Ban on IRF a distraction from demonetisation: Zakir Naik

IRF was banned on November 15 for a period of five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his �objectionable and subversive� speeches

Preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik on Friday described the Central government's decision to ban his organisation Islamic Research Foundation as a communal one.

IRF was banned on November 15 for a period of five years under the  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his “objectionable and subversive” speeches.

Naik in a statement said the order was the “most unique ban to be applied in the history of India” and he was not given a chance to explain himself. “My participation in the investigation process would have exonerated me, which wasn’t acceptable to the government,” the preacher said.

Naik also said the ban was meant as a distraction for the country and the media from the ongoing “demonetisation fiasco.” “For the public that is starved for cash, for trade and basic amenities, one cannot expect much of resistance,” Naik said. “Flawless timing, really.”

The preacher said the claim of the government that his speeches incited violence was baseless saying he advocated peace only.He said he was of the tribe who spoke against “state-sponsored violence and terrorism”.

Naik said the move to ban the IRF was “an attack on whom I represent, the Indian Muslims”. “It is an attack on peace, democracy and justice.”

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