Asserting that the Centre has taken cognizance of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s controversial comments regarding terrorism, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday said India, which is a truly democratic country, does not allow anyone to promote terrorism in any form.
Speaking to reporters, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said that there have been many reports about Naik in the past, even during the UPA regime, but the Manmohan Singh-led government did not pay heed to it and did not take any action.
“There can be many ways to present Islam and there is full liberty and freedom in India to publicise and promote any religion. But no one can be allowed to promote terrorism in India. It is also true that there have been many reports against Naik. There were reports against him during the UPA regime, but they did not take any action. Now, our government has said that we will first investigate the reports and then initiate action,” he told reporters.
The stand of the UPA regime was very fragile. They always compromised on the issue of terrorism. We should not allow anyone to promote terrorism,” he added while categorically stating that former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA regime lacked on this front.
Hussain further insisted the need of the hour is to protect the children from getting infected with the ISIS ideology.
“Our Prime Minister has always asserted that terrorism is not related to any religion for which he won appreciation from all the countries. Our Home Minister has also asserted that a proper probe will be conducted into Naik’s speech,” he said.
Earlier on Friday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the government has taken cognizance of Naik’s speeches, adding necessary instructions have been issued in this regard.
“His (Zakir Naik) speeches, CDs are being examined and whatever is justified will be done,” Rajnath told the media.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu had also said that the Home Ministry will analyze and act appropriately on Naik’s ‘objectionable’ speeches.
During a lecture on Peace TV, Naik reportedly urged all Muslims to become terrorists.
Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in UK and Canada for his hate speeches.
He is among the 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.