The Bangladeshi newspaper, The Daily Star, has denied ever accusing Indian Islamic scholar, Dr Zakir Naik, of inspiring one of Dhaka’s terrorists, who killed more than 20 people earlier this month.
Indian TV channels and certain publications had launched a full-blown campaign against Dr Naik quoting a purported reporting against the Mumbai-based scholar in Daily Star.
Dr Naik, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, had denied allegations blaming the Dhaka-based newspaper of misreporting.
The paper has just released a clarification express deep ‘regret’ over ‘any misunderstanding between Dr Zakir Naik and this newspaper.’
The paper said, “In a Youtube speech on Friday, India-based Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik accused The Daily Star of sensationalising a report by saying that he was “responsible for inspiring one of the terrorists of the attack in Dhaka”.
The Daily Star categorically denies this allegation and wants to say it did not report that any terrorist was inspired by Zakir Naik to kill innocent people. The report said that one of the terrorists had propagated on Facebook last year quoting Peace TV’s preacher Zakir Naik urging all Muslims to be “terrorists”. In his video speech, Dr Naik himself said he has millions of followers in Bangladesh. Our report was an attempt to show how young minds were interpreting Dr Naik’s views in ways that were perhaps not intended for.”
The Daily Star also confessed that it had made a mistake by reporting that Dr Naik was banned in Malaysia.
It said, “The Daily Star stands corrected on its report that he was banned in Malaysia.”
Naik in his video, had said that that three years ago he received one of the most prestigious awards in Malaysia. He added that he was in Malaysia hardly three months back and met several ministers there.
Dr Naik had said, “The only country that I am officially aware of ban, once from entering, was UK. I don’t have any proof that any country has banned me officially.”
As for Canada, according to Dr Naik, he was phoned an embassy official in New Delhi informing him that his visa application will be rejected if should he applied for one.
But “nothing was put in writing.”
The Daily Star report concluded, “The Daily Star’s reporting was a mere presentation of facts and we regret any misunderstanding between Dr Zakir Naik and this newspaper.”
Indian media, largely relying on the original reporting of the Dhaka-based paper, has been holding media trials demanding ban against the Indian scholar. Some channels went on to the extent of establishing his links with Pakistan-based terrorist groups.