New Delhi, Aug 24: Controversial Islamic preacher, Dr. Zakir Naik is back in the news and this time it is for the advise he has been offering Indian Muslims.
He says that Indian Muslims cannot practice their faith, they should do Hijira. If you have the means to go to a Muslim majority country that would be the best he said while adding that he did expect that all Indian Muslims would leave the country.
He further said that those Muslims who could not move out of India should go to states which are lenient towards Muslims. The best state I can think of for Muslims is Kerala adding that all the three major religions-Hindus, Muslims and Christians each accounted for about one-third of the population of Kerala.
The people of Kerala are not communal in nature. The BJP government does not have much hold on Kerala. So the best option if you want to do Hijira to another state, I would say go to Kerala, he also said.
Naik mentioning Kerala is interesting, considering the big role he has played in the state when it comes to radicalisation. The fugitive preacher who is in Malaysia has found a mention several times in the files of the National Investigation Agency.
Nashidul Hamzafar, the 26 year old management student from Kerala's Wayanad was in September 2018 arrested by the NIA after he became one of the first ISIS recruits to be deported from Afghanistan.
During his interrogation, he detailed the role played by Islamic preachers such as Naik and what sort of an influence they had on him, which ultimately prompted him to join the ISIS.
Hamzafar said that he was not attracted to the ISIS ideology for long. I found them to be too brutal and the outfit only scared me, he says. My ambition was to pursue my education and find a good job in Dubai.
A lot changed when one of his friends, Shihas sent him an audio clip regarding the Islamic State. My perception towards the outfit changed. Then I began listening to audios of Zakir Naik, Noman Alikhan among others. Their speeches inspired me and my approach towards life changed.
Going by his statements, it becomes clear that the likes of Zakir Naik through his Islamic Research Foundation and the Kerala based Peace Educational Foundation have played a huge role in the radicalisation of youth in Kerala.
Naik has not only been quoted by several terrorists as an inspiration, but his NGO has sown the seeds of poison in several states. One key state to be hit is Kerala, which already faces a mammoth problem of Islamic radicalisation. In addition to this, the state has also produced the most number of Islamic State terrorists.
In 2019, the raids by the NIA in various places in Kerala led to the seizure of Naik related literature. In the Kerala Islamic State case, his name has cropped in the past as well. The raids that were conducted in 2019 were related to the same case and the NIA had learnt that the members of this module were on the same social media group that the terrorists who undertook the Sri Lanka blasts were.
The NIA probes say that a majority of the 127 ISIS suspects who have been arrested have said that they were inspired by the speeches and ideology of Zakir Naik.