Dhaka terror attack: Mumbai preacher Zakir Naik denies asking Muslims to become terrorists, calls ISIS 'un-Islamic'
Mumbai-based Islamic scholar Zakir Naik, who is in the limelight after it emerged that one of the Dhaka terrorists may have been inspired by him, has denied supporting terrorism.
New Delhi: Mumbai-based Islamic scholar Zakir Naik, who is in the limelight after it emerged that one of the Dhaka terrorists may have been inspired by him, has denied supporting terrorism.
Naik said his speeches on Islam and terrorism are being taken out of context and his name is being misused by some people.
Speaking to CNN-News18 news channel, Naik - the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation – said his speeches in fact inspire people and bring them closer to Islam.
He further said that those who kill people “will go to hell, whether they are Muslim or non-Muslim”.
Earlier, while speaking to The Indian Express, Naik had condemned last week's terror attack in Dhaka and called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “un-Islamic”.
“By using the name Islamic State, we are condemning Islam… They are the anti-Islamic state of Iraq and Syria that has killed innocent foreigners. The name is given by enemies of Islam,” Naik had told the newspaper.
The Islamic scholar today told CNN-News18 that he had never exhorted Muslims to become terrorists.
“I only said all Muslims should be terrorists to anti-social elements,” the channel quoted Naik as saying on its Twitter handle.
Saying he had been misquoted, Naik said no Muslim should ever terrorise any innocent human being.
He further said all kinds of terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, are “100% wrong”, adding Muslims have been the target of such attacks around the world.
Naik further denied calling former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden a “saint”.
“I have neither called Osama Bin Laden a terrorist nor have I called him a saint,” he told the news channel.
“The video of my speech on Osama bin Laden in Singapore is doctored,” he added.
Zakir Naik is a follower of the late South Africa-based preacher Ahmed Deedat.
Naik's clarification came on a day when the Central government indicated that it might take action against the controversial Islamic preacher.
"Zakir Naik's speech is a matter of concern for us. Our agencies are working on this. But as a minister, I will not comment what action will be taken," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said.
Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star had reported that militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists".
Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator, is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.
He is hugely popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said.