Shia Muslims in Northern India seek ban on controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik

Naik is also of the idea that homosexuals should be killed. (YouTube) Photograph:( Others )

Reuters Lucknow, India Jul 09, 2016, 10.10 AM (IST)
Members of Shia National Front took to the streets in Lucknow city of India's northern Uttar Pradesh state on Saturday demanding a ban on Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik, for allegedly propagating extremism.

The protesters alleged that Naik spewed venom against all religions in his speeches and was misguiding people.

Naik has come in the line of fire following revelations that one of the attackers involved in the assault in a restaurant in Dhaka last week was influenced by his speeches.

Shia cleric, Maulana Yasoob Abbas, claimed that Naik wanted every Muslim to become Osama bin Laden.

"Zakir Naik has no relation with Islam. He quotes verses from Quran and Geeta but that is to fool people and mislead the youth. I urge the Indian government to ban Peace TV and probe the source of his wealth to find out who is funding him," said Abbas.

He added that he had met India's interior minister seeking an immediate ban on Naik.

According to a national daily of Bangladesh, an attacker, Rohan Imtiaz, the son of a politician of the country's ruling Awami League, had even written a post on Facebook last year quoting Naik.

Six gunmen stormed a restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone late on July 1 and killed 20 people, most of them foreigners from Italy, Japan, India and the United States, in an assault claimed by Islamic State.

It was one of the deadliest militant attacks to date in Bangladesh.

Naik's speeches are broadcast across the Indian sub-continent through his Peace TV with a viewership of at least 100 million, said media reports.

Naik already faces a ban in the United Kingdom, Canada and Malaysia. He has made several controversial statements in the past. In a statement from 2006, Naik was caught on camera telling Muslims it was acceptable to embrace terrorism in certain instances.

The radical preacher had also supported once dreaded militant Osama bin Laden in one of his speeches. Naik is also of the idea that homosexuals should be killed.

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