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