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The Trouble with Dr. Zakir Naik

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Bang Galore, Jun 21, 2010.

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  1. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Britain's decision to bar an influential Muslim cleric from entering the country underscores the failure of Indian secularism.

    By SADANAND DHUME

    If you're looking for a snapshot of India's hapless response to radical Islam, then look no further than Bombay-based cleric Dr. Zakir Naik. In India, the 44-year-old Dr. Naik—a medical doctor by training and a televangelist by vocation—is a widely respected figure, feted by newspapers and gushed over by television anchors. The British, however, want no part of him. On Friday, the newly elected Conservative-led government announced that it would not allow Dr. Naik to enter Britain to deliver a series of lectures. According to Home Secretary Theresa May, the televangelist has made "numerous comments" that are evidence of his "unacceptable behavior."

    The good doctor's views run the gamut from nutty to vile, so it's hard to pinpoint which of them has landed him in trouble. For instance, though Dr. Naik has condemned terrorism, at times he also appears to condone it. "If he [Osama bin Laden] is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him," he said in a widely watched 2007 YouTube diatribe. "If he is terrorizing the terrorists, if he is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist."

    Dr. Naik recommends the death penalty for homosexuals and for apostasy from the faith, which he likens to wartime treason. He calls for India to be ruled by the medieval tenets of Shariah law. He supports a ban on the construction of non-Muslim places of worship in Muslim lands and the Taliban's bombing of the Bamiyan Buddhas. He says revealing clothes make Western women "more susceptible to rape." Not surprisingly, Dr. Naik believes that Jews "control America" and are the "strongest in enmity to Muslims."

    [​IMG]

    Of course, every faith has its share of cranks; and, arguably, India has more than its share. But it's impossible to relegate Dr. Naik to Indian Islam's fringe. Earlier this year, the Indian Express listed him as the country's 89th most powerful person, ahead of Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen, eminent lawyer and former attorney general Soli Sorabjee, and former Indian Premier League cricket commissioner Lalit Modi. Dr. Naik's satellite TV channel, Peace TV, claims a global viewership of up to 50 million people in 125 countries. On YouTube, a search for Dr. Naik turns up more than 36,000 hits.

    Nobody accuses Dr. Naik of direct involvement in terrorism, but those reportedly drawn to his message include Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan-American arrested last year for planning suicide attacks on the New York subway; Rahil Sheikh, accused of involvement in a series of train bombings in Bombay in 2006; and Kafeel Ahmed, the Bangalore man fatally injured in a failed suicide attack on Glasgow airport in 2007.

    Nonetheless, when the doctor appears on a mainstream Indian news channel, his interviewers tend to be deferential. Senior journalist and presenter Shekhar Gupta breathlessly introduced his guest last year as a "rock star of televangelism" who teaches "modern Islam" and "his own interpretation of all the faiths around the world." A handful of journalists—among them Praveen Swami of the Hindu, and the grand old man of Indian letters, Khushwant Singh—have questioned Dr. Naik's views, but most take his carefully crafted image of moderation at face value.

    At first glance, it's easy to understand why. Unlike the foaming mullah of caricature, Dr. Naik eschews traditional clothing for a suit and tie. His background as a doctor and his often gentle demeanor set him apart, as does his preaching in English. Unlike traditional clerics, Dr. Naik quotes freely from non-Muslim scripture, including the Bible and the Vedas. (You have to pay attention to realize that invariably this is either to disparage other faiths, or to interpret them in line with his version of Islam.) The depth of Dr. Naik's learning is easily apparent.

    But this doesn't fully explain Dr. Naik's escape from criticism. It helps that Indians appear to have trouble distinguishing between free speech and hate speech. In a Western democracy, demanding the murder of homosexuals and the second-class treatment of non-Muslims would likely attract public censure or a law suit. In India, it goes unchallenged as long as it has a religious imprimatur. However, create a book or a painting that ruffles religious sentiment, as the writer Taslima Nasreen and the painter M. F. Husain both discovered, and either the government or a mob of pious vigilantes will strive to muzzle you.

    In general, India accords extra deference to allegedly holy men of all stripes unlike, say, France, which strives to keep religion out of the public square. Taxpayers subsidize the Haj pilgrimage for pious Muslims and a similar, albeit much less expensive, journey for Hindus to a sacred lake in Tibet. This reflexive deference effectively grants the likes of Dr. Naik—along with all manner of Hindu and Christian charlatans—protection against the kind of robust scrutiny he would face in most other democracies.

    Finally, unlike Hindu bigots, such as the World Hindu Council's Praveen Togadia, whose fiercest critics tend to be fellow Hindus, radical Muslims go largely unchallenged. The vast majority of Indian Muslims remain moderate, but their leaders are often fundamentalists and the community has done a poor job of policing its own ranks. Moreover, most of India's purportedly secular intelligentsia remains loath to criticize Islam, even in its most radical form, lest this be interpreted as sympathy for Hindu nationalism.

    Unless this changes, unless Indians find the ability to criticize a radical Islamic preacher such as Dr. Naik as robustly as they would his Hindu equivalent, the idea of Indian secularism will remain deeply flawed.

    Mr. Dhume, a columnist for WSJ.com, is writing a book on the new Indian middle class.
     
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  2. jagjitnatt

    jagjitnatt Major ELITE MEMBER

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    I am strictly against religious extremism. We gotta revise the religions.

    The aim of the religion was to create something common among all the people and create a sense of God whom the human race would fear. Religion is a very intelligent means to control the human race.
    In old days, religion was used to bind the people of a kingdom/civilization together, as the civilizations expanded, clashed and mixed, religion became the reason for divide.

    Today, religion is more of a political agenda than a code. No one is interested, but some people think of themselves as the Templars who are supposed to protect their religion. Its completely screwed up. No one should be allowed to preach their religion, everyone should just follow whatever he/she wants to. That would end a lot of problems
     
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  3. Desi Jatt

    Desi Jatt Captain ELITE MEMBER

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    I did hear him many times on thetelevision and must admit he is a very good speaker.

    But I dont like this person..he is the one who said every Muslim should be a terrorist and Osama Bin Laden is doing a good work according to islam and he supports him.
    even many muslims themselves in India dont like him.
     
  4. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Man I hate this Guy, he is Indeed a Perfect Example for, How not to be One
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  5. Naren1987

    Naren1987 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Can't we put him in prison, I mean, the world paid a heavy price for Adolf Hitler's hate speeches, and this extends to the Thakereys as well.
     
  6. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Well Our country is democratic and Most Important Secular, so he has the right to Speak.... but If such speeches are converted to Action then he has every Possible chance to see the prison
     
  7. Desi Jatt

    Desi Jatt Captain ELITE MEMBER

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    but many of his speech is provocative enough for the younger generation to follow a wrong path like terrorism...is that not enough for them to arrest him onthese charges ?
     
  8. Arjun MBT

    Arjun MBT Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Well, Constitutional laws Does support Your statement.... But Our Babus Dont go along with it... He can be framed with charges for Having Hate speech in a mass gathering, he could be Arrested, But what to do, In India this Is Not Considered a serious offense I guess...
     
  9. Desi Jatt

    Desi Jatt Captain ELITE MEMBER

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    Actually, its also abou awareness....someone even needs to register a case against him on this but thepeople in India first do not take these things so seriously (which is good in another way) and ofcourse as you said our babus and netas would not go along iwth it even if a cse is filed against him..example..Raj Thackeray and his hate speeches.
     
  10. Veer

    Veer 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    India is not realizing the danger of the petro dollar funded wahabi spam. The radical Zakir Naik is spreading extremism and converting our Muslims as hardcore Taliban.
     
  11. jagjitnatt

    jagjitnatt Major ELITE MEMBER

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    The problem with arresting or executing these people is the huge amount of support behind them. Action against them would result in a civil war in India.

    We need to tighten up our judicial system, and strengthen our education system. Only then we would be able to take action against them.
     
  12. Bang Galore

    Bang Galore Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Muslims split over Zakir ban

    Aarefa Johari, Hindustan Times
    Mumbai, June 22, 2010


    The ban issued by the UK government on Islamic televangelist Dr Zakir Naik has split the city Muslims into two camps.

    A group of Sunni Muslims, spearheaded by the Raza Academy, visited the British High Commission on Monday to express their support to the government, which banned Naik’s entry into the country.

    Another collective of Muslim organisations is planning to protest the ban at Azad Maidan on Tuesday, and to submit a petition in solidarity with the Mumbai-based preacher.

    Naik, due to give two public lectures in the UK next week, has been accused of promoting terrorism in his speeches.

    “We appreciate the initiative of the UK government to restrict his entry. We do not accept him as an Islamic preacher or scholar,†said the letter submitted to the British High Commission by a group of 12 Sunni ulemas, who alleged that Naik has no degree in Islamic studies and gives speeches designed to make Muslims fight internally.

    “Naik and writers Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasrin all come in the same category — they all protect terrorism,†said Maulana Amanullah Raza, president of the All India Aimma-e-Masajid Council, one of the groups supporting the ban.

    “Those who support Naik are in the minority, and are all Wahhabis (an Islamic sect focusing only on belief in Allah).â€

    Refuting this allegation is another group of Muslims, who claim that Naik is popular among the majority of Muslims in India and the world.

    “This ban is a violation of the freedom of speech and expression that Britian is so proud of,†said Qazim Malik, and educationist associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the many organisations to hold a peaceful protest on Tuesday.

    Muslims split over Zakir ban- Hindustan Times
     
  13. AVADI

    AVADI Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Heard his speech one time and he is completely Nuts.
     
  14. Sid

    Sid Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    We call him Joker Nalayak.
     
  15. Sid

    Sid Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    He is a menace to the Hindu Society. Scores of hindus are getting converted to Islam during his Islamic lectures.
     
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