Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, under fire for allegedly inspiring one of the terrorists involved in the recent Dhaka attack, has open up about what he feels about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Islamic State.
Naik said that the news that one of the attackers was his follower was first published in a Bangladeshi newspaper on July 3 and then in the Indian media on July 4.
“It is totally wrong. The paper later clarified but the Indian media ran a trial against me,” he was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
Naik hailed Modi saying he is the only PM of India who has visited so many Muslim countries in just two years. Naik said this will “strengthen relations between India and other Muslim countries”.
“If his (Modi's) intention is to maintain unity between Hindus and Muslims and between India and other Muslim countries, I am totally for him," he told the leading national daily in an interview.
“Hinduism is a major religion of the world and India has a high Muslim population. So if the PM reaches out to Muslim countries, it is good. It will help bring investments to India. If all these countries get together, India would become a superpower. India was a superpower in the past and will attain that stature again,” he said.
He also shared his views on the Islamic State, saying, “Jihad means to strive and struggle to make the society better. It also stands for self-defence. But the Indian media has hyped jihad. Besides non-Muslims, it is misunderstood even by Muslims.”
“IS is killing innocent people which, according to the Quran, is a sin against humanity. I call them anti-Islam state. They have given a wrong meaning to Islam. If someone killed Muslims in Gujarat that does not justify killing innocent Hindus in Mumbai.”
Refuting claims that he forced Hindus to embrace Islam, he said that he was “proud to be an Indian and an Indian Muslim”.