Hyderabad: The Zakir Naik issue has sparked a debate among Muslims, creating a "vertical division" in the community on whether his preachings are right or wrong, and this "unwarranted" development may lead to law and problems, says Abid Rasool Khan, Chairman of State Minorities Commission, serving Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
He said the Muslim community today has two views on Naik, with half of them saying his preachings are right and the rest contending he is wrong.
The controversial Islamic preacher, whose speeches allegedly inspired some of the militants involved in the Dhaka carnage, is currently facing multiple probes.
Apart from coming under scanner in India, Bangladesh has also banned the broadcast of Naik's Peace TV, cracking down on the channel and radical sermons by the 'televangelist'.
Shiv Sena had also demanded arrest of Naik on his landing in India and dismantling of his TV network. "So, why this debate? Why should the community debate for a single man? It is unwarranted. It would create more rift and sort of legal and law and order problems seen in other countries like Iraq, Iran...everywhere we are seeing because of division in the community. We want to pre-empt this and the responsibility of pre-empting is Government of India's," Khan told PTI in Hyderabad.
The central government, through its agencies, should analyse his speeches on a war-footing, and book him according to law if he has stated anything against national interest or against the law and order or encouraging youth to take up arms against the country or anybody, he said.
"But if he has not stated anything which is against law, then witch-hunting a person is not right. If Zakir Naik is preaching hatred, action should be taken against him. But if he is preaching peace and somebody wants to create hatred then those guys should be booked and not the preacher," he said.
"Now the situation is such that this person is dividing the community, vertically. By this thing, the community itself is getting divided which is very unwanted and it should not have been done. Government should act promptly and analyse the speeches and take action, and if nothing is found, they should say nothing on record (no evidence) so that this issue is closed," he further said.
Khan noted that religious leaders, whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian, interpret scriptures in their own way and they have followers which include a few "black sheep".
"Something (interpretation) may be within the parameter and something may be slightly away. So, if Zakir Naik is also interpreting the religion in a way which is detrimental to the religious aspects, Islamic scholars should also take cognisance and explain to him and have a debate on what way he is doing wrong," he said.
"Number of people have number of followers. Zakir Naik has followers who do wrong, RSS has followers who do wrong. Bajrang Dal has followers who do wrong," he said.
He alleged that there are cases where RSS and Bajrang Dal-aligned people and some elements in Christian community were involved in different crimes.
"So, that does not mean the whole institution is bad. We have to remove the black sheep and set right the organisations," Khan added....