Zakir Naik, Islamic preacher wanted by Indian authorities. Zakir is an Indian citizen, but lives in Malaysia. Photo/REUTERS
JAKARTA – Controversial speaker, Zakir Naik , has been wanted by the authorities of his country of origin; India, since 2016 ago. There are several reasons why New Delhi is eager to arrest the preacher.
Because of his status as a fugitive, Zakir Naik is looking for safe places in several countries. In 2017, he went to Malaysia and became a permanent resident there to take refuge.
The Indian government has asked the Malaysian government to extradite the preacher. However, this request could not be fulfilled because Interpol refused to issue a Red Notice for the arrest of the man who was born in Mumbai.
Malaysia in 2019 also firmly opposed the extradition of Zakir Naik because he considered that the speaker would not receive justice in India.
3 Reasons Why Zakir Naik Is Being Hunted by India
Despite being rejected by Malaysia, India continues to ask for Zakir Naik’s extradition. There are three reasons why the preacher was wanted by the authorities from his home country.
1. Money Laundering Cases
According to the BBC, Indian prosecutors have charged preacher Zakir Naik with money laundering. Zakir, who lives in exile, is accused of acquiring criminal assets worth $28 million in 2016.
Zakir Naik immediately denied these accusations and revealed that the news was false and baseless.
2. The Hate Speech Case
Also in 2016, India’s Counterterrorism Agency filed a complaint against Naik, accusing him of promoting religious hatred and other unlawful activities.
On 17 November 2016, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), the social-religious activities agency that Naik founded, was declared an unlawful organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
3. Accused of Inciting Terrorism
Zakir Naik has been accused of promoting a radical form of Islam on the Peace TV channel. The channel is banned in India, but has an estimated 200 million viewers worldwide.
Because of this, other countries also banned the channel including Canada, the UK, and Bangladesh.
Even in July 2016, there was a terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh. According to India Today, the terror suspect told investigators that he was influenced by Naik’s lectures via his YouTube channel.
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