Zakir Naik Says Bollywood Is ‘Not Appropriate For Practising Muslims’, Moots Islamist Body To Counter Trolls

by M R Subramani - Jun 4, 2020 05:07 PM +05:30 IST
Zakir Naik Says Bollywood Is ‘Not Appropriate For Practising Muslims’, Moots Islamist Body To Counter Trolls   Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
Snapshot
  • Calling for the setting up of a Muslim organisation well versed with social media, Naik said that such an organisation should counter misinformation against Muslims and those trolling popular Muslims.

Controversial preacher and Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) founder Zakir Naik has said that “the path of Bollywood is not appropriate for practising Muslims” while defending Dangal actor Zaira Wasim, who has quit acting in movies.

Naik, responding to a question on the controversy over Wasim tweeting a verse from the Quran in connection with the locusts attack, on his YouTube channel, suggested the setting up of a Muslim Organisation that will be well-versed with social media to counter trolling of popular Muslims.

“I congratulate Zaira and support her decision to quit Bollywood. According to me, most of the path of Bollywood is not appropriate for practising Muslims,” said the controversial preacher, who is currently living in Malaysia after fleeing India.

Stating that it takes courage and sacrifice for a person to quit Bollywood, he said: “I appreciate it. May Allah reward her multiple times. Anyone who leaves sin and comes to a straight path, Allah rewards him.

"The bigger the sin, the bigger is the reward. You need guts to quit it,” said Naik, who faces charges in India of provoking communal disharmony and indulging in unlawful activities that incited terror in the country.

On the controversy over Wasim’s tweet on a swarm of locusts attacking some parts of the country, he said she only posted the verse and did not mention anything.

Wasim had tweeted: “So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self explained: but they were steeped in arrogance- a people given to sin” -Qur’an 7:133.”

“The media, right wing or the one that supports this Government, has taken the quote, added their own information and maligned Zaira. Media has insinuated that she was referring to India,” Naik said.

Pointing out that locusts were prevalent in East Africa, parts of Pakistan and India, he said: “When she has not mentioned any country, they (media) have maligned her.

“This is what exactly happened to me in July 2016. A person Rohan (Imitiaz), who is my fan on Facebook, was involved in Dhaka terrorist attack. They alleged he was inspired by Naik to attack. I have 2.5 million followers. Am I responsible if they do something?” he wondered.

22 persons were killed when five militants stormed Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s upmarket Gulshan area and took hostage the people dining there, besides spraying bullets. All the five, including Imtiaz, were killed in the operation to rescue the people held hostage inside the bakery.

Naik had been under investigation for the incident, though a special tribunal in Dhaka has sentenced seven persons to death for the killings.

The IRF founder said that Wasim should not be bothered about trolls nor be disheartened “when enemies attack”. “When you speak the truth, enemies of Islam have to attack you. We should be reassured that we are on the straight path,” he said.

Calling for the setting up of a Muslim organisation well versed with social media, he said that such an organisation should counter misinformation against Muslims and those trolling popular Muslims.

Wasim was trolled only because she left Bollywood, he said.

Soon after the controversy over her tweet, Wasim said she was quitting Twitter and Instagram. However, she returned to both the next day, saying she took a break.

Last year, Wasim, a national award winner, said she was “disassociating” herself from acting as it interfered with her faith and religion.

Besides Dangal, she has starred in Secret Superstar and The Sky Is Pink.

M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani

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