Zakir Naik likely to be deported from Oman

Naik is accused of promoting hate, and disharmony, and his speeches are seen as objectionable as he has been extolling known terrorists promoting conversion and terrorism…reports Asian Lite News

Zakir Naik, an Indian born controversial Islamic preacher may face deportation from Oman following efforts by Indian intelligence agencies.

Naik, who has been residing in Malaysia since 2017, was invited by the Oman government to deliver two religious lectures in Muscat during Ramzan.

However, the Indian embassy has reportedly been in contact with authorities to detain Naik during his visit, with plans to deport him to India.

A legal team may also be dispatched by India for follow-up after detention. The matter has been raised with the Omani Ambassador by the MEA.

Naik fled to Malaysia in 2016, after his organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was banned and just before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) started a probe against him.

Zakir Naik faces charges of money laundering and hate speeches in India. In March, last year the Home Ministry declared Naik-founded Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association and banned it for five years.

Naik is accused of promoting hate, and disharmony, and his speeches are seen as objectionable as he has been extolling known terrorists promoting conversion and terrorism.

In 2019, he was also banned from delivering public speeches in Malaysia. Besides India, his Peace TV network is also banned in Bangladesh, Canada, Sri Lanka, and the UK.

Mohammed Shariq, the main accused in the 2022 Mangaluru auto blast case, had said that he was influenced and radicalised by Naik’s videos, which he shared with other co-accused. 

Karnataka Police officials seized Shariq’s phone, which contained videos of Zakir Naik that he and his handlers shared via Telegram and other platforms such as Signal, Wire, Instagram, and Element.

The NIA had approached Interpol, an international organisation that facilitates worldwide police cooperation, thrice to issue Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Naik but he contested and the requests were rejected. Interpol had cited that there was lack of evidence and proof of wrongdoing by Naik. He was also booked by India’s federal financial investigative agency – Enforcement Directorate – in 2016 based on a FIR that was registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Enforcement Directorate alleged a total amount of Rs 193.06 crore has been identified as proceeds of crime.

Naik has been booked on charges of laundering criminal money under various sections of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and allegedly creating illegal real estate assets worth crores in India and abroad.

In 2020, UK’s media regulator OfCom slapped a fine of 300,000 pounds on Naik’s two television stations, Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu, for broadcasting hate speech and incitement. The UK has also started a probe into the charity he founded that funded the channels.

He was barred from the UK in 2010 but continued to operate the channels until 2019. UK’s Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) cited Naik’s channel as an example of Islamist extremism.

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