New Delhi: No official invitation was extended to criminal Islamic evangelist Zakir Naik to attend the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Doha, Qatar conveyed to India through diplomatic channels.
Earlier Union Minister Hardeep Puri said, “India would convey its views on the matter in the ‘strongest possible terms to the authorities concerned.”
It was reported that Qatar has officially invited Zakir Naik to deliver Islamic messages at FIFA. A section of the ruling BJP back home has called for a boycott of FIFA. However, Vice President of India Jagdeep Dhakar did attend the opening ceremony of the World Cup.
As per sources, Qatar has called the earlier reports deliberate “disinformation” being spread by third countries to adversely impact India-Qatar bilateral relations.
The statement came after India told Qatar that it would be forced to cancel Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar’s visit to the FIFA World Cup inauguration if Islamist Zakir Naik is formally invited to watch the grand inauguration of the event from the VVIP box.
Controversial TV preacher Zakir Naik faces multiple cases of money laundering and hates speech in India and his organization Islamic Research Foundation is banned in the country. Naik is also accused of encouraging and assisting IRF’s followers in “promoting or attempting to promote feelings of enmity, hatred, or ill-will between different religious communities and groups.”
One of the charges against Naik is that he was involved in forceful conversions. Based on the evidence, a charge-sheet was filed against him for converting people of other religions to Islam.
Zakir Naik has been living in exile in Malaysia since 2017 after India filed money laundering charges against him.
Even though he has permanent residency in Malaysia, he was banned from giving speeches in the country in 2020 in the interests of national security.
He had been accused of making inflammatory speeches and questioned by local police over his intent to provoke a breach of peace by making remarks about Hindu and Chinese communities living in the Muslim-majority nation.
Zakir Naik is a wanted criminal in India and faces charges of spreading hate in India and also money laundering.
Ministry of Home Affairs declared Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation unlawful last year. Naik is blamed for promoting hate, and disharmony and his speeches are seen as objectionable as he has been extolling known terrorists promoting conversion and terrorism