Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad. They discussed many topics and among them was India’s request to extradite Islamic Televangelist, the (in)famous Zakir Naik. He is wanted in India for money-laundering, hate speech and igniting extremism. He has been granted permanent residence in Malaysia. Recently, he was also barred from public speaking in the Malaysian states of Melaka, Johor, Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Perlis and Sarawak.

He started the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in 1991 and had raised $ 1.7 million in the year 2014 and he spent $ 1.56 million on his channel Peace TV, which is broadcasted in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and even India despite it being banned. IRF is said to have connections with the Mumbai train blasts of 2006 as the librarian of IRF, Feroz Deshmukh was said to be in close contact with the key conspirators.

 

Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare lists the controversies involving Naik, which doesn’t end here. In a statement on Facebook, he was seen urging all Muslims to be terrorists. One of the assailants of the Dhaka shooting on July 2016 was found to be an ardent follower of Naik, inspired by his speech. Naik justified his statement by saying that “urging all Muslims to become terrorists” had been taken out of context and that he is totally against terrorism and the killing of innocent humans.

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This debate became political when senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh called him a “man of peace”. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front leader Yasin Malik also came out in support of Naik calling this campaign “unwanted and ugly”.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia has admitted that he is in a Catch 22 situation and that Naik is an unwelcome guest for him whom he cannot send away. He also believes that Naik may not get a free and fair trial in India. However, the real reason is that he fears the wrath of Malay Muslims.