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Maharashtra government asks Google and Facebook to deactivate accounts of Zakir Naik

After banning Peace Tv in India in 2012 for promoting disharmony among communities, now the Maharashtra government has approached Google and Facebook to deactivate controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik's social media accounts.
Zakir Naik

Security agencies in the country determined that his sermons, broadcast on Peace TV, were instigating Islamist youth to carry out terrorist activities, and in the recent past Zakir Naik’s NGO was put under foreign fund vigil. Now sources have revealed that the Maharashtra government has written to Rajan Anandan, who is the Vice President of Google, South East Asia & India and is responsible for sales and operations in this region and Facebook India to deactivate accounts related to the Islamic preacher.

Earlier this month, investigative agencies probed if televangelist Zakir Naik had a role in 22 people from Kerala joining the Islamic State in Afghanistan. The 13 men, 6 women and 3 children had met at Peace International School — said to be supported by Naik’s NGO — before they ‘disappeared’. Zakir Naik who used to be an MBBS doctor by profession rose to fame by helping Muslims frame a response in a post 9/11 world, to insistent questions linking Islam and violence. Ironically, Naik has been convincing Muslims that they are not terrorists while inspiring them to be terrorists through his preachings that state that Islam is the only religion in the world and all other religions are a sham.

His provocative hate speeches have been uploaded on the Peace Tv YouTube channel and viewed millions of times around the world. The move by Maharashtra government to ask Facebook and Google to deactivate his accounts comes after his speeches have proved to incite violence as seen during the July 2016 Dhaka attack. It has now been proven beyond fact that his teachings promote disharmony among communities.

He founded Peace TV through which he delivers his provocative speeches. The channel is run by his Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Earlier this year, his Dubai based Peace TV ran into choppy waters when UK probed the Birmingham charity that funds the channel after it found the content on Peace TV to be highly anti-Semitic. According to The Times of London, the Islamic Research Foundation International, based in Birmingham and indirectly funded by UK tax breaks, has given most of its charitable income in the past two years to Peace TV.

Naik was banned from Britain in 2010 over extremist statements that were “on their face supportive of terrorist Osama bin Laden, anti-Jewish and otherwise unacceptable,” according to court documents published in news reports. He is infamous for airing inflammatory talks in respect to Hindus, Jews and Christians, and even the Sufis and Shias. After being banned in the UK and Canada, two more democratic countries with significant Muslim population, India and Bangladesh, have blocked the biggest source of radical Islamist televangelism in the region, Peace TV. Peace TV was banned in India in 2012, because the government said it was broadcasting malicious anti-Indian content.

Dr Zakir Naik has over 14 million likes on his official Facebook page, over 131,000 followers on Twitter.

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