At the FIFA World Cup 2022, controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has arrived in Qatar upon invitation. Naik is accused of money laundering and hate speech in India. According to social media posts, he will deliver religious lectures throughout the competition.
Late in 2016, India outlawed Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) on the grounds that he had encouraged and assisted the group’s members in attempting to spread animosity, hatred or other negative sentiments among various religious communities and groups. After leaving India, Naik relocated to Malaysia.
“One of the most popular Islamic Scholars of our time Dr Zakir Naik has reached #Qatar for the #FIFAWorldCup,” wrote filmmaker Zain Khan. Other verified Twitter accounts have also confirmed Naik’s presence in Qatar as an invited dignitary. He will deliver sermons to spread the message of Islam during FIFA World Cup 2022, various verified accounts have claimed.
Zakir Naik, in one of his speeches, supported suicide attacks while citing Salman Audah, an Islamic preacher from the banned outfit Muslim Brotherhood. He called Audah as a “one of the great scholars of Islam”, who said that such attacked were permitted in Islam in extreme cases. He gave the example of the situation in Palestine. As per reports, Naik also defended a Pakistani temple bombing by arguing that Islamic countries had to forbid the building of temples.
In March 2022, the IRF was declared an unlawful association and outlawed for five years by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). According to the MHA, Naik has been praising known terrorists and advocating that every Muslim should be a terrorist, which makes his speeches objectionable.
The letter went on to say that the IRF founder has also been advocating for the forced conversion of young people to Islam, defending suicide bombings and publishing offensive statements against Hindus, Hindu Gods and other religions that are insulting to other religions. Naik, however, has dismissed all such allegations against him.