Controversial televangelist Zakir Naik, who faces numerous matters of finances laundering and hate speech in India, has arrived in Qatar upon invitation, as first reported by Dubai-based news channel Al Arabiya. He is set to deliver speeches lecturing Islam ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Naik’s arrival in Qatar was announced on Twitter by Faisal Alhajri, a host for Qatar’s state-run sports network Alkass.
Banned from India in 2016
India restricted Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, blaming him for promoting and assisting its followers in “broadcasting or endeavouring to promote feelings of animus, or hatred-will between diverse spiritual communities and groups.”
One of the accusations levelled against him by Indian authorities is that he was entangled in forceful conversions. Based on the evidence, a charge sheet was filed against him for recasting people of different religions to Islam.
Banned in Malaysia in 2020
Zakir Naik has been living in exile in Malaysia since 2017, as a runaway fugitive, after the Indian administration pressed charges against him over finances laundering. Even though Naik has permanent residency(PR) in Malaysia, he was banned from delivering speeches in the country in 2020 in the interests of “national security”.
He had been charged with provocative lectures and questioned by local police over his intent to provoke a breach of stability by making remarks about Hindu and Chinese communities living in the Muslim-majority country.
“One of the most popular Islamic Scholars of our time Dr Zakir Naik has reached #Qatar for the #FIFAWorldCup,” filmmaker Zain Khan tweeted on 20 November 2022.
Other verified Twitter accounts have also demonstrated Naik’s existence in Qatar as a requested dignitary. He will give addresses to spread the message of Islam during FIFA World Cup 2022, multifarious verified accounts have claimed.