Some supporters of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik have launched an online campaign calling for boycott Urdu daily Inquilab over an alleged article written by its editor Shakeel Hasan Shamsi in India’s leading daily.
The critics have attacked Shamsi for attacking the preacher after his media trial started with many calling for ban on his channel and his arrest.
While talking with OKHLATIMES, Editor Shamsi said: “I want to prove that Indian Muslims are not radicals. I have written against his (Zakir Naik) speeches not attacked him personally.” Also, he said he is aware of the online campaign. Editor Shamsi was economical with words.
During a TV debate he had told an anchor that his write-up on the issue was well received and hence he translated it into Hindi. “Aaj Dainik Inquilab men prkashit mere smapadkiye ” Qissa Zakir Nayak ka Pehla part,” he wrote on his timeline.
It is understood that that online campaign has been launched by some Okhla-based journalists with affiliation with a religious organization that has come out in support of the preacher.
In a Press release, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind that is headquartered in Abul Fazal Enclave said: “…The attempt of certain Government officials and some sections of the media to make renowned Indian personality of international fame, Dr. Zakir Naik a subject of negative propaganda, unnecessary, deplorable and against the constitutional freedom to practice faith and freedom of speech and expression and advised restraint in this regard.
Vice President of Jamaat Nusrat Ali averred that Dr. Zakir Naik, like hundreds of other renowned religious personalities of the country, has been using all possible media channels to present the Islamic creed of ‘monotheism’, ‘Prophethood’ and ‘hereafter’ to the citizens of this country as well as the entire world in a dignified, cultured and scholarly manner, within the Constitutional parameters since many years now and commands an international following of millions of people who listen to his lectures with keen interest, these lectures being bereft of any constitutional or moral violation whatsoever.
“It is surprising that all of a sudden his services are brought to question and attempts are being made to further deteriorate the already volatile communal atmosphere prevalent in the country. It would not be out of place to consider this issue a part of the chain of political opportunism in line with Dadri, Atali, Kairana, status of Minority Institutions, Uniform Civil Code etc,” he said.
The VP stated that it is inappropriate for the Government and the media to take such steps to cater to their own opportunistic needs, especially when it hurts the spirit of the Constitution, goes against national traditions and spoils the image of the country at home and abroad.
Nusrat Ali pointed out that there are many basic issues plaguing our country like black money stacked abroad, eradication of poverty, and many pending developmental projects which require the attention of the Government on a priority basis. It would be better if the Government concentrates on these issues instead, for which it is accountable.
Zakir Naik issue has split the Muslim society with many “baying for his blood and some standing in his support by launching online campaign on the social media #SupportZakirNaik.
CAPTION: Homepage photo via their timeline with Zakir Naik (left)