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Did Not Promote Terror, I Welcome Any Probe: Preacher Zakir Naik

Bangladeshi Terrorists Nibras Islam (L) and Rohan Imtiaz (R) who hacked to death 20 people at a restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone followed controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Nayek (C)/Courtesy: Facebook & Islamic Research Foundation.

Bangladeshi Terrorists Nibras Islam (L) and Rohan Imtiaz (R) who hacked to death 20 people at a restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone followed controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Nayek (C)/Courtesy: Facebook & Islamic Research Foundation.

Zakir Naik denied he ever said that all Muslims should be terrorists

Mumbai: Controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik on Wednesday rubbished reports that his speeches promoted terrorism saying he welcomed any investigation against him.

"It is totally illogical to say that I promote terrorism. Not a single investigative agency says Dr Zakir Naik promotes terrorism. The Home Ministry is most welcome to go through all my speeches," Naik told CNN-News18 over the phone.

"I inspire many people because I have a large following. These people might have been inspired by me but I don’t know them personally. I fear media and politicians because they might malign my image. There are people who are using my photographs and misquoting me to defame me. I welcome any investigation against me," he added.

Naik, who is president of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), also denied he ever said that all Muslims should be terrorists saying the video which allegedly showed him doing so was doctored.

The controversial preacher was reacting to reports from Bangladesh that two of the terrorists - Rohan Imtiaz and Nibras Islam - who hacked to death 20 people at Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant were inspired by him.

"I always preach no Muslim should terrorise anybody...Anyone who kills people, whether he is Muslim or non-Muslim, will go to hell," Naik said in the exclusive interview. I said every Muslim should be a terrorist to all anti social elements. It is unfortunate that people are alleging that I am promoting terrorism.

On the context of his controversial speech on Osama Bin Laden, he said, "My speech on Osama Bin Laden made in Singapore was doctored. I never asked to support Osama Bin Laden. The video circulated (in social media) was doctored. I didn't call Osama either a terrorist or a saint. I don’t even know him."

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said that there are reports that two of the attackers were inspired by Naik.

He said, "We got in touch with Ulemas to look into Naik's speeches. There are complaints against him in our country for his controversial speeches. Our investigating agencies are looking in to all the angles and I am not in a position to reveal everything in this moment."

Earlier, in the day Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said investigating agencies were probing his speeches.
first published:July 06, 2016, 21:21 IST