“We have taken cognisance of Dr Zakir Naik ’s speeches and have given necessary instructions for a probe. A thorough investigation will be done. CDs of his speeches are being examined”
Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister finally seems to have woken up to the perils of the dangerous teachings of Dr Zakir Naik, a self-styled Islamic-Scholar.
Let us look at some nuggets of wisdom first:
“The Taliban did well by blowing up the Buddhas in Bamiyan. I have read all Buddhist texts. Nowhere do they talk of statues of Buddha. The Taliban did the Buddhists a favour by blowing up the statues which were not in consonance with Buddhism.”
“Not only the Muslims, but the Hindus must never say ‘Vande Mataram’ as it is akin to idol workship, which is proscribed in the Vedas”
“If Osama-bin-Laden is fighting enemies of Islam, I am for him. If he is terrorising America—the terrorist, biggest terrorist—I am with him”
“If a Hindu were to greet a Muslim with Namaste, the Muslim must return the greeting with Assalam Aleikum and never Namaste as it is un-Islamic”
“How can we allow construction of churches and temples in an Islamic country when their religion is wrong and their worshipping is wrong?”
These and many more such precious gems emanate from the blessed mouth of one of world’s most prominent Islamic tele-evangelist, Dr Zakir Naik. Dressed in a suit and tie, with the Taqiyah atop his head, Dr Zakir Naik doesn’t look like someone who can inspire a generation of terrorists. His voice is firm but gentle, his mannerism docile, his demeanour calm. There is a faint trace of a stammer that afflicted him years ago. But behind this peaceful mien lies a man who for years has doggedly been pursuing a dangerous, Salafi agenda. His speech, composed as it may be, is littered with words that arouse vilest passions in the audience.
Oblivious of history and traditions, Dr Zakir Naik, indulges in cherry picking of phrases from religious books to make his point. For instance, he says that beef eating, far from being forbidden, is actually recommended in the Vedas, choosing to maliciously overlook the centuries of intermingling between Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism that led to Vegetarianism being recognized as a virtue in India. While on a mission in Malaysia, Dr Zakir Naik told a Christian member in his audience, “If a Christian means a person who follows Jesus Christ, then Muslims are more Christian than Christians as Jesus Christ was circumcised on the 8th day”.
Dr Zakir Naik also claimed that nowhere in the bible does it say that faith in Jesus as a personal saviour would lead one to heaven. That, he claimed was a teaching of the church and not the Bible. Centuries of Christian traditions are set aside to prove that ordinary Christians are lesser Christians, so to speak. That and many such golden utterances endear Dr Zakir Naik to millions of Muslim youth who have been failed by their governments and their repressive societies. No doubt that Dhaka attackers claimed to have been inspired by Dr Zakir Naik.
Dr Zakir Naik, an MBBS himself has forsaken all modern scientific knowledge in favour of teachings of the Quran. For instance, he claims Evolution is “only a hypothesis, and an unproven conjecture at best” and that most scientists support it only because it goes against the teachings of the Bible.
A bespectacled man himself, Dr Zakir Naik, describes the human eye as a perfection that could not have evolved. As a committed Wahabi, Dr. Naik extends his intellectual support for a number of anachronistic causes espoused by the Wahhabis.
For instance, he claims that if King Dashrath and Lord Krishna could be entitled to multiple wives, why should Muslims be denied that privilege. Similarly, he once unleashed a storm by claiming that if polygamy were to be outlawed, millions of wives would be left without husbands in the world. Obviously the fact that worldwide there are more men than women never crossed Dr Zakir Naik ‘s mind, while coming up with this frivolous logic. Similarly, he claims that men are entitled to beat their wives as the man is the leader in the family.
In 2010, he said “There are many verses in the Quran which say you can have sex with your wife and with whatever your right hand possesses”, implying that keeping sex slaves, was in his mind in line with Islamic values. Dr Zakir Naik prides himself on shining the light of true faith among Kaffirs during his well-attended seminars. In one of them for instance, he converted a non-Muslim to Islam after he was able to answer the questions raised by the Kaffir.
The problem with the likes of Dr Zakir Naik is that they have chosen to believe that the world in 7th century was a Utopia which has degenerated over the years as people have strayed from the path of the true faith. The fact is that the world has never been a utopia. There has always been evil, good and suffering in the world. The beauty of human mind, the quality that differentiates humans from animals is critical reasoning. It is this faculty that enables humans to question wrong and innovate endlessly. Cut off this aspect and there is no difference between a human being and a sheep led by the shepherd. Wahhabi Islam seeks to do exactly that.
It seeks to reduce humans into slaves whose actions are determined by the fruits that await them in the afterlife. To what else can one ascribe the motivations of a 18 year old suicide bomber? Islam flourished when it engendered a spirit of enquiry, when it imbibed the teachings of India, China, Egypt and other ancient civilizations, when Islamic scholars sought to unravel the mysteries of nature, unrestrained by what was written or not written in religious scriptures. Sadly, men like Dr Zakir Naik want to undo centuries of progress and return Islam and Muslims to a state of poverty, both intellectual and moral, in their quest for their version of a pristine Islam. Now, more than ever before, when the Wahhabis have turned on innocent Muslims worldwide, the moderate voices among Muslims must raise their voices and call for sanity to prevail.
The likes of Dr Zakir Naik must be censured, terrorists must be condemned and schismatics culled from the Muslim community. The failure of moderate, right-thinking voices in making themselves heard. This is what is bringing a bad name to the entire community.
As for Dr Zakir Naik and his protégés, the sooner the government acts against them the better. For once, considerations of votebank politics must be set aside. And strong action taken cognizing for the grave threat posed by Islamic radicalization.