Cops say Zakir Naik endorsed jihad in Kashmir

ZAKIR NAIK (File) Zakir Naik

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik had endorsed jihad in Kashmir. This had rattled the Mumbai police during its investigations into Naik's organisation, Islamic Research Foundation's (IRF) muddled finances and the alleged shady activities of a section of its office bearers.

Now, other agencies too are scanning his speeches in view of internal security considerations across the country, especially in the light of the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir.

Incidentally, two people directly connected with the activities of IRF, have been arrested. Mumbai police are waiting for Asfaque Qadir, now in the custody of Kerala police, to be brought to the city to get more information on IRF members' alleged links with jihadist teachers and thinkers.

Naik is being probed for his speeches which allegedly contain provocative pro-extremist slants. He came under the scanner of security officials after the siege attackers at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka claimed they were inspired by Naik's speeches.

"Naik said that jihad is okay in Kashmir," a top Mumbai police officer told THE WEEK.

Naik's ratification of jihad in Kashmir had been mentioned by the Mumbai police in its recent report on the activities of the preacher.

The officer said Naik often left the content of his speeches open-ended and polysemic. "That way he subjected his speeches to various parallel interpretations on sensitive issues like comparative religion and the political situation in Kashmir," the officer added.

THE WEEK was told that Naik had put up a Facebook post back in 2013 insulting Hindu goddesses. The matter is now in the court.

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