The Islamic International School, founded by Dr Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, should be banned for indoctrinating impressionable minds, Muslim leaders and clerics have demanded. “The Islamic International School is an Islamic school managed by the IRF Educational Trust. The school’s main branch is located in Mumbai, India. A separate branch is currently open in Chennai and a third branch in Dubai is being planned,” information about the school stated. The website, iisschool.com, was accessible until Friday morning. But it could not be opened on Saturday. Repeated attempts from various networks failed to access the website. The website states that scientific education is imparted to students in the best Islamic environment in the school.
“Not only should the government ban IRF, but also the school run by IRF. The kind of stories that emanate from the school is scary. The criteria for admission are not parents’ education or income, but how religious the parents are, and how strictly they follow the tenets of Islam. If a particular student visits dargahs, special attention is provided to him to dissuade him and the family from doing so. They want to imbibe Wahhabism in young, impressionable students. And it is very dangerous. Quite a few parents of children who have been given admission there have spoken with me. Some who spoke with me even said that they did not take admission there due to the questions asked during the process,” Saeed Noori, founder and general secretary of Raza Academy told The Sunday Guardian. Raza Academy had organised a protest against Zakir Naik and IRF in Mumbai’s Pydhonie area. The academy sought a ban on IRF and Peace TV. Zakir Naik’s brother-in-law Mubarak Kapdi denied the allegations.
“I think this is a serious threat. Governments in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria have learnt it the hard way. The government and the security agencies have to watch very carefully the funding that goes into the madarsas and masjids which impart religious education to children. Government has to watch what kind of curriculum is being taught. The same is true about schools like Islamic International School. The teachings shouldn’t go against the secular fabric of the country. If we speak about Zakir Naik, he does not believe in secularism. He believes that people from other religions don’t have the right to preach and convert. He doesn’t even believe in the 73 sects of Islam except one, Wahhabism. This is a very supremacist, violent understanding of Islam. If the school too teaches on the same lines, the government needs to monitor it,” Feroze Mithiborwala, a secular Muslim activist, told The Sunday Guardian.
‘The government and the security agencies have to watch very carefully the funding that goes into the madrasas and masjids.’
When asked if he sought a ban on IRF, Peace TV and the school, he denied it. “The government should investigate everything. Let law take its own course,” he said. Peace TV has already been banned in India, but it is illegally beamed in many parts. The Central government plans to tighten its noose around the operators who do that.
“His doublespeak is for the world to see. He has been trying to spread Wahhabiyat in the world, that is why he was awarded by the Saudi royalty. But now, the blasts in Madina-e-Sharif will prompt every Muslim to think seriously of the threat of Wahhabism,” Saeed Noori said.
He claimed that Naik’s peace conference was not given permission by the Mumbai police anytime after 2012 because of the voices raised by Muslims against him.
Muslims have been raising their voices against Zakir Naik for the past few years. The Sunnis, the Shias, the secular Muslims have issues with his ultra-conservative, violent version of Islam.
“At present, the greatest threat to Islam is from Wahhabism. People like Zakir Naik do not understand the Holy Quran, they misinterpret the Hadis. They can get away because of the money Saudi Arabia pours on them,” Mufti Mehmoud Akhtar, chief kazi of Mumbai and imam of Haji Ali masjid, told The Sunday Guardian.
He said that in the year 2008, the Muslims had gone to the Mumbai Police against Zakir Naik’s misinterpretation of Islam. “At that time, he had apologised in writing. He does not understand Arabic. He has not been trained properly. He spreads divisiveness, propagates hatred. Figures like him should be banned,” he said.
The Shias and the Sunnis are also angry with him for supporting and praising Yazeed, who is believed to have martyred Rasool Allah’s family.
“His teachings are so ultra-conservative and derogatory, he is the example of crisis in Islam. His comments on women are so derogatory. His justification of the bombing of Bamiyan Buddha is ridiculous. He doesn’t want peace, he is a person spreading hatred. Do you think mocking Shiva and Ganesh is spreading peace?” asked Mithiborwala.
“In the past 10 years, there has been a larger Sunni outbreak against Wahhabi/ Salafi movements. The crisis in Islam is evident since the past five years. Radical Islamists want to spread terror. Earlier, very few people challenged them. But now, the challenge comes from within the community,” he said.
“Zakir Naik wants all the good of secular India, but wants it to become Wahhabi India. He even opposes Muslims wishing Christians and Hindus on their festivals. He supports sex slavery. Where are we taking this multi-cultural and plural society of ours?” he asked.
Religious leaders said that more protests will be lined up against Zakir Naik next week.
Agenda against secularism
- From within Muslims, resistance and opposition building up for half a decade against Zakir Naik
- ‘Zakir Naik wants all the good of secular India, but wants to turn it into Wahhabi India’
- Permission for his peace conference in Mumbai was denied since 2012 after Muslims complained against him, claim clerics