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Bangladesh bans televangelist Zakir Naik’s Peace TV

Dr. Zakir Naik.  

The government of Bangladesh has banned the broadcast of Peace TV, a channel run by controversial Indian preacher Dr. Zakir Naik, in the country on allegations that it incited terrorism.

The Cabinet Committee on law and order took the decision at a special meeting on Sunday, halting broadcasting of all unauthorised TV channels, including Peace TV, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, who chaired the panel, told reporters.

Major terror attacks

The meeting was held at the Home Ministry in the backdrop of two major terrorist attacks -- massacre of 22 people, including foreigners, at the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant in the Gulshan diplomatic area of Dhaka and killing of 3 persons in an attack near the historic Sholakia Eidgah in eastern Kishoregonj district, some 150 km north of Dhaka.

Earlier Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu told The Hindu on Friday that the government would take a decision soon on the Peace TV after some attackers of the Gulshan café siege were said to be influenced by the channel. “ Many Islamic scholars have also complained about Dr. Zakir Naik”, said the Minister, adding “We will examine those allegations and take a decision soon.”

'He is on our security scanner'

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal earlier said the intelligence agencies were investigating the activities of the controversial preacher as they appeared provocative. "He is on our security scanner,” he said.

Dr. Naik is the founding president of Mumbai-based charity organization, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which owns Peace TV.

Dr. Naik in a video response to NDTV after the deadly Dhaka cafe attack said he was not surprised that one of the gunmen knew him since he “inspires millions across the world.” He has also reportedly claimed that no Bangladesh government official had said that he inspired the act of terrorism.

'Over 50 p.c. of Bangladeshis my fans'

"There are millions of fans of mine throughout the world. More than 50 per cent Bangladeshis are my fans but to say that I inspired him [ the gunman] to kill innocent human beings is devilish," he said, claiming he was 'shocked' to find that four million among the 14 million likes on his Facebook page were by Bangladeshis.

The controversial preacher is already banned from entering the United Kingdom and Canada .


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Printable version | Jan 16, 2022 2:45:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Bangladesh-bans-televangelist-Zakir-Naik%E2%80%99s-Peace-TV/article14481608.ece

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