Even before we all heard about him, there were people and countries that had very strong opinions about Dr. Zakir Naik. Indian Muslims are divided, with the voice of his supporters getting drowning out by the shouts of his detractors. Vishnudas Sheshrao discovers that the good doctor remains steadfast and unfazed
You are not welcome in the United Kingdom and Canada. Is it that they have misunderstood what you are all about you?
Wish you could have asked that differently. I am not welcome by the UK by government, not by public. UK people love me and always get red carpet for me. It is the Governments that don’t want me to come there.
It is all a political conspiracy hatched by some political leaders for their personal and vested interests, so they have banned me from entering into the UK. It is illegal, illogical and an unethical decision and a blunt attack on human rights and the right to expression.
Charles Farr, Director General of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) thinks I am a peace-loving person and can reach to Muslims in UK where the government cannot reach. He was against my exclusion order but there were a few people in the home department who were against me. As a matter of fact you may be surprised to know that this is highly sensitive information in a top secret department of the UK. It was entrusted to me because I am a peaceful person and a seeker of truth.
Reasons for the ban
It is just a politically motivated conspiracy. A newspaper, Sunday Times, misquoted my speeches and said, talking out of context, that I promote terrorism. The very next day, other newspapers too printed similar news without crosschecking facts. The controversy spread all the way to Mumbai and a few newspapers in Mumbai also reprinted the supposedly incendiary details without giving me a call.
On the reports that, after listening to his recorded lectures, youth are diverted towards extremism. Some of these lectures have been confiscated from some terrorists.
This is not true. All are mere media reports and are baseless and malicious. If they had evidence why did not they arrest me? Besides, I strongly feel, if my recorded speeches have been found in the possession of some terrorist, then he might have been in the process of becoming a lesser evil, out to stop committing crimes. He may have wished to kill ten people,
but after listening to my thoughts, he might have hesitated to kill
The decision to ban is my victory
If they would have allowed me to come and deliver the lectures in the UK, I would have reached 50,000 people and even 1,00,000. But, by banning me they have opened up the bigger platform of the Oxford Union. This is from where Albert Einstein, UK Prime Ministers David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have addressed the world. Overnight, I reached all the corners of the world.
Women have a big role in society
Insha Allah, when the almighty god created this universe, he created every thing unique and gave some unique characteristics to every one. Same with man and woman - both are very much different in biology, physical structure, psychology and so their functions are different. If thieves enter a home, a man will not expect his wife to go and face them. He will take them on. A woman should first be a good daughter, a wife and mother, then she can go think about going to work. I vehemently support working women, but only in the teaching profession and in hospitals. But while working, they must be modest in behaviour and dressing.
The burkha system
Women should wear modest dressing ‘Hijab’ (burkha). It is mentioned not only in the Quran, but also in the Bible and the Vedas too. A woman must cover herself from head to toe, except her face, because it is for her security. Islam believes that our women are not public property that any one can see and keep looking at.
“A woman that uncovereth her head, she dishonours her head. A woman that does not cover her head, you should shave off her head.” (Corinthians, Chapter 11, verse no. 5 and 6).
Women being stoned to death for adultery, is not limited to Islam.
I don’t feel there is anything wrong in it. There are references in holy books that women had committed adultery and confessed to the Prophet. They voluntarily came forward to die. This is mentioned in Deuteronomy and Leviticus too in the Holy Bible.
“If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.” (Deuteronomy 22.22)
Medical science had proved homosexuality is against the nature. Besides the Quran, it is prohibited in Christianity also. ‘If a man has sexual intercourse with a male, as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves’. Leviticus 20.13)
Egypt has shown the way
Whatever happened in Egypt was not the desire of a single person or community. It was the voice of the people of Egypt. It was mostly a peaceful agitation and finally they won. I support the decision of the people.
There are still a few countries in the Gulf which have monarchy, and people are struggling for freedom.
But I don’t think all monarchs are bad. There are monarchs who many times better than democratic leaders. In a democracy, in spite of a leader’s wish, he cannot ensure development. I believe that any kind of government or monarch that lets Muslims live their life according to their own customs is good, and all Muslims must support this system.
Liberals and true Islamists
There is no term like liberal or modern Islamist. There are only practising Islamists and non-practising persons.
Just in Christianity and Hinduism, where one can the holy books and interpret on their own, every one can read the Quran and interpret it for his own self, but not for others. Only those who are considered as authorities can interpret it for others. Otherwise, it will create anarchy. Hence it is prohibited. Let me explain why – if a doctor prescribes something, we follow him. In case a quack prescribes some medicine, will it do good, will you follow his advice. You don’t. So only an authority can interpret the holy texts.
I am not only a religious leader
I have a 24-hour, news channel, Peace, two schools and a couple of organisations. As I am ageing, so are my daily working hours. Nowadays, I am working for 20 hours a day, without weekend break.
My long term goal
I want to promote peace, send the message of peace to all corners of the world and serve humanity.
“I believe that any kind of government or monarch that lets Muslims live their life according to their own customs is good, and all Muslims must support this system”