New Delhi [India] : The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday extended the ban imposed on Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), an NGO headed by Islamic evangelist and India-born preacher Zakir Naik for a further five years.
In its notification issued on Monday, the Ministry mentioned if the activities of the “unlawful association” were not curbed, it would continue its subversive activities and reorganize its absconding activists to create communal disharmony, propagate anti-national sentiments and support militancy. The Ministry in its notification said that Islamic preacher Naik’s speeches and statements were meant to inspire youths of a particular religion in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.
Naik’s statements and speeches are objectionable, subversive that promote enmity, hatred among religious groups, the Home Ministry said on extending the ban on IRF.
The Centre had declared the IRF an unlawful organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967) on November 17, 2016 for a period of five years. The ban was due to expire on Tuesday.
The Union Home Ministry in its notification said that the IRF “has been indulging in activities which are prejudicial to the security of the country and have the potential of disturbing peace and communal harmony and disrupting the secular fabric of the country.”
Naik’s IRF has been “encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities and groups which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country”, the notification said.
According to the Ministry, Naik makes radical statements and speeches which is viewed by crores of people worldwide.
The Ministry said that these statements by Naik can also “disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, propagate anti-national sentiments, escalate secessionism by supporting militancy and some people may undertake activities which are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country”.
Naik runs two television stations, namely Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu. Both the channels are banned in many countries. It is banned in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The IRF head fled to Malaysia in 2016, just before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) started a probe against the Islamic preacher.