Wanted Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik has denied breaking any Indian laws and stated that he’s simply being targeted by the “enemies of Islam” because of his work.
He made the statement at a public speech in Malaysia. Naik is wanted in India for hate speech and money laundering,
The preacher sought refuge in Malaysia after fleeing from Indian investigative agencies.
Among other charges, Naik is facing a probe by the National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate after a sermon on his channel, Peace TV, was cited as the reason for an attack in Bangladesh’s Dhaka in 2016, which left 22 people dead.
Naik made the speech in Kangar in Malaysia’s Perlis on Saturday, 1 December. Naik has said in the past that he does not plan on returning to India till he felt safe from “unfair prosecution”. He received permanent citizenship in Malaysia after he fled India.
"“Because I was spreading peace, I was giving solution for humanity, all the people who don’t like peace to prevail, they don’t like me. This doesn’t go down (well with) the enemies of Islam. Be it western countries or the country I was born in, India.”" - Zakir Naik, Founder, Islamic Research Foundation
Naik is also facing various charges, including hate speech and money laundering charges through the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) that he founded.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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