In a Youtube speech on Friday, India-based Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik accused The Daily Star of sensationalising a report by saying that he was “responsible for inspiring one of the terrorists of the attack in Dhaka”.
The Daily Star categorically denies this allegation and wants to say it did not report that any terrorist was inspired by Zakir Naik to kill innocent people. The report said that one of the terrorists had propagated on Facebook last year quoting Peace TV's preacher Zakir Naik urging all Muslims to be “terrorists”. In his video speech, Dr Naik himself said he has millions of followers in Bangladesh. Our report was an attempt to show how young minds were interpreting Dr Naik's views in ways that were perhaps not intended for.
The Daily Star stands corrected on its report that he was banned in Malaysia.
He also talked about his own ban in different countries.
Naik in his speech said that three years ago he received one of the most prestigious awards in Malaysia. He added that he was in Malaysia hardly three months back and met several ministers there.
However, about his case in the UK, Naik himself said: “The only country that I am officially aware of ban, once from entering, was UK. I don't have any proof that any country has banned me officially.”
About the Canada issue, according to the top Canadian newspaper Toronto Star, Zakir Naik in June 2010 was phoned by a Canadian embassy official in New Delhi to say that he would be refused entry if he decided to come. Naik was set to attend a conference in Canada at that time.
The report adds that “At the same time, nothing was put in writing”.
The Daily Star's reporting was a mere presentation of facts and we regret any misunderstanding between Dr Zakir Naik and this newspaper.