Indian fugitive and radical Islamist preacher Zakir Naik is likely to be deported from Oman. Media reports have quoted sources as saying that the Indian intelligence agencies are already in contact with Oman officials in a bid to arrest Naik during his visit to Oman on March 23. According to reports, Naik is expected to visit Oman on March 23 for delivering religious sermons.
#BREAKING | Oman rolls out red carpet for Zakir Naik; invites preacher to preach Islamic sermons during Ramzan.#ZakirNaik #Oman #Ramzan #RedCarpet #IslamicSermons pic.twitter.com/HvhijtBLTy
— Republic (@republic) March 21, 2023
There is a strong possibility that Oman officials may detain the controversial preacher upon his arrival and subsequently turn him over to Indian authorities. According to reports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) has also raised the issue with Oman’s Ambassador.
Indian agencies in touch with Oman authorities to detail Zakir Naik on his visit to the country on March 23: Top intelligence sources. News18's @AnchorAnandN with details @GrihaAtul | #Exclusive input: @manojkumargupta pic.twitter.com/Qq1qn3li90
— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 21, 2023
Naik had received an invitation to deliver two religious sermons in the country– “The Quran a Global Necessity” and “Prophet Muhammad A Mercy to Humankind”. His first lecture is set for March 23, the first day of Ramadan on March 23 and the second lecture will be held on March 25 at Sultan Qaboos University.
It is not clear how the Islamist preacher is to proceed regarding his arrival in the country, considering that the news of his possible arrest is already being flashed by the Indian media. The radical preacher resides in Malaysia.
Zakir Naik has been avoiding Indian authorities ever since his name started cropping up in terror-related cases. In 2016, terrorists involved in the Dhaka blast case admitted that they were influenced by the preacher’s speeches.
In 2019, Zakir was banned from giving speeches in Malaysia after he made racist comments against Hindus and Chinese Malaysians. He was interrogated for hours in connection to the same.
Last year OpIndia reported how he had earlier joined hands with those who instigated violence in Leicester in England’s Midlands area.
In July 2021, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported that Naik was seen alongside other Islamic preachers in a grand collage, fundraising for the construction of a grand mosque and Dawah (proselytism) centre in Oslo in Norway.
The Indian fugitive was spotted alongside UK-based Islamists, Ali Dawah and Mohammed Hijab, who reportedly instigated the recent spate of violence in Leicester. They were seen exhorting Muslims to contribute to the establishment of the Islamic centre by promising them a ‘house’ in Jannah (paradise).
Zakir Naik is wanted in India in cases involving money laundering. The government of India had taken his channel, Peace TV, off the air for peddling hate propaganda. He has been living in exile in Malaysia since 2017.
Now, it is being reported that the Indian embassy in Oman is working with local authorities to detain and deport him in accordance with local laws. The Indian embassy might likely send a legal team for follow-up after detention. According to reports, the local authorities are likely to oblige with requests for detention.
Qatar had invited Naik to give religious sermons at the FIFA World Cup 2022. However, after New Delhi raised concerns with Doha that it would be compelled to terminate Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar’s trip to the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony if Islamist Zakir Naik were to be formally invited to watch the event’s opening from the VVIP box, Qatar had informed India via official channels that Zakir Naik had not received any formal invitation to attend the November 20, 2022, FIFA World Cup inauguration in Doha. Qatar reportedly stated that other nations were deliberately disseminating “disinformation” to impair diplomatic ties between India and Qatar.