Zakir Naik, the preacher who is said to be the one who “inspired” the terrorists of the Dhaka terror attacks, has long history and controversies attached to his name. With over 14 million followers on facebook and 200 million viewers of Peace TV in multiple languages, including Urdu, Bengali and Chinese, this man is playing smart and reaching the masses via social media.
Zakir Naik is a doctor turned Indian Islamic preacher based in Mumbai and is specially known for his Hate Speeches against other religions. It turns out that 2 of the 7 attackers of Dhaka were followers of Zakir Naik on facebook. Rohan Imtiaz, one of the attacker – posted a message on Facebook last year quoting 50-year-old Naik “ Every Muslim should be terrorist”.
Zakir Naik is a world renowned name. He is banned from entering UK and Canada and is among the 16 preachers who are banned from Malaysia. He is the founder of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, maximum of his followers are from Bangladesh. It was alleged that the IRF was featured on the website of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the parent body of LeT.
“Don’t judge the book by its cover” – this statement is coming true in the light of the Dhaka Terrorists and Zakir Naik himself. The innocent looking, next-door-boy-crush faced boys turned out to be deadly terrorists. Authorities also report that the terrorists were well educated and from rich families. Similarly, read through the profile of Zakir Naik, a doctor and no one would doubt his intellectual mind unless you read his controversial statements.
He does not consider Osama Bin Laden as a Terrorist. He is anti Homosexuals and believes that they should be sentenced to death. He says “Quran allows Muslims to have sex with female slaves”. He believes that Muslims who leave Islam must be put to death.
On being questioned about his relation with the attackers of Dhaka he said “The largest percentage of my Facebook followers are from Bangladesh. Ninety per cent of Bangladeshis would know me, including senior politicians, philanthropists, common men, students and more. Fifty per cent would be my fans. Am I shocked that the attackers knew me? No.”
Other terror suspects who were reportedly fans of Naik include Afghan-American Najibulla Zazi, Dr Kafeel Ahmed, and Mumbai’s Rahil Sheikh.
In a world where Social Media influences the masses, how can activities such as these be stopped? When the well-educated masses take up the fanatic path, what ways do the government or the common people have to stop it? When one cannot control one’s own thoughts and actions, how can the minds of others be barred from getting influenced? When soldiers and heroes like Faraaz who identify with Human Beings and not religion and nationality die facing the terrorists, somewhere the world loses hope of survival.