslims to refrain from saying “namaste”.

Naik, now 50, is a Founder of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and Peace TV, which has over 100 million viewers. A doctor by training, Naik is now in trouble over allegations that his interpretation of Islam has radicalized young Muslims in India and beyond.

Screenshot of Islamic Research Foundation. Image Source: play.google.com
Screenshot of Islamic Research Foundation. Image Source: play.google.com

In his early speeches, Naik referred to popular misconceptions about Islam. In a 2006 talk, he even claimed that the “Kalki Avatar” in Hinduism was a prophesy for Prophet Mohammad. He drew parallels between jehad and Lord Krishna’s call in the Bhagavad Gita to fight evil.

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As the years rolled by, Naik turned against other religions, calling some hoax. Some, he told gatherings, were no religion. He quoted the Upanishad and other texts to claim that idol worship was against Hinduism.

Naik said it was wrong for Muslims to say “Namaste” or “Vande Mataram” and greet Christians with “Merry Christmas”.

Dr. Zakir Naik giving speech. Image Source: muslimmirror.com
Dr. Zakir Naik giving speech. Image Source: muslimmirror.com

“The Bible has over 50,000 errors, it’s unscientific,” he declared in some lectures.

He made fun of Jesus Christ’s sermon to offer the other cheek if slapped on one. He told a young Christian at one crowd: “It’s baseless. Would you keep offering your cheek if we keep slapping you?”

At his gatherings, Naik would often bluntly ask questioners if he or she would embrace Islam if he answered their questions correctly. Some agreed and ended up changing their religion.

He said Muslims too could embrace other religions. But the punishment for this, he would quickly add, was “maut” (death).

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Asked by a man if he considered Hindus as humans since he did not consider Hinduism as a religion, Naik replied: “If by Hindu you mean a geographical definition, then I don’t have any problem.”

Holy book: Quran. Image Source: www.islamic-research.org
Holy book: Quran. Image Source: www.islamic-research.org

“For peace to prevail, you have to follow the guidance of the Quran,” he said while answering a question from a Jew at a conference in India.

Among Naik’s other controversial teachings:

* “It is the duty of every Muslim to convey the message of Allah to non-Muslims.” This comment triggered a ban on his entering the UK.

* He defended Osama bin Laden and called 9/11 an “American conspiracy”.

Osama bin laden. Image Source: www.history.com
Osama bin laden. Image Source: www.history.com

* “If the word ‘terrorist’ means to terrorize the ememies or unsocial elements, then every Muslim must be a terrorist.”

* “A Muslim can have sex with his wife or what his right hand possesses, which means a slave.” He referred to slaves as “prisoners of war”.

* Guantanamo Bay, which houses imprisoned terrorists, was holding “Muslim slaves”.

* Asked why many Muslims become terrorists, Naik said: “It is a media strategy to malign Islam.”

* Justifying polygamy, Naik said there were more women in the world than men and polygamy saved “extra women” from becoming “public property”.

* Campaigning against pork, Naik argued that pig invited other males to have sex with his female mate. “Something similar happens in the Western society where they go to dance parties and do (wife) swapping.” This, he said, was because Westerners ate pork.

Darul Uloom Deoband. Image Source: easterncrescent.in
Darul Uloom Deoband. Image Source: easterncrescent.in

As Naik’s hate poison spread, he began to face bans in many countries including the US, Canada and the UK. He has also been denied permission in some Indian cities to hold meetings. And more than once, the Darul Uloom Deoband, India’s largest and oldest Islamic seminary, issued fatwas asking Muslims not to go by Naik’s sermons and teachings.

(IANS correspondent Kushagra Dixit has followed Zakir Naik for years. Before writing this, he spent hours re-listening to many of his sermons again and again to ensure accuracy. He can be reached at kushagra.d@ians.in <mailto:kushagra.d@ians.in)

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    This is an example of how publicity can make some people go crazy. These are no words of a learned man.

Next Story

Calls for Quran Test of Indonesian Presidential Candidates Faces Criticism By Muslim Scholars

The invitation that was sent to both presidential candidates asks them to read Al-Fatiha (the first surah in Quran) and then another surah that will be determined by the organizer.

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Indonesia, quran
A man reads the Koran at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, July 24, 2012. VOA

A recent call for a Quran test in Aceh province for Indonesian presidential candidates is facing strong criticism by Muslim scholars, who say the move would undermine racial unity.

On Saturday, the Council of Preachers Association in Aceh sent an invitation to both presidential candidates in the April 2019 vote — incumbent Joko Widodo and opponent Prabowo Subianto — to attend a Quran recitation test in the capital of Aceh province on January 15. The chairman of that council, Marsyuddin Ishak, told VOA that the test is important to reveal the true image of the presidential candidates as well as continue a tradition in their province, the only one that implement the Sharia-law in Indonesia.

Quran recitation is a requirement to compete in local elections in Aceh.

” Our leaders in here — the governor, the member of parliament and other councils — are all tested to read the Quran. The next president will be our leader too, so we want to know their capability in reading Quran as our local leaders in here,” said Marsyuddin.

Indonesia, quran
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center right, walks and his running mate Ma’ruf Amin during a ceremony marking the kick off of the campaign period for next year’s election in Jakarta, Sept. 23, 2018. VOA

However, former president of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta, Dr. Komaruddin Hidayat, told VOA that the test is unnecessary and exaggerates the importance of religion.

“I really regret it. Our lives must be based on a constitution. Understanding and learning more about our religion is important, but it doesn’t mean that we fail our live if we can’t read the Quran,” he said.

“Religion never became the standard to graduate from school or to get a job. I give you another example : if we want to test an airplane pilot, we test his knowledge on the airplane not about his ability to read the Quran. The same case with the presidential election.”

He adds that it’s better if any test was based on the candidates’ sensitivity to people of different religions and how will he fight for the rights of minorities.

Dr. Rumadi Ahmad, an official with the country’s largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, told VOA that the Quran recitation test is a clear example of politicizing religion.

Quran
A worker looks checks printing paper for the Koran near the Sunan Ampel mosque in Surabaya, Indonesia East Java province, July 27, 2011. VOA

“This is an exaggeration of religion in politics. We don’t have to use the capability to read the Quran as an issue in the coming election. This is a clear tendency to politicize religion. It’s dangerous and will arouse hatred among people of various races and religions in the country,” said Rumadi.

Also Read: Earthquake Measuring 6.1 Strikes Indonesia

The invitation that was sent to both presidential candidates asks them to read Al-Fatiha (the first surah in Quran) and then another surah that will be determined by the organizer.

According to Marsyuddin Ishak, Joko Widodo’s team has replied to the invitation by saying that they will consider it and discuss it further. Prabowo has not replied. (VOA)