Zakir Naik Is Anathema to Secular Democracy, His Communal Agenda Must Be Halted

Zakir Naik polarises opinions like none other. On one hand, we have legions of his fans, unsurprisingly almost exclusively Muslim, from all walks of life. On the other, the government of India considers Naik to be guilty of indulging in unlawful activities, imparting hate speeches and indulging in money laundering. He is accused of being the ideological mentor to a motley group of Islamic radicals and fundamentalists spanning from the Middle East to Bangladesh and beyond.
Naik was in the news again when Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad granted him asylum, turning down the government of India’s request for extradition, despite the two countries having an extradition treaty. Soon thereafter, Naik issued a statement accusing the media of “resorting to doctored video clips, out-of-context quotations and a host of dishonest schemes to accuse me of terrorism.”
Supporters of Naik contend that he is being persecuted on false charges and victimised because he is an outspoken and influential Muslim. The truth can be ascertained by an analysis of Naik’s lectures and speeches, which I attempt in this piece.