Zakir Naik’s speeches praised Osama bin Laden, says Cen­tre

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­

The Cen­tre banned the NGO run by con­tro­ver­sial Is­lamic preacher Zakir Naik on the grounds that the Mum­bai­head­quar­tered Is­lamic Re­search Foun­da­tion (IRF) had been prop­a­gat­ing ha­tred be­tween re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties.

A gov­ern­ment or­der is­sued on Thurs­day de­clared IRF an un­law­ful as­so­ci­a­tion for five years un­der In­dia’s anti-ter­ror law, the Un­law­ful Ac­tiv­i­ties Preven­tion Act (UAPA). The or­der said Naik’s speeches, which ex­tolled “known ter­ror­ists like Osama Bin Laden” were sub­ver­sive in na­ture and in­spired “Mus­lim youth and ter­ror­ists in In­dia and abroad to com­mit ter­ror­ist acts”. The or­der will be re­viewed by a tri­bunal chaired by a high court judge.

The IRF was reg­is­tered un­der the char­ity law in 1990, but came un­der scru­tiny by In­dian in­tel­li­gence agen­cies ear­lier this year af­ter at least one sus­pect in the Dhaka at­tack claimed he was in­spired by Naik’s speeches.

A goof-up in the home min­istry, how­ever, led to the re­newal of the IRF’s li­cence to re­ceive for­eign funding. The home min­istry has started the process to can­cel its li­cence un­der the for­eign contribution reg­u­la­tion law and has pro­hib­ited the group from re­ceiv­ing for­eign funds with­out the home min­istry’s ap­proval.

Zakir Naik:

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