oppn parties Digvijay Singh Issues 'Clean Chit' to Zakir Naik

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Digvijay Singh Issues 'Clean Chit' to Zakir Naik

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Having spent a lifetime ignoring the threats posed by preachers whose speeches have the potential of radicalizing the youth, Congressman Digvijay Singh has sought to give a clean chit to Zakir Naik, calling him a messenger of peace. He has also accused the BJP of trying to link terrorism with Islam. Singh has perhaps forgotten that Naik and his speeches are being probed on the basis of a complaint by Bangladesh, where two of the youngsters involved in the recent terror attacks disclosed that they were inspired by Naik’s speeches.

Giving the example of one speech which Naik made from a stage he shared with him, Singh has said that the preacher spoke of communal harmony and the good points of Islam. Singh has not heard his other speeches or the question answer sessions he presides over, where he denigrates other religions. He has asked Muslims not to say “merry Christmas” as according to him it means they acknowledge that Jesus was son of God and was born on Christmas day. There are hundreds of other examples where he incites followers against kafirs.

The problem with Singh and his ilk is that they tolerated Naik and his ilk despite intelligence inputs because they did not want to disturb their Muslim vote banks. Now, they seek to put the onus on the NDA government. There are hundreds of such preachers in India who, in the guise of propagating Islam, denigrate other religions and its followers. The Congress, in the name of secularism, pandered to them and allowed them to prosper. It is now trying to pass the buck to the BJP.

Singh should realize that Naik’s brand of imported, Saudi-backed Wahabi Islam has very few followers in India. The Deoband Seminary has already said that his teachings do not truly reflect the spirit of the Holy Quran. Funded and awarded by the Saudis, Naik has prospered only due to foreign funding. With the government now probing the use of funds received by him, things would come out in the open. Singh would be well advised to steer clear of giving clean chits to such dubious characters. In doing so, he is compounding his own and his party’s past follies.