RF and cash ban handily coincided, charges Naik

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik said the ban was timed with the "demonetisation fiasco" to avert resistance and divert media attention.

Published: 25th November 2016 04:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2016 11:23 PM   |  A+A-

Zakir Naik

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik | EPS

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: Terming the decision to ban his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as anti-Muslim and
anti-democratic, controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on Friday alleged that the ban was deliberately timed to coincide with the demonetisation move to avert resistance and divert media attention.

Titled ‘Facing The Foregone Conclusion’, a three-page letter released here on Friday by Naik’s media advisor sought to know why the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) does not apply to MP Yogi Adityanath and right-winger Sadhvi Prachi, who also make inflammatory speeches.

“Why was it (UAPA) not applied to the likes of Rajeshwar Singh, Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Prachi who... make inflammatory speeches aimed at inciting communal hatred,” asked Naik in the letter.

Last week, the government banned the IRF and declared it a terrorist organisation under the UAPA for five years.

“Let us not be gullible to think this was an attack on me. It is an attack on whom I represent, the Indian Muslims. It is an attack on peace, democracy and justice… I will pursue all legal options to repeal this ban. Because Islam has taught me not to let injustice go by. I will fight, be sure of that,” Naik  said in
the letter.

Naik is believed to be in Africa. “This must be the most unique ban to be applied in the history of India, because not a single time was I questioned or given a chance to explain. No notice, no summons, no calls and no contact ever made with me to get my side of the story. I kept offering my help but it wasn’t taken,”
Naik stated in the letter.

“Before investigations were done, even before reports were submitted, the ban was already decided. IRF was to be banned. Whether it was owing to my religion or some other reason, does not matter,” Naik said adding that the judiciary will fail the Narendra Modi government in its ‘plans’.

“From the government’s point of view, the timing itself could not have been better. The decision to ban IRF was taken in the middle of the demonetization fiasco, as the country reeled under the self-imposed cash crunch. I won’t be surprised if this ban was meant to distract media from what was going on in the
country. For the public that is starved for cash, for trade and basic amenities, one cannot expect much of a
resistance,” the letter stated.

Naik further said if the Islamic International School’s bank account is frozen, it will not be able to meet its daily expenses and the future of hundreds of children will be in jeopardy.

“The country’s democratic fabric is under attack. People’s lives are being played with. Governments are misusing their authority on people they’re supposed to protect. This needs to change,” Naik said.

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