Qatar’s double standards!

The incident of hate preacher Zakir Naik at 2022 FIFA Cup was indeed shameful and baffling as it was not expected from Qatar
having very friendly relations with . It seems both the Government of India and Qatar authorities have simply avoided an
embarrassing situation diplomatically by Qatar stating that there was no official invitation to the Islamist hate preacher and India’s
believing this statement. The controversial Zakir Naik’s presence at the world’s sporting event and his preaching during it cannot be
without the tacit approval of the Qatar government. The Qatar’s official plea that it had not extended an official invitation to the fugitive
was mere an afterthought to persuade India for not cancelling the visit of Vice President, Jagdeep Dhankad.
New Delhi was expectedly caustic with Doha while raising diplomatic complaints, completely expressing its fury, not just
reservations, over the move. Patronage of groups known to incite violence and take joy in stating their intentions should elicit a
broader response. Authoritarian voices throughout the world must express their disappointment with the host country. At this point,
extradition of Naik appears to be out of the question. That should not deter us from redoubling our efforts. On the home front, there’s
a deeper lesson to be learned. Action against hate speech must be non-negotiable, regardless of whose faith or group a person
claims to represent.
According to the Centre, there is substantial evidence of inflammatory statements and insulting references
to other religions in Naik’s speeches and lectures. His Peace TV network is also prohibited in Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He is one of India’s most wanted fugitives, having fled to
Malaysia following the crackdown, where he holds permanent status but is barred from giving speeches
for stirring hatred there as well. There’s more to it. He is suspected of influencing the perpetrators of the
attacks in Colombo and Dhaka. Doha’s choice to provide him a platform at one of the world’s largest
athletic events is perplexing, given the concerns surrounding him and his malicious track record of
incendiary statements. It is worth noting that Zakir Naik has the same views on the Islamic prophet as
suspended BJP politician Nupur Sharma. Qatar had angrily objected when Nupur Sharma mentioned
Prophet Mohammad’s marriage, and it was one of the first countries to report to the Indian government
about the issue sparked by Nupur Sharma’s words. In India, Zakir Naik is wanted by authorities on
allegations of money laundering and hate speech. India has prohibited Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation
from operating, accusing him of instigating and supporting its followers in promoting or attempting to
foment hostility, hate, or ill-will among religious communities and organisations. Zakir Naik escaped to
Malaysia after fleeing India in 2016. Zakir Naik’s extremist Islamist actions have been extensively
documented. Terrorists engaged in the Dhaka bombing confessed in 2016 that the preacher’s sermons
affected them. Naik was barred from giving talks in Malaysia in 2019 for making racist remarks towards
Hindus and Chinese Malaysians. In connection with the same, he was grilled for hours. The Indian
government had taken his channel, Peace TV, off the air for spreading hate propaganda.