MOF protests against false allegations on Dr Zakir Naik
Mangaluru: The Muslim Organisations Forum staged a protest in front of the DC Office here, on July 15.
Addressing the protesters, State Secretary of PFI Shafi Bellare said that this protest was aimed against people who are trying to “break the constitution”. “Dr Zakir Naik has been targeted and some anti-social elements are trying to snatch his rights that are laid out in the constitution. Everyone has the right to practise their religion. Those who do not believe in the constitution and are trying to make the country a Hindu nation are targeting Dr Zakir Nail and this is a continued effort to make India a Hindu nation. Dr Zakir Naik has been targeted not because he is a Muslim; he is targeted for teaching the people their rights. Our country is in danger. Attempts are being made to uproot the constitution. Those who speak about the rights of the people are being targeted. Human rights activist Vinayak Baliga was targeted, Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, Soni Sori, Teesta Setalwad and many have been targeted for fighting for human rights. The Sangh Parivar killed Govind Pansare. Kalaburgi was also killed for talking about fascism,” said Bellare.
He also alleged that the media had edited Dr Zakir Naik’s video and broadcasted a false news depicting that Dr Naik’s speech had inspired terror activities. “If anyone has been inspired by Dr Zakir Naik’s speech to be involved in terror activities, by now many MPs in the centre would have been behind bars? There are many Muslim leaders who are into politics. Instead of broadcasting the entire speech of Dr Zakir Naik, they have broadcasted only the edited video.”
“When Sadhvi Prachi announced a reward of Rs 50 lakh for anyone who would behead Dr Zakir Naik, why did the media not highlight the issue? Why did they not make it a big news? Whenever there is a bomb blast, Muslims are being blamed. We are not responsible if ISIS involves in violence. When there is a bomb blast in Russia, the Indian media call us for panel discussions. Muslims do not support ISIS. Rather Muslims create fear in the minds of anti-social elements. Islam is for the truth; to live for the truth and to die for the truth. RSS is afraid of Muslims because Muslims will not allow the RSS to divide the country. We fight for justice and for that reason, we have been targeted. The media, which should unite the hearts of the people, is breaking hearts. When there is a bomb blast, we hear the names of Muslims and we are targeted. There are a number of channels who broadcast religious programmes. Why does the government not ban such TV channels? Why place restrictions to only Peace TV? Non-Muslims are the highest viewers of Peace TV. Anyone who has heard Dr Zakir Naik’s speeches does not commit a crime and neither do they turn into suicide bombers. When there was a bomb blast in Bangladesh, Dr Zakir Naik was blamed. He urged all the people to join hands to fight against fascism. Digvijay Singh was targeted for sharing the dais with Dr Zakir Naik. But nobody said anything about the home minister sharing the dais with Sadhvi Pragya Singh who is in jail,” added Bellare.
Vice President of Muslim Central Committee Hameed Khadak said that Dr Zakir Naik has been targeted to weaken the Muslim community. “If one Zakir Naik is arrested, there will be hundreds of Zakir Naiks who are ready to preach about peace and harmony,” said Khadak.
President of the Muslim Lekhakara Sangha Ummer said, “This is not a protest against the media but it is against terror reporters.” He further said that the media is the fourth estate of democracy and is known as the watchdogs for the other three estates – the executive, legislative and judiciary. “Most of the media try to follow ethics but some terror reporters are involved in increasing terrorism. In 2007, we had discussed terrorism in the state when two youth in Hunnali who had purchased a stolen bike had been targeted as terrorists. There are guidelines from the Press trust of India for the media but most of them do not know that such guidelines exist. Sometimes, the reporters themselves do not know where they get information from. In our district, there are only a few terror reporters. Today’s protest was supposed to be boycotted by the media but the media representatives have gathered here in large number which shows that in Mangaluru we do have good reporters.”
Ummer further said that reporters should not do the job of the police or the court. “They should not judge anyone or give judgements about anyone. Their duty is to do the reporting. If they have any opinion to write, let them write an editorial and not a report,” he added.
Convener of Muslim Sangatanegala Okkuta, A M Athaulla said that under the circumstances of the right to practice religion given by our constitution, Zakir Naik preaches Islamic ideologies openly and has succeeded in bringing understanding between different religions by conducting open debates with different religious scholars. “Many countries have recognised his service and honoured him with awards. He is trying to bring unity and harmony among countries by preaching Islamic ideologies. The allegations against him by the media and a group of people is a direct threat to the Indian constitution, which guarantees the right to practice any religion. The statements made by representatives of the government are very dangerous,” he said.
Imam Kendra Masjid Puttur S B Dharimi also spoke on the occasion. The protesters demanded that action should be taken against the media and government representatives who are misguiding people and trying to stop Dr Zakir Naik from preaching Islam.
President of Jamiyyathul Falah Abdul Latheef, President of SKSM Ismail Shafi, Rafiuddin Kudroli, Haneef Khan, K Ashraf, Mustafa Kempi, Azeez Kudroli, Rafeeq Master, Saif Sultan, Thufail, Nazeem, Jaffer Faizy, Zakariya and others were also present. AM Athaulla welcomed the gathering. Aslam Panjala delivered the vote of thanks. Ashraf A K and Toufiq Zahid compered the programme.