Mumbai, 28 Nov: While clearing his stand, Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on Sunday dismissed all the allegations of misuse of the fund by his banned NGO and his involvement in terror-related activities.
A case has been filed against him for hate speech and under anti-terror law UAPA, the 51-year-old televangelist, who is currently abroad.
He is accused of inspiring some of the Dhaka attackers through his speeches on which he said the moment someone resorts to violence, he ceases to be Islamic and loses his support.
“It is wrong to imply that a few miscreants who joined terror groups were influenced by me. So if I was really spreading terror, wouldn’t I have made a few lakh terrorists by now? Not just a handful.
“In a fan following of millions, there may be a handful of anti-social elements who will go astray and take up violence.
He asserted that they are surely not following what I’ve told them. The moment they pick up senseless violence, they cease to be Islamic and they surely lose my support,” Naik told PTI in an e-mail interview.
Speaking on the legal steps he would take against the ban on his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), he said his legal teams in Mumbai and Delhi were looking into the matter and would knock at the Court soon.
The Central government recently imposed a ban on the IRF for five years and declared it as an unlawful association.
However, Naik is terming the ban as politically motivated.
While speaking on allegations of money laundering by IRF in the funds received from abroad, he said the Rs 47 crore in question came from his personal account in Dubai to his personal account in Mumbai in the last six-plus years.
“It was duly declared by me in the returns and used for lawful activities, including giving gifts and loans to my family members. I don’t know where is the problem in that.
“IRF received about Rs 14 crore in the FCRA account over the past 15 years. Of this, about Rs 4 crore was from NRIs living abroad.
Only about Rs, 10 crores was obtained from foreign donors in the last about 15 years. All of this was duly declared to the MHA, including the amounts, the names and the addresses of the donors. So, where is the question of money laundering?” Naik asked.
However, Naik stressed that he is co-operating with the government agencies but he remained mum on his return to India.