Bangladesh to ban Dr Zakir Naik’s Peace TV

Bangladesh has said it intends to ban the Islamic television channel, Peace TV, in the wake of the deadly attack on a cafe in the capital, Dhaka.

The government’s decision comes amid fears that hardline views on the channel could radicalise youth.

Gunmen killed 22 people when they stormed the Holey Artisan bakery in Dhaka earlier this month.

Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said that “administrative steps” would be taken towards the banning of the channel.

“Peace TV is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh’s Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals,” Mr Inu told online news outlet Bdnews24 hours after the cabinet committee on law and order decided to ban the channel.

The 24-hour TV channel, is broadcast from Dubai in English, Urdu and Bangla.

Zakir Naik, 50, is the founder and president of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, which owns Peace TV.

He was once banned from entering the UK for what was described as “unacceptable behaviour”.

But he has denied an allegation that one of the gunmen in the cafe attack was inspired by his speeches, accusing Bangladeshi media of sensationalism.

He said: “I am shocked by the media trial on me regarding the recent terrorist attack that took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 1st July 2016. Most of the clips shown on the television of myself are either out of context, half statements or doctored. So are my statements in the print media …

“I do not support terrorism or violence in any form whatsoever. I have never supported any terrorist organisations and have mentioned this over and over again in thousands of my public talks worldwide. I strongly condemn anyone taking my statements out of context and using it for violence of any form.”

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