Controversial Islamist Zakir Naik was not invited to FIFA World Cup: Qatar tells India
New Delhi, Nov 23: The invitation to the inaugural function of FIFA World Cup in Doha was not given to controversial religious leader and Indian fugitive Zakir Naik, Qatar has clarified to India.
It is a deliberate attempt by third countries to spoil India and Qatar's relationship, it said in formal communique, according to a report in Hindustan Times.
Reports had earlier claimed that televangelist Zakir Naik was invited by Qatar for the World Cup inaugural event and to deliver lectures preaching Islam in the country throughout the event.
India's response earlier:
Amid reports of Qatar inviting controversial Islamic preacher and Indian fugitive Zakir Naik to the FIFA World Cup, Union Minister Hardeep Puri on Tuesday said he was sure that India would convey its views on the matter in the "strongest possible terms" to the authorities concerned. At the same time, the minister for Housing and Urban Affairs said he has no knowledge of the invitation being extended to Naik.
There was a demand from a section to give a strong reply to Qatar as it had registered protest against BJP leader Nupur Sharma's comment on Prophet earlier this year.
Qatar Foreign Ministry in its statement had said that allowing such Islamophobic remarks to continue without punishment, constitutes a grave danger to the protection of human rights and may lead to further prejudice and marginalisation, which will create a cycle of violence and hate.
The note indicated that more than two billion Muslims across the world follow the guidance of Prophet Mohammad, whose message came as a message of peace, understanding and tolerance, and a beacon of light that Muslims all over the world follow.
Who is Zakir Naik:
Zakir Naik is wanted by India for allegedly inciting young people with his hate speeches. He is being probed for terror and money laundering charges by the NIA.
In March, the Ministry of Home Affairs in a notification banned Zakir Naik's organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and said that the speeches of Naik were objectionable in nature and he had been extolling known terrorists apart from stating that every Muslim should be a terrorist.