Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is set to preach Islamic sermons in the 2022 FIFA world cup. The preacher arrived in Qatar ahead of the World Cup upon the invitation of the host, Qatar.
The 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup has been in conversation for several reasons. The ranking of the host team, treatment of the workers, absence of basic rights to the LGBTQIA+ community and the women, etc. have become the major talking points ahead of the sporting event.
The Mumbai-born orator, who is accused of money laundering and hate speech, has been banned from India since 2016. Social Media reports have stated that the orator will be delivering speeches throughout the competition.
“One of the most popular Islamic Scholars of our time Dr. Zakir Naik has reached Qatar for the FIFA World Cup,” tweeted Zain Khan, a filmmaker.
Here are a few controversies surrounding Zakir Naik
Defender of Suicide Attacks
Zakir Naik is accused of supporting suicide attacks. In one of his speeches, the orator cited Salman Audah and called him “one of the great scholars of Islam. Audah is an Islamic preacher from Muslim Brotherhood, a banned organisation. While citing him, Naik stated that in extreme cases suicide attacks were permitted in Islam.
Admired by the Terrorists
A terrorist attack took place in Dhaka on July 1, 2016. The then government of India, in a written reply to a query, stated that the terrorists were reportedly admirers of Zakir Naik.
The Minister of State for Home H. Ahir said that Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation had the mandate to conduct educational and social work, however, it was getting its other activities as well.
A TV Channel propagating hate?
In 2006, Zakir Naik founded a Dubai-based channel for the propagation of Islam, by name of Peace TV. Bangla and Urdu versions of the same channels were also introduced, but they were eventually banned for allegedly promoting hatred. Zakir Naik, who is a permanent resident of Malaysia, has been denied a visa from Canada and the United Kingdom. The orator is not allowed in several countries after he supported Al Qaeda and Bin Laden.
1) India: Accused of money laundering. Many arrested for ISIS links got inspired by Naik
2) Sri Lanka: Hashim (leader of NTJ– group behind Easter bombings) praised Naik
3) Bangladesh: 2016 Dhaka attack terrorists inspired by Naik
Qatar invites him in FIFA World Cup pic.twitter.com/AVrXVSULUq
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) November 20, 2022
Inciting hatred between Hindus and Muslims
Even in Malaysia, Naik has gotten into trouble for his speeches. He was accused spread hatred and racism when he stated that Hindus in Malaysia are more loyal to Narendra Modi than to the leader of their country. Naik later clarified that his statements were misunderstood. As a result of the eventual public outcry though, the government in Malaysia banned him from speaking in Public.
04 people taking Shahada at the hands of Dr. Zakir Naik in FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
— Muhammad Ather (@M_ather9) November 20, 2022
Besides, there are several speeches wherein he speaks about the death penalty for homosexuals, and men’s right to beat up their wives. Naik’s view of tolerance towards other religions has also gained a lot of traction.
“How can we allow (temples/churches in Muslim states) when their religion is wrong and when their worshipping is wrong,” said Dr. Zakir Naik.