Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Controversial preacher Zakir Naik gives religious sermons at Qatar FIFA World Cup

NewsControversial preacher Zakir Naik gives religious sermons at Qatar FIFA World Cup

A highly controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik has been invited to Qatar to give religious sermons while the country hosts the world’s most-watched sporting event — FIFA World Cup.

Naik, who currently resides in Malaysia, is a wanted fugitive from Indian authorities for allegedly being involved in terror financing, money laundering and hate speech. He was granted permanent resident status in Malaysia in 2017.

The news was announced on Twitter by a presenter on Qatari state-owned sports channel Alkass, Faisal Alhajri, who said, “Preacher Zakir Naik is in Qatar and will give many religious lectures throughout the World Cup.”

Meanwhile, photos showing Naik attending World Cup-branded events had went circulated on social media.

Nonetheless, his presence at the World Cup in Qatar has added to the criticisms against the host country after it decides to impose religious restrictions on visitors, including a last-minute ban on most alcohol sales at the matches.

Naik has been accused of promoting a radical version of Islam that endorses terrorism and discrimination against other religious groups.

His speech would reach a massive global audience of around 200 million people via Peace TV, a satellite television network he started that is based in Dubai. However, the channel has been banned from several countries.

Source: Astro Awani

Naik’s past records

In 2019, Naik was banned from giving public speeches after he gave a contentious speech in which he responded to calls that he leave the country by saying that Chinese Malaysians were also “guests” in the country. He also said that if he were being asked to leave for their divisive views, the older “guests” should leave first.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has made several attempts to extradite Naik from Malaysia for the criminal charges he faces, including money laundering. However, these requests were rejected by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. 

At the same time, PAS officials have also strongly defended Naik for his past controversial statements.

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