UK ban politically motivated decision: Zakir Naik
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 00:09
Mumbai: Mumbai-based Islamic televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, who was banned from entering UK for his "unacceptable behaviour", today said British Home department's decision of issuing exclusion order against him was "politically motivated".

"An article published in The Sunday Times two days before my visit described me as a preacher of hate, which put pressure on the newly-formed Conservative government in United Kingdom to impose the ban. The decision is more political than judicial," Naik, who runs the Islamic Research Foundation and Peace TV, told reporters here.

Naik said he was going to seek judicial review of the exclusion order against him in UK High Court.

He was denied entry in UK for his controversial statements on terrorism, which Home Secretary Theresa May found "not conducive for public good".

The 43-year-old preacher claimed he was quoted out of context for his "Every Muslim should be a terrorist" remark, which is one of the reasons cited in the exclusion order for banning his entry in UK.

Naik produced the video of this statement, to prove he was misquoted.

The video shows him saying, "As far as terrorist is concerned, I tell the Muslims that every Muslim should be a terrorist... What is the meaning of the word terrorist? Terrorist by definition means a person who terrorises. So in this context every Muslim should be a terrorist to each and every anti-social element.

"I'm aware that terrorist is more commonly used for a person who terrorises innocent human beings. So in this context no Muslim should ever terrorise a single innocent human being."

Naik termed the act of UK government as violation of human rights.

"I have a visa valid till July 2013, to visit UK and have been there several times in last 15 years to deliver talks on Islam," he said, adding the ban is the latest in the series of UK government's "naming and shaming" policy.

"The more they (UK) try to suppress me, the louder my voice would be. We are waiting for the day our case is heard in UK High Court," he said.

Noted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and lawyer Majeed Memon, who addressed the meeting in support of Naik, condemned the ban, saying it was against freedom of speech.

Bhatt said he salutes Naik for "locking horns with a powerful empire against insults hurled at Indians by European bullies."

Memon termed the revoking of Naik's valid visa by UK and banning the preacher as "terrorism".


First Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 00:09

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