The famous but yet controversial Dr Zakir Naik is in Mauritius for the Live Islam 2012 speech. Dr Zakir Naik is an Indian public orator about Islam and comparative religion. He is the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation in Mumbai which also owns the Channel Peace TV.
Who is Zakir Naik?
Naik confesses about being influenced by Ahmed Deedat resulting which he was inspired to communicate to the entire nation. His aim is to sensitize the modern youth who have become “apologetic” about their own religion and thinks that their religion is no more applicable in this époque of science and technology.
He is expected to deliver his speech at Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre at Pailles, Mauritius on this coming Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of February 2012. All the 6000 seats have already been booked and a giant screen has even been installed outside the centre so that others can dwell on his message to the population.
Zakir Naik Banned in Mauritius
Initially, his visit was banned and it created some controversies at the government level. Ultimately, the Prime Minister allowed him to convey the very essence of peace and unity to the public in the hope that he will not foster any negative emotions in anyone judging from his last visit ten years ago. According to him, many social ills can be solved by better understanding of the Quran.
Does he present a risk for our social stability? Or is he a savior of mankind?
Naik believes and preaches that science has emerged from Islam and its prophecies in Quran. He emphasizes that most of the discoveries of science are unproven and baseless. The government of Mauritius is investing a lot on research recently and is expecting to promote the dedicated works of science students on a planetary scale. Paradoxically, if believers of Zakir Naik renounces from this government facility, Mauritius may lose some of its brilliant brains.
The ICT Minister is very keen on his project to spread the tentacles of technology among the Mauritian population and will be defeated in his cherished project if some refuses to acknowledge the importance of technology in our world today.
Intolerant Toward Other Religions
Zakir Naik is often said to create controversies. He strongly airs his views against other religion and preaches that Islam is the one and only true religion and those other religions are inappropriate resulting which they should not be allowed to propagate. Mauritius, being a multicultural country will surely sense the effects if these teachings are taken at heart by the Mauritian Muslims. The tolerance and mutual respect for each religion reigning in supreme mastery under the Mauritian sky will be disturbed.
He voices his feelings about the West and reveals that women are vulnerable to rape only because of the short Western dresses. He promotes his culture and faith to the detriment of others thus nurturing a prejudice in people’s minds. Western dresses are worn by many in Mauritius since time immemorial and this is not an argument for women being raped. Rapists have been proven to have a psychological problem and if they have to choose a victim, whether it is a woman clothed head to toe or one decked only in bikini, he will attack depending on his urges and psychological pressure.
Why associate Western clothes to rape?
Even boys are ‘raped’ nowadays, so that means they roam about in mini-skirts and sleeveless tops owing to which they were sexually abused? I personally feel that each and every one of us reserve the right to choose one’s own religion and culture as we live in a democratic country.
Contradictorily, democracy principles are violated if we allow a non-Mauritian to teach us his ways of life which may not be applicable in our country and at the same time degrading another culture or religion. He claims to be a conservative Muslim when he himself sports Western suits. His teachings are unclear as sometimes he condemns a particular and simultaneously condone it in another speech.
Zakir Naik And Terrorism
He has been often linked with terrorism and said to instill in people’s mind that terrorism is a positive thing when it is a fight against enemies of Islam.
In 2008 he was accused of supporting Osama Bin Laden by shahar qazi Mufti Abul Irfan Mian Firangi Mahali, an Islamic scholar in Lucknow. The Wahabis funds his speeches and the same group of Wahabis are said to have financed Al Qaeda’s attacks. Nobody has accused him directly but terrorists themselves when arrested confessed being manipulated and greatly influenced by his messages. How can such a person impart knowledge when he himself is a supporter of violence?
Many great scholars and well wishers of mankind have argued that his views do not deserve a public platform as he divides rather than “unites”. Islam condemns in unequivocal terms the killing of someone and the Quran stipulates that “killing of innocent people is a crime and suicide is unacceptable”.
In spite of this, he says that he is with Al Qaeda if they are fighting with America and all Muslims should be terrorists. Naik’s pronouncements even fuel many college debates which reach the verge of resentment among classmates.
Will this pose a threat to our harmonious way of living in Mauritius?
Zakir Naik Views on Women in Society
Emancipation of women is spiraling towards its peak in Mauritius whereby even Muslim women are gradually being empowered in their household and the working force. But, Zakir Naik professes that the place of women is at his husband’s feet itself and he violently condemns women entering the workforce.
This might spark a debate in Mauritius which may be harmful to Muslim women. He justifies that women are inferior and less intelligent than men and there never can be gender equality. The impact of his lecture may prove to be detrimental to some if his words are absorbed by immature and vulnerable minds.
Dividing The Muslim Community?
Many Muslims do not appreciate the behavior of Zakir Naik as he creates division not only among religions of the world but also among the different sects in the Muslim community.
He never allows a Shia Muslim to talk to him or question him. Many contradict his conservative attitude as he wears non-Islamic outfits and do not even talk Arabic. Some Muslims residing in foreign countries do not like him as they may suffer from animosity from their neighbors and colleagues following the rude remarks of Naik on other cultures. It is due to these reasons that he is banned from entering UK and Canada.