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Muslim group welcomes ban on preacher

Raza Academy, a group of Muslims, presented a memorandum to the UK High commission “appreciating the initiatives of the British government to restrict entry of Dr Zakir Naik”.

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Ashutosh M Shukla

Updated: Jun 22, 2010, 12:58 AM IST

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Britain’s ban on Zakir Naik, a controversial Islamic televangelist has been welcomed by the Muslim community in the city.
Raza Academy, a group of Muslims, presented a memorandum to the UK High commission “appreciating the initiatives of the British government to restrict entry of Dr Zakir Naik”.

Saeed Noorie, secretary of the academy, said “He may consider himself to be an Islamic scholar or preacher, but we don’t.”
Mumbai-born Naik is a medical doctor by profession, having attained a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Mumbai. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation.
It also owns and broadcasts the free-to-air global Peace TV channel.

In one his speeches, the preacher had said that every Muslim should embrace terrorism. “Muslims should beware of people saying Osama Bin Laden was right or wrong. If you ask my view, if given the truth, if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him. If he is terrorising the terrorists, if he is terrorising America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, every Muslim should be a terrorist.”

In his defence, Naik had earlier said he was quoted out of context and people were trying to defame him. He was unavailable for comment. However, he will conduct a press conference on Tuesday.

The petition has also requested the British government to ban author Salman Rushdie.

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