A prominent Jamaican-born Salafi scholar has been forced to leave Bangladesh for his alleged “extremist” views.
Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips left Dhaka last Wednesday after the Bangladeshi intelligence services requested him to leave the country.
Sharif Abu Hayat Apu, who is the manager of a sister company of Islamic Online University, a global educational institute founded by Dr Bilal Philips, confirmed the cleric’s forced departure.
Philips has been refused entry to the US, Britain, Australia, Germany and Kenya for his “extremist” views. The scholar has been accused of encouraging youths to go on jihad and justifying suicide bombings, claims which he strongly denies.
The preacher was scheduled to deliver lectures on June 21 at the Institute of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh on “purification of wealth” and “union of Islamic nation”.
On June 24, Dr Philips was scheduled to deliver a lecture on “Allah” at the United International University Auditorium at Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi.
“Bilal Philips cannot deliver such lectures as he came on tourist visa”, said a senior police officer of special branch who wished to remain anonymous.
The officer who is responsible for giving arrival clearance to the foreign visitors did not comment on how or why Dr Philips got a visa in the first place.
Dr Philips is an Islamic thinker, religious teacher, speaker, writer and TV presenter on Peace TV who currently resides in Qatar. He received his B.A. degree from the Islamic University of Madina and his M.A. in “Aqeedah” from the King Saud University in Riyadh. He went on to the University of Wales where he completed a PhD in Islamic Theology in 1988.
Dr Philips has a huge following on social media with 1.4 million “likes” on his Facebook page and 83,000 followers on Twitter.