Mumbai | Rejecting allegations that his sermons inspired terror activity, controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik today claimed he never encouraged anyone to kill innocents and said he will co-operate with any probe agency if it approaches him.
Talking to media persons via Skype from Medina, Naik, who is facing the heat over charges that he inspired some of the Dhaka cafe attackers, condemned all terror attacks and dubbed himself as a messenger of peace. I did not inspire any terrorist… suicide bombings targeting innocent people are condemnable, Naik said, adding his statements on terrorism and suicide bombings were doctored and tampered.
The 50-year-old Mumbai-based televangelist, who had earlier cancelled a press conference and had announced his visit to Africa from Saudi Arabia putting off his return to the country, challenged anyone to show him an unedited answer wherein he has not condemned suicide bombings.
Naik also maintained that no government agency has approached him to join investigation in connection with charges levelled against him until now. I am willing to co-operate with any probe agency if they approach me, he added. He also claimed that he had even addressed IPS officials in the past.
Naik also stated that he applied for permission to air Peace TV, run by his Islamic Research Foundation, in 2008, but did not get the same as the channel allegedly was Islamic. He also said that terrorists are misguiding innocent Muslims.
The sermons of Naik are under the scanner of the state and the central agencies in India. His speeches on Peace TV were said to be popular in Bangladesh, where the network has been banned post the July 1 terror attack which left 22 people dead, including an Indian.