New Delhi: Islamic preacher Zakir Naik supports the demolition of the ancient Hindu temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. In his latest video, he backed the communal rage by saying ‘temples should not be allowed to be constructed in an Islamic country’. A mob of over a hundred people led by local Muslim clerics of radical Islamist party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam destroyed and set ablaze the historic Krishna temple in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on December 30, 2020.
India lodged a formal protest against Pakistan through diplomatic channels against the vandalization and demolition of a Hindu temple there and conveyed that the neighboring country should investigate the matter and take strict action against those responsible. According to reports, speakers delivered inflammatory speeches in rally organized by Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), a Sunni Deobandi political party in Pakistan, after which the mob stormed at the temple and razed it to the ground.
Last year, the United States placed Pakistan on a list of “countries of particular concern” for religious freedom violations. Minorities in Pakistan regularly faced persecution with more than 1000 women abducted and forcefully converted to Islam every year.
This is not the first time that Zakir Naik has sparked controversy through his videos. Many countries have banned Zakir Naik from entering after he announced his support for Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Islamic preacher fled India to Malaysia in 2016 after a terrorist in Dhaka revealed that he was inspired by Zakir Naik. Similarly, two young men from Kerala who joined ISIS had openly said that Zakir Naik was behind their decision. The National Investigation Agency has charged UAPA against him.