Online petition war over Zakir Naik: Most popular campaign demands vilification be stopped
A war of petitions for and against the controversial Islamist preacher Zakir Naik has broken out online.
The most popular of the petitions Change.org is addressed to the Press Council of India, and calls for an end to the ‘vilification campaign against Zakir Naik’ by the media. This campaign has garnered close to 25,000 signatures.
On the same online campaign site, however, there are other petitions calling for a ban on Zakir and organisations he is attached to.
Among these, one campaign calling for the arrest of the Islamist preacher and a ban on his TV channel Peace TV has garnered close to 2500 signatures in three days.
An older campaign, started in 2014, to have Zakir’s Islamic Research Foundation declared a terrorist organisation is also on the site, and has received over 6,400 signatures to date.
The influential televangelist came under fire recently after it emerged that two of the terrorists responsible for the recent attack on a Dhaka café that killed 28 persons were his followers.
It has also been alleged that some of the terror suspects and alleged ISIS followers arrested on June 29 by the National Investigation Agency were also his followers.
Soon after reports emerged that the Dhaka attackers were followers of Zakir Naik, a video surfaced of Naik reportedly telling an audience in Singapore that “All Muslims should be terrorists”.
In the video, he is also heard purportedly calling the USA a terrorist, and sympathising with Osama Bin Laden because he was terrorising the terrorist. However, Zakir claims that the video has been doctored.