This is with reference to an exclusion order issued to Dr Zakir Naik by the British Home Office, UK Border Agency, dated 16th June 2010.
Dr Zakir Naik, the illustrious and eminent speaker from Mumbai, India, is respected and revered throughout the world for his enlightening and convincing efforts promoting similarities between major faiths based on converging values for a common platform of Peace, using the binding commonalities that exist between the religious scriptures including the Bible, Vedas, Torah and Glorious Qur’an.
Following on from recent malicious and specious reports in the British media about the work of Dr Zakir Naik, we are disappointed to learn the British Government has decided to exclude him from visiting the United Kingdom to conduct a Peace Conference Tour between 25th-27th June 2010.
It is deeply regrettable the British Government has bowed to pressure from sectarian and Islamophobic pressure groups by preventing the entry of Dr Zakir Naik, who has been visiting and delivering talks in the United Kingdom for the past 15 years.
In the wake of these inaccurate press reports, Dr Zakir Naik issued a press release in the United Kingdom dated 11th June 2010 which is attached herewith.
The exclusion order issued by the Secretary of Home Department UK, appears to rely mainly on the following four extracts from various talks by Dr Zakir Naik which they found objectionable;
Extract of Quote 1
“As far as terrorist is concerned, I tell the Muslims that every Muslim should be a terrorist… What is the meaning of the word terrorist? Terrorist by definition means a person who terrorises. When a robber sees a policeman he’s terrified. So for a robber, a policeman is a terrorist. So in this context every Muslim should be a terrorist to the robber… Every Muslim should be a terrorist to each and every anti-social element. I’m aware that terrorist more commonly is used for a person who terrorises an innocent person. In this context, no Muslim should even terrorise a single innocent human being. The Muslims should selectively terrorise the anti-social element, and many times, two different labels are given to the same activity of the same individual … Before any person gives any label to any individual for any of his actions, we have to first analyse, for what reason is he doing that?” (Source – video google)
Extract of Quote 2
“Beware of Muslims saying Osama Bin Laden is right or wrong, I reject them… we don’t know. But if you ask my view, if given the truth, if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him. I don’t know what he’s doing. I’m not in touch with him. I don’t know him personally. I read the newspaper. If he is terrorizing the terrorist, if he is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, he’s following Islam” (Source – You Tube – 2006)
Extract of Quote 3
“How can you ever justify killing innocent people? But in the same breath as condemning those responsible we must also condemn those responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon” (As reported by the Manchester Evening News, 21 August 2006 as part of a speech you gave at the Expo Islamia conference in Manchester.
Extract of Quote 4
“strongest in enmity towards the Muslims are the Jews and the pagans…. It [the Quran] does not say that the Muslims should fight with the Jews… the Jews, by nature as a whole, will be against Muslims… there are many Jews who are good to Muslims, but as a whole … The Quran tells us, as whole, they will be our staunchest enemy” (Peace TV, recorded on You – Tube)
The clarification of these quotes, provided by the British Home Office, is cited below:
Clarification of Quote 1
The context of the quote given was against an article according to The Times of India newspaper, Mumbai edition, (Times News Network, Wednesday August 20, 2003).
“Mr. Angre is amongst the five officers, who between them, have gunned down more than 300 alleged criminals in the past five years. The very mention of their names evokes terror in the underworld”.
Dr Naik said; “…The moment the underworld hear the name of Inspector Angre, they are terrified, so Inspector Angre of the Mumbai Police Force is a terrorist for the underworld of Mumbai”.
Therefore after reading the extract of the quote in context provided by the British Home Office from one of the Dr Zakir Naik’s talks, any sensible and logical person would not object as the extract quoted is self explanatory.
Clarification of Quote 2
Many journalists ask Dr Zakir Naik regarding his views about Osama Bin Laden. Due to the fact that he [Osama Bin Laden] has not been convicted in respect of 9/11 and as Dr Zakir Naik cannot verify the claims against him, he neither considers him a saint nor a terrorist.
There is not a single statement of Dr Zakir Naik after 9/11 in which he has praised Osama Bin Laden or supported his activities.
With regards to the extract of a quote on Osama Bin Laden taken from a video on YouTube, this clip was taken from a lecture Dr Zakir Naik delivered in Singapore in 1996, almost five years before 9/11 and not in 2006, as has been posted.
It is therefore not possible to link this quote to Osama Bin Laden in the context of the 9/11, when the atrocity had not taken place; and took place after almost 5 years in 2001.
The lecture was recorded by some local people [in Singapore] and was later edited and uploaded on You Tube by a prejudiced group. Unless and until we have the rushes (original unedited tapes) of the program, it is not possible to know which portions of the lecture have been edited.
It is therefore not reasonable, in the light of Dr Zakir Naik’s known views about 9/11 and all other atrocities such as 7/7 (London, UK) and 7/11 (serial train bomb blast in Mumbai, India) to link these manipulated and very old comments to recent world events.
Dr Zakir Naik has emphatically and regularly condemned any and all persons responsible for these appalling atrocities, killing innocent civilians.
Clarification of Quote 3
It appears the British Home Office has quoted Dr Zakir Naik only condemning attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon from the article published in Manchester Evening News on 21st August 2006.
However, the same article also reported Dr Zakir Naik condemning and criticizing the atrocities of New York (9/11), London (7/7) and Mumbai serial train bombers (7/11) before he condemns the attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon “in the same breath”. The context of which is cited below:
“However, Dr Zakir Naik, described by organizers as “the most sought after Muslim public speaker in the world”, criticized the actions of the New York, London and Bombay bombers”. (Manchester Evening News 21.08.06).
Clarification of Quote 4
Dr Zakir Naik was quoting from the Glorious Qur’an which says in Surah Ma’idah; chapter 5: Verse 82;
“Strongest amongst men in enmity to the Believers will thou find the Jews and the Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the Believers will thou find those who say, “We are Christians”.
In this context Dr Zakir Naik said “strongest in enmity towards the Muslims are the Jews and the pagans…. It [Qur’an] does not say the Muslims should fight with the Jews… the Jews, by nature as a whole, will be against Muslims…. there are many Jews who are good to Muslims, but as a whole …The Qur’an tells us, as a whole, they will be our staunchest enemy.”
Dr Zakir Naik has fervently criticized Adolf Hitler in many of his lectures as the greatest terrorist in the human history for his anti-Jewish policies and his atrocities for incinerating six million Jews.
As a student of comparative religion, Dr Zakir Naik has worked tirelessly for the common good amongst people of all faiths engaging in constructive debate and dialogue. These discussions have been hugely successful and have resulted in much progress towards a better understanding of Islam as well as enhanced harmony between people of different beliefs, dispelling fears, suspicions and misunderstandings.
Dr Zakir Naik is undoubtedly an opponent of terrorism and as such has often spoken out against all acts of violence and violent extremism. He has emphatically and unequivocally condemned the killing of civilians and is one of the world’s regular noted orators on this topic.
In the wake of the exclusion order and based on legal advice, Dr Zakir Naik intends to bring the matter before the High Court of the United Kingdom and request a Judicial Review to have the exclusion order overturned.
We would request the Indian authorities to engage with and make representations to the British Government about the excellent services and work of Dr Zakir Naik in promoting Peace and social harmony worldwide. We would propose the Indian Government to encourage the British Home Office to revoke the exclusion order and permit the Peace Conference Tour to continue as scheduled, whilst upholding the values of freedom and justice.
For Islamic Research Foundation,
Public Relations Manager
18th June 2010, Mumbai, India.
My take …on another post….