BJP leaders seeks boycott of FIFA as Qatar ‘Invites’ Zakir Naik for Sermons

23 November, 2022 | Pranay Lad

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According to reports, Qatar has invited the wanted Indian man Zakir Naik to give lectures on Islam while the FIFA World Cup is still going on.

BJP Spokesperson Savio Rodrigues on Tuesday urged the government, Indian Football Associations, and Indians visiting the host country to boycott the athletic event in response to Qatar’s invitation of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to the FIFA World Cup.

An Indian exile named Zakir Naik has reportedly been invited by Qatar to give lectures on Islam while the FIFA World Cup is still going on.

Rodrigues claimed in a statement that providing Naik a platform at a time when the globe is fighting terrorism is equivalent to giving a “terror sympathiser” permission to “spread hate.”

“The FIFA World Cup is a worldwide occasion. Thousands of spectators travel from all over the world to see this beautiful sport, and millions more watch it online and on television.

Giving Zakir Naik a forum at a time when the world is battling international terrorism is giving a terrorist a platform to preach his extremism and hatred,” he added.

The BJP leader urged those who are victims of terrorism both within the nation and overseas to abstain from the World Cup event “in solidarity with the worldwide struggle against terrorism.”

Rodrigues said that Naik “is no less than a terrorist himself” and that he has played a significant role in the propagation of “Islamic extremism and hate in India.”

“According to Indian law, Zakir Naik is sought. He is accused of hate speech and offences involving money laundering. He supports terrorism. In actuality, he is a terrorist in his own right.

He actively promoted Islamic radicalism and hatred in India and publicly backed the terrorist Osama bin Laden, Rodrigues continued.

In March of this year, the Home Ministry deemed the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), founded by Zakir Naik, to be an unlawful group and imposed a five-year ban on it.

Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik will provide several religious lectures throughout the World Cup, according to Faisal Alhajri, a broadcaster for the Qatari state-owned sports channel, who was reported by a local media outlet as stating on Twitter on Saturday.

According to the MHA notification, IRF founder Zakir Naik’s talks were inappropriate since he had been praising known terrorists.

The letter went on to say that the IRF founder has also advocated for the forced conversion of youngsters to Islam, supported suicide bombings, and published offensive statements that are insulting to other religions and against Hindus, Hindu Gods, and other religions.

The notice said, “Naik has further inspired Muslim youth and terrorists in India and abroad to execute terrorist crimes.” Additionally, it said that illegal acts by the IRF, its supporters, and members have been observed in Gujarat, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Odisha.