The Indian government has sent a formal request to Malaysia to extradite the prominent Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
The Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been pursuing Dr Naik since 2017 on charges of alleged money laundering and delivering hate speeches that incited extremism.
For almost three years Dr Naik has been residing in Malaysia which granted him permanent residency after his request for visas were rejected by Britain and Canada.
Dr Naik has refuted all allegations levelled against him in India as “politically motivated.”
This week he released a YouTube video saying that Islamophobia in India has reached epidemic levels since Prime Minister Modi came to power. But he advised Indian Muslims to repel evil with good even if they are being abused as “you never know when your enemy will become your friend.” He added that Muslims should love non-Muslims and try to remove misconceptions about Islam.
Meanwhile, the Charity Commission in the UK has opened a statutory inquiry into the Islamic Research Foundation International organisation to “examine continued concerns about the administration of the charity.” Dr Naik is the founder and president of the affiliated Islamic Research Foundation.
The charity’s goals include the advancement of the Islamic faith through the Peace TV network (Peace TV and Peace TV Urdu).
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In November 2019, broadcast regulator Ofcom suspended Peace TV Urdu’s licence – and both its licence and that of Peace TV were surrendered and consequently they are no longer broadcasting in the UK.
On April 17 the Commission opened an inquiry to examine, among other things:
- The trustees’ decision making about continuing to fund the Peace TV channels despite several breaches of Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code.
- Whether there are conflicts of interest and/or loyalty arising from an overlap between some of the charity’s trustees and the Peace TV licensee’s directors.
- Whether all funds that the charity granted to fund the Peace TV channels have been used to carry out activities that exclusively furthered a charitable purpose.
- Whether the charity’s resources and/or activities have furthered non-charitable purposes and/or resulted in the trustees receiving unauthorised personal benefits.