Zakir Naik, the controversial preacher known for hate speeches that allegedly inspired an ISIS terrorist involved in the 2016 Dhaka attack, is heading back to India from Malaysia, sources told a news agency on Tuesday.
The report cites Mohammed Raby Abu Bakar, a Malaysian policeman as saying that Zakir will be flying out of the country tonight. “He will be taking a flight to India today I believe,” the police officer is quoted as saying.
The preacher left India in 2016 and has been living in Putrajaya in Malaysia since. He was also given a permanent residency and embraced by top Malaysian government officials. When the news agency asked why he was “welcome” there, the source said: “You will have to ask the last government.”
Naik is wanted in India for inciting communal violence through his hate speeches. A criminal case was filed against him by the NIA following an order by the Union Home Ministry which also banned his Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
Malaysia said India had failed to produce a red corner notice – which acts like an international arrest warrant – against him. “In our conversations with Indian authorities like RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), we said please give us an Interpol notice and we will arrest him, but they failed to do so,” said an official.
Naik came under the scanner of security agencies after it was found that two ISIS terrorists involved in the 2016 Dhaka cafe terror attack were his followers and inspired by his sermons.
Naik, a 52-year-old medical doctor, has in his inflammatory speeches recommended death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam. He is heard saying in a YouTube video that if Osama bin Laden was “terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him”.