BJP taunts Zakir Naik's 'messenger of peace' remark, demands probe

| Updated: Jul 15, 2016 22:27 IST

New Delhi, July 15 (ANI) Dubbing Zakir Naik's 'messenger of peace' remark as utter nonsense, former home secretary and Bharatiya Janata Party MP R.K. Singh on Friday said that the controversial Islamic preacher was making such assertions as he was now expecting an investigation against him courtesy the claims made by the Bangladesh media. "If the terrorists say that they are inspired by him then how can he be messenger of peace? There was a terror attack in Bangladesh and two terrorists said that they were inspired by Zakir Naik...So, now that he is assuming an investigation against him that is why he is calling himself as the messenger of peace," Singh told ANI. Justifying his stand, Singh said it is impossible to believe that a person, who has been showering praises on Osama Bin Laden, has condemned terrorism. "According to reports published in some newspapers on his speeches, he has been praising Osama Bin Laden, who is amongst the world's number one terrorist and the founder of al-Qaeda. Then how can we say he condemns terrorism and how come terrorists get inspired by him, this is not worth believing," Singh said. The former home secretary demanded that an investigation should be done with regard to whatever Naik has said, adding strict action should be initiated if he has violated the law. Pleading innocence, Naik has alleged that the Indian media started trying him just because one of the Bangladesh newspapers reported that one of the terrorists involved in the Dhaka cafe attack was inspired by him. "I am seeing that there is an India media cry on me just because a report came in one of the Bangladesh newspapers 'The Daily Star' that one of the terrorists who was involved in the attack was inspired by me, and the media trial started. On July 29, the newspaper corrected themselves that they never said that Dr Zakir inspired him and Dr Zakir did not inspire any terrorist to kill innocent people," he told a press conference in Mumbai via Skype from Medina. Naik said that his answers were altered and misguided people, adding those who did that shall be held responsible. "Media for ulterior motives change meaning of my statements," he said. Naik said he condemns all terror attacks anywhere in world and will speak for hours if needed. "Suicide bombings where innocents are killed is 'haraam'. But as tactic of war it is permitted say many scholars," said Naik, who began his press conference by condemning the France terror attack. Naik further said Verse 32 in Chapter 5 of the Quran says killing innocents is crime. "No scripture other than the Quran says one innocent killed is killing of the humanity," he added. He also stated that he has never met any terrorist knowingly. "But if some people stand next to me to take photographs, I smile. I don't know who they are? I am a messenger of peace. I do not criticise any sect of Islam, I may disagree on interpretations," he said. (ANI)