“Zakir Naik is an Islamic scholar delivering the message of Islam since last 10-15 years. We may have our ideological differences with Naik but we don’t think he ever preached extremism,” said Maulana Abdul Khalid Madrasi, vice-rector, Darul Uloom Deoband.
When asked about media reports that televangelist’s speeches inspired militants behind the Dhaka attack, Madrasi said that Naik can’t be blamed for others wrongdoing.
“There are thousands of students in Darul Uloom. Tomorrow, if any of them, after graduating from the institution does anything un-Islamic, can we be held responsible for his acts?” he said.
He also came down heavily on media for citing its fatwas issued in past against Naik and linking them to the allegations that his speeches inspired terrorists involved in Dhaka attack.
“There are fatwas issued by us against Naik in past but associating those rulings with the ongoing controversy to say that Darul Uloom is against Zakir Naik, is wrong and objectionable. Media must shun such practices,” he added.
Meanwhile, earlier today, Naik issued a statement, saying he did not support terrorism or violence in any form and that he would cooperate with any official Indian government investigation.
“In conclusion, I repeat what I have always maintained – I DO NOT SUPPORT TERRORISM OR VIOLENCE in any form whatsoever. I have never supported any terrorist organisations and have mentioned this over and over again in thousands of my public talks worldwide. I STRONGLY (sic) CONDEMN anyone taking my statements out of context and using it for VIOLENCE OF ANY FORM,” he said in a statement.
“So far not a single official Indian government agency has contacted me for any clarification regarding this issue. It would be my pleasure to cooperate with any official Indian government investigation agency for any information they might require from me,” he added.
He alleged that he was being subjected to a media trial.
“I’m shocked at the media trial on me regarding the recent terrorist attack that took place in Dhaka Bangladesh on 1st July 2016. Most of the clips shown on the television of myself are either out of context, half statements or doctored. So are my statements in the print media,” he said.
“I would have loved to give interviews whether for television channels or for the print media, but I fear that most of them will not publish it unedited or without twisting it. I came to this conclusion after I had given a few interviews, most of which were unfortunately mutilated and misutilised to serve the vested agenda of the channel or the newspaper,” he alleged.
First Published: 11 Jul 2016 04:13 PM