It was on Friday when reports surfaced that Indian Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik got Saudi citizenship. However, today in a statement, Dr Naik’s organisation Islamic Research Foundation has denied the news of him being granted Saudi citizenship.
IRF said: “It (news of Saudi citizenship) is false, unless Allah wills. This is how media even prints gossip as facts,” as reported by several dailies.
A day earlier, the reputed Middle East Monitor website had reported that King Salman had intervened to grant Naik Saudi citizenship to protect him from an arrest by the International Police Organisation, Interpol. The recently development most probably came after a special court in Mumbai last month had allowed the NIA’s plea to issue a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him over terror-related case and money-laundering charges.
Dr Naik is a well-known Islamic preacher in India with huge following. However, after the Indian Government’s action, his TV channel Peace TV too has been banned in the country. Dr Naik came under fire after reports that some terrorists involved in Dhaka attack followed him on social media and were inspired by his speeches.
Following which he had addressed the media from Medina over Skype in 2016.
“I have been giving lectures for more than 25 years, there is not a single talk of mine where I have encouraged any human being to kill any other innocent human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. I am totally against terrorism…,” Dr Naik had said.
Then he had said he was available for any probe. “…no government agency has approached me. I welcome any probe against me. …but as per my plan I will come back next year.” Since then a lot of water has flown.
“If I would have been a member of ruling party or the information and broadcasting minister, I would have pulled up all those people (referring to the media) who have been targeting a messenger of peace. But, the present Government remains silent,” he had said.