The usually calm, composed and smiling Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is currently under the security agencies’ scanner for inciting speeches, was seen losing his temper several times during a video press conference he held with media persons recently. While he was sitting in Medina in Saudi Arabia, Naik connected through a Skype call with journalists from various publications and channels at a dingy hall in Mumbai’s Mazagaon area. He said that he is not slated to return to India at least till the end of this year according to his pre-determined plan. “I am an NRI. I have residential permits from many countries,” he said.
Asked uncomfortable questions, he either hid behind the cover of “irrelevant questions” or launched an attack on the media houses. Ducking critical questions on the condition of Muslims in India and on the issue of entry of women in Haji Ali dargah, he lost his cool claiming that the “uncourteous” journalists did not understand the meaning of “irrelevant” questions. He played the “minority victim” card, saying that the only reason he could think of for being denied permission for Peace TV, was because it was a Muslim channel. Pointing fingers at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he claimed that though Modi was banned in more countries than he was, things changed for him because he got elected and became the Prime Minister. Questioning the Indian media and the Indian intelligence agencies, he asked why he was being probed. “I have received highest Islamic awards. Do you think that all those countries are fools? Do you mean to say that their intelligence is not working? Is India’s intelligence better than the US or UK? Do you mean to say that?” he questioned.
Asked if he was a Wahhabi, he said sects are prohibited in Islam, but that Wahhab was an attribute of Allah, and that “everyone should be Abdul Wahhab”. Islam is the only right religion, he said, adding that the Indian Constitution and Indian democracy gave him the right to preach that. “Quran is the only religious book on the face of this earth which says that Islam is the only right religion. No other religious book says that. So when I am quoting my scripture, what is wrong in it? But tomorrow, if a Hindu says that Hinduism is the only right religion, or a Christian says that Christianity is the only right religion, I will question them,” he said. Just like his earlier statements that he did not know Osama Bin Laden and would not comment on him, he claimed that he did not know of the Kashmir issue and refused to comment on it. He claimed to have never heard of terrorists Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Hafiz Saeed. Within minutes of condemning the Nice attacks, he claimed he did not read newspapers or watch TV channels. He said this while dodging questions on the Kashmir issue.