New Delhi: The Bangladeshi newspaper, The Daily Star, published a rebuttal denying the allegations of ever accusing popular Islamic preacher, Dr Zakir Naik, of inspiring one of Dhaka’s terrorists, who killed over 20 people earlier this month.
The past week has seen a media storm in India over Zakir Naik and his role in inspiring the July 1 Dhaka attack in an upscale neighbourhood of the Bangladesh capital.
So loud was this coverage that the government got involved as well. India’s premier anti-terror force, the National Investigative Agency NIA, as well as the Intelligence Bureau IB allocated precious bandwidth to examine the speeches and activities of Naik. The Mumbai Police got involved too, since Zakir Naik is from the city.
The Daily Star hoever denied and said that it did not report any terrorist was inspired by Zakir Naik to kill innocent people.
According to the clarification published by The Daily Star, the paper expressed deep ‘regret’ over ‘any misunderstanding between Dr Zakir Naik and this newspaper.’
“In a Youtube speech on Friday, India-based Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik accused The Daily Star of sensationalising a report by saying that he was “responsible for inspiring one of the terrorists of the attack in Dhaka", The Daily Star said.
"The Daily Star categorically denies this allegation and wants to say it did not report that any terrorist was inspired by Zakir Naik to kill innocent people".
The newspaper also confessed that it had made a mistake by reporting that Dr. Zakir Naik was banned in Malaysia. “The Daily Star stands corrected on its report that he was banned in Malaysia", it said.
The Daily Star said it simply reported that Rohan Imtiaz had shared a video of Naik’s in 2015.
The Bangladesh government had also earlier issued a statement saying it won't agree with the notion that Dr. Zakir Naik has anything to do with the Dhaka attack.
Much of the Indian media however jumped to the conclusion that Zakir Naik had inspired the July 1 attack itself and launched a full-blown campaign against Dr. Zakir Naik. Some even went on to the extent of establishing his links with terrorist groups.
Meanwhile, more supports and solidarity messages poured in for Dr. Zakir Naik Sunday. After supports extended by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat-e-Ahle Hadees Hind, All India Milli Council, Indian Union Muslim League, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), Popular Front of India, Welfare Party of India and others, President of Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind Arshad Madani too came in support of Zakir Naik.
Arshad Madani's support is important as he leads Jamiat-e- Ulema Hind - the largest organisation of Indian Muslims.