Vijaya Laxmi Tripura
A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in India has ordered the attachment of four properties in Mumbai belonging to absconding radical Islamic preacher Zakir Abdul Karim Naik aka Zakir Naik, booked under an anti-terror law. Charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) two years ago, Naik was declared a proclaimed offender by the court in June 2017.
Through his speeches and statements, Naik has been promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups and inspiring Muslim youths and terrorists in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.
NIA had attached two flats and a commercial establishment in the city belonging to the 52- year-old televangelist. The central agency’s application seeking permission to attach four properties in the Mazgaon area that were owned by Naik was allowed Thursday by the special court.
The court accepted the plea after the NIA submitted that Naik, staying overseas, was trying to sell these properties since his funding from various sources has been stopped after the central agency filed a case against him. Advocate Anand Sukhdev, who appeared for the NIA, told the court that Naik was trying to obtain citizenship in several foreign nations and therefore, was trying to raise money for the same by selling these Mazgaon properties.
In November 2016, the central government had declared Naik’s Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation as an “unlawful” association under the UAPA. Soon after, the NIA had registered a case against Naik, accusing him of having incited many persons to take up terror activities, and promoting enmity between different religious groups in India through his public speeches and lectures.
Naik is accused of giving provocative speeches, which were cited as a reason by Bangladesh for an attack in Dhaka in 2016 which left 22 people dead.
Following series of reports published in Blitz, Zakir Naik was banned in the United Kingdom and Canada.
In a video speech, Zakir Naik was seen saying, “If bin Laden is fighting enemies of Islam, I am for him. If he is terrorizing America—the terrorist, biggest terrorist—I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist. The thing is that if he is terrorizing the terrorist, he is following Islam. Whether he is or not, I don’t know, but you as Muslims know that, without checking up, laying allegations is also wrong.”
Zakir Naik’s comments in defence of Osama Bin Laden were first exposed by this newspaper back in 2005. Later the matter drew attention of global news media.
Following series of allegations of preaching radical Islam, Indian authorities finally began investigating Zakir Naik.
Extradition by the Malaysian authorities:
Malaysia has not decided on extraditing controversial preacher Zakir Naik to India, Human Resources M Kulasegaran was reported as saying in New Delhi by the Press Trust of India.
He was said to have told India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that the matter could end up being decided by the courts.
Zakir, who left India in July, 2016, is wanted on terror and money laundering charges. In January 2017, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made a formal request to Malaysia to deport Zakir.
Zakir Naik is known to be a friend of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Nazak. But, considering his (Zakir’s) extreme antisemitic and radical Islamic activities, Mahathir Mohamad may grant him asylum, as the Malaysian Prime Minister is known to be notoriously antisemitic.