Islamic seminary Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband on Sunday objected to media citing its fatwas against Zakir Naik and linking them to the allegations against the Islamic preacher that his speeches had incited terrorists involved in Dhaka cafe attack.
Spokesman of Dar-ul-Uloom Ashraf Usmani told reporters that a few fatwas were issued by Deoband against Naik on issues related to Muslim sects. But these were being “deliberately highlighted” by some newspapers and television channels in their reports on Naik, who has come under scanner after it was reported that Dhaka attackers were allegedly inspired by his speeches.
“Therefore associating fatwas issued by Deoband in the past with the allegations against Naik linked to terrorism is wrong and objectionable,” Usmani said.
He said that due to busy schedule ahead of Eid, Deoband had not decided its stand on Naik.
Earlier, on Saturday, the Daily Star of Bangladesh had issued regrets and clarification for wrongly reporting on Naik being responsible for inspiring the Dhaka terrorist. Indian media had jumped the gun in blaming Naik by solely relying on one report carried by the Daily Star.
Meanwhile, Muslim clerics have different views on Naik.
A senior All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Maulana Rashid Farangi Mahali said cornering Naik was a part of a deep “conspiracy”.
“A person, who has more than 1.4 crore followers, of which some become terrorist, how can he be held responsible. It is gross injustice,” he said.
The Maulana welcomed an inquiry by the government against Naik.
“If you have suspicion, an inquiry should be conducted. But the manner in which his character assassination is being done by the media, it cannot be justified,” he said.
Director Shibli Academy Professor Ishtiyaq Ahmad Zilli said every person has a right to speech within the law of the country, but the “media trial” was not right.
Meanwhile, spokesman of All India Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yasoob Abbas while opposing Naik said those having ‘wahabi’ mentality were being inspired with the preacher’s lectures and going towards terrorism.
He said that stern action should be taken against Naik, his lectures should be banned and his nationality should be withdrawn.