BJP Leader Calls For World Cup Boycott Over Invite To Fugitive Zakir Naik

BJP Leader Calls For World Cup Boycott Over Invite To Fugitive Zakir Naik

The Ministry of Home Affairs has declared the Islamic Research Foundation founded by Zakir Naik as an illegal organization. (file)

Panaji (Goa):

After inviting controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to the FIFA World Cup, BJP spokesperson Savio Rodriguez today appealed to the government, the Indian Football Association and Indians visiting the host country to boycott the sporting event.

Qatar has invited Indian fugitive Zakir Naik to give a lecture on Islam during the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

In a statement, Mr. Rodrigues said that giving Naik a platform at a time when the world is fighting terrorism is like giving a “terrorist sympathizer” to “spread hatred”.

“The FIFA World Cup is a global event. People from all over the world come to watch this spectacular game and millions watch it on TV and the Internet. Giving Zakir Naik a platform, at a time when the world is fighting global terrorism, is an opportunity for a terrorist to spread his extremism and hatred. Giving the platform,” he said.

The BJP leader appealed to the people of the country and foreign people who have been victims of terrorism to boycott the World Cup event “in solidarity with the global fight against terrorism”.

Alleging that Naik had “been instrumental in spreading Islamic extremism and hatred in India”, Rodrigues said he was “no less than a terrorist himself”.

“Zakir Naik is a wanted person under Indian law. He is accused of money laundering and hate speech. He is a terrorist sympathizer. In fact, he is no less than a terrorist himself. He has openly supported the terrorist Osama bin Laden and is the cause of Islamic extremism and hatred in India. played an instrumental role in spreading,” added Mr. Rodrigues.

Earlier in March this year, the Home Ministry declared the Zakir Naik-founded Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an illegal organization and banned it for five years.

“Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik will be in Qatar during the World Cup and will give many religious speeches throughout the tournament,” Al Arabiya News reported, citing Faisal Alhajri, a presenter on Qatar’s state-owned sports channel Alqas, on Twitter on Saturday.

The MHA notification said that IRF founder Zakir Naik’s speech was objectionable as he was praising known terrorists.

The notice also said that the IRF founder also preached forcible conversion of youth to Islam, justified suicide bombings and posted offensive comments against Hindus, Hindu gods and other religions, derogatory to other religions.

“Naik is further inciting Muslim youth and terrorists in India and abroad to commit terrorist activities,” the notification added. It also said that illegal activities of IRF, its members as well as sympathizers were observed in Gujarat, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra and Odisha.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and appeared on a syndicated feed.)

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