Zakir Naik plays victim, dubs IRF ban ‘communal move’

MUMBAI (TIP): Controversial televangelist Zakir Naik has called the ban on his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF)+ “a communal decision”. In a letter released on Friday through his spokesperson, his second since being accused of radicalising one of the perpetrators of the July 1 Dhaka cafe attack, Naik said IRF was banned without any agency questioning him.

“…not a single time was I questioned or given a chance to explain,” he writes. “Their agenda is open and clear: implicate me by hook or by crook.”

“The decision to ban IRF was taken in the middle of the demonetisation+ 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.” Recently, the government banned IRF under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, froze the bank account of Islamic International School, while NIA has asked banks to freeze accounts of Naik, IRF and associate companies.

Playing the Muslim victimhood card, Naik said IRF was slapped with UAPA because “the name of the religion has been made synonymous with violence”.

Naik, like in his previous letter sent on September 10, alleged it was Indian Muslims who were under attack. “It is an attack on whom I represent, the Indian Muslims.”

Naik, however, expressed his faith in the Indian judiciary. A source said Naik wrote this letter from an African country which he is touring currently.