Mumbai, Jul 11 (PTI): Zakir Naik, the radical Islamic preacher whose speeches are said to have turned some followers of his Peace TV into terrorists, said Monday he would not be returning to India for another two to three weeks.
Mumbai-based Naik said he is ready to cooperate with any Indian agency investigating the allegations against him, and iterated that he does not “support terrorism or violence”.
”So far, not a single official Indian government agency has contacted me for any clarification regarding this issue. It would be my pleasure to cooperate with any official Indian government investigation agency for any information they might require from me,” he said in a statement.
Naik is said to be in Saudi Arabia and is scheduled to visit some African countries.
Naik also cancelled a press conference via Skype scheduled for Tuesday, suggesting that he has become the victim of a media trial.
Naik accused the media of “twisting and not publishing unedited statements and mutilating and misutilising statements to serve their vested agenda”.
”If time permits, in the next few days I will give replies to some of the major allegations on video and give it to the media and put it up on social media as well and other public platforms so that the original answers are also available if the media misutilises them,” he said.
He iterated that he “does not support terrorism or violence and neither does he support any terrorist organisation.”
An aide of Naik said, “His (Naik's) travel schedule had been made long back. After performing Umrah, he is scheduled to travel to Jeddah from where he will visit Africa for his public talks scheduled there. He is therefore not expected in the country for another 2-3 weeks at least.”
”Zakir Naik was never supposed to be physically present for the media briefing that was to take place on Tuesday. He had decided that he would address the media through Skype and answer all queries that media persons may have had,” he said.
Bangladesh has banned Naik's Peace TV, following the July 1 attack on a cafe by Islamist terrorists said to have been inspired by Naik's speeches.