Zakir Naik said 80 per cent Indians could have been converted by the sword’

Among the reasons that led to the ban on an NGO run by Islamic preacher Zakir Naik are his repeated praises for former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, making derogatory remarks on other religions, arguing that 80 per cent Indians could have been converted to Islam with the power of the sword, and the inspiration his speeches provided to terrorists including those claiming allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).

In a gazette notification, issued two days after the Cabinet decided to ban the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the Home Ministry said the IRF and its members, particularly its founder and president Naik, had been encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities.

“The central government has received information that the statements and speeches made by Zakir Naik… are objectionable and subversive in nature as he has been extolling the known terrorists like Osama bin Laden, proclaiming that every Muslim should be a terrorist and claiming that if Islam had indeed wanted, 80 per cent of Indian population would not have remained Hindus as they could have been converted ‘if we wanted’ by sword,” the notification said.

It added that he justified suicide bombings, posted objectionable comments against Hindu gods and made derogatory statements against other religions. Nov 18,2016

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