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Radical Islamist Zakir Naik doesn’t want to return to India till BJP is in power, feels a sense of safety in Congress regime

While the Indian government has urged the Interpol to issue a 'red corner notice' in his name, he has been granted permanent residency by the Malaysian government.

Controversial Islamic preacher who is on a run from India has said that he doesn’t intend to come back to India as long as the BJP is in power. Naik fled the country in 2016 after Dhaka terror attack. He is wanted on multiple counts of money laundering, hate speech and other offences related to promoting communal hatred.

Naik spoke exclusively to The Week, published by The Malayala Manorama Co. Ltd., from his residence in Putrajaya, Malaysia. While the Indian government has urged the Interpol to issue a ‘red corner notice’ in his name, he has been granted permanent residency by the Malaysian government. A red corner notice is sent to the 194 Interpol member countries, where a fugitive who is pending extradition is located and provisionally arrested.

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attack on the Congress for calling him an apostle of peace, he said, “Whatever has been happening in the past two and a half years (since the government’s crackdown on him) are political games. I am not very close to politicians. Neither was I close to the Congress party. Yes, because of my popularity, I do meet ministers and some [important] people in India and abroad. That I was allowed to speak on counterterrorism in Hyderabad and address IPS officers should not be directed against Congress.”

He went on to say that he has been granted highest awards of the country by the Sharjah ruler, the Gambian president, and the Malaysian king. “So why is he (PM Modi) singling out [Congress leader] Digvijaya Singh? I am not a fan of Digvijaya Singh. I am not involved in politics. I have always been away from politics. Digvijaya Singh was invited as one of the chief guests in one of our conferences just like the other people we call. But Modi is picking on him only because he wants the vote bank.”

Throughout the interview, Naik spoke on a variety of issues including religion, Jihad and his return to India. In response to a question about his chances of return, if there was a change in government, he replied, “Yes, of course, the chances of returning are much more. Not that tomorrow if there is a change in government I can come the next day. The case against me can proceed. I will cooperate under the condition that I will not be unjustly persecuted. Today, everyone is saying something for their own benefit, including Congress. Out of the two evils, Congress is the lesser evil. Not that they are completely honest. If the Congress was completely truthful then Babri Masjid wouldn’t have been demolished.”

He further added that the Congress party going soft on Muslims is beneficial but they are doing so for their own benefit. The thought of BJP coming back to power ‘once again’ scares him. The irony is that this man is an idol for many terrorists who claim to have been inspired by his hate speech. Naik also expressed his fear for the Muslim community and BJP being an extreme right-wing party. He also divulged that money power and corruption also bother him.

Contrary to his statement, he claimed that he doesn’t consider BJP as practising Hindus. “I consider the Congress more Hindu than the BJP. Does Modi know Hindu scriptures? Let us have a dialogue. Let’s talk about Hindutva. Hindu scriptures say don’t cheat, don’t lie. But why are they lying?” he questioned.

To sum it all, he said, “I would not like to come back if the BJP is in power.” He also added that half the countries in the world wouldn’t give him a Visa thanks to Narendra Modi.

It would be safe to assume that an Islamic fundamentalist who is scared to come back to the country while BJP is at the helm of affairs, feels a sense of safety during the Congress regime. Perhaps, Congress President should clear his stand on the issue and explain to the country the kind of ‘special relationship’ his party shares with this radical preacher.

We had earlier reported how days after the Easter Sunday bomb attack in Sri Lanka, the cable operators of the island country had blocked Naik’s hate-spreading Peace TV.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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