Zakir Naik is an Indian Islamic preacher, thinker and a public speaker and his works are mostly on the comparative theology around the world. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and also the founder of Peace TV channel, a comparative religion channel that he claims to have 100 million viewers. Unlike most of the Islamic preachers, he gives his speeches in English rather than Urdu or Arabic and wears a suit and tie rather than traditional garb. His preaching is currently banned in India, Canada, United Kingdom and Bangladesh. He is said to have more critics within the Islamic religion than outside it. Born on 18th October 1965 in Mumbai, Zakir Naik graduated from Kishinchand Chellaram College and later completed his MBBS from the Topiwala National Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital. In 1987, he met a South African Islamic preacher Ahmed Deedat and he got influenced by his works. In 1991, he started his Dawah work which means to preach Islam with an intention of converting the non believers and to do so he founded the Islamic Research Foundation. His wife Farhat Naik also works with him and she handles the women section in the IRF. Naik also founded the Islamic International School as well as the United Islamic aid that provides scholarship to poor and destitute Muslim youth. He founded and is the owner of the religious television channel called Peace TV and through the channel he claims to bring clarity about Islam to both Muslims and Non-Muslims. His channel uplinks from Dubai and claims to have 100 million viewers across the globe. His IRF website describes that the channel is to promote truth, justice, morality, harmony and wisdom for the whole of humankind.
Apart from Peace TV, Naik also use Social Media as a tool for his Dawah work and he has over 14 million followers on Facebook. He also launched his mobile called as Peace Mobile which is an Islamic smartphone that comes with 50 pre-installed Islamic applications and about 80 hours of Naiks lectures and discourses. Zakir Naik says that his goal is to concentrate on the educated Musli youth who have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel that the religion is outdated. Zakir Naik conducts his lectures and debates worldwide and he has been taking lectures in different countries like Malaysia, Canada, Australia, Wales etc.Naik has been at the center of controversies for his lectures and speeches. In 2004, in a religious meet held at the University of Melbourne, Naik said that donning more revealing western dress makes a woman more susceptible to rape. He is a well known critic of Darwinism and Theory of Evolution and states that its only a hypothesis and unproven conjecture at best. He was in a major controversy after he said that he would not criticize Osama Bin Laden as he has not met him personally and doesnt know how he was personally. In a YouTube video, his speech shows him saying that If Bin Laden is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him..if he is terrorizing the biggest terrorist America, I am with him. He also has supporting Jihadism and he says Every Muslim should be a terrorist. The thing is that if he is terrorizing the terrorist, he is following Islam.
Naik has spoken against Hindu and Christian religion and has been against the construction of temples and churches in an Islamic country, as the religion is wrong. Naik believes that girls shouldnt be sent to school because they tend to lose virginity and they should also not wear golden jewelery. He also holds that Muslim bear the right to have sex with their female slaves. In one of his speeches broadcasted in his Peace TV channel, he spoke about the 9/11 attacks and said that the Twin Tower attacks was done by George Bush himself and it is a blatant, open secret. Naik due to his comments and controversies has been banned from many countries. In 2010, he was scheduled to give discourses in London and Sheffield, but after considering his nature of preaching, the UK Home Secretary revoked his visa and banned him from entering the country. Canada also has banned him from entering the country. Naik was scheduled to talk in Malaysia in April 2016, but after considering that his speeches will hurt the religious sentiments of Christians and Hindus, they asked the organizers to cancel the event. In July 2016, five Bangladeshi terrorist attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka killing 22 people. Later, two of the five terrorist were reported to have been inspired by Zakir Naik and have posted a quote by Naik on Facebook prior to the attack. The Indian government in 2012 banned the channel and after the Bangladesh attack, it is banned in Bangladesh too. There were also reports of Intelligence Agencies probing the alleged links between terror group Jamaat-ud-dawa and Naiks IRF. Naik has recently declared that he is a Non Resident Indian NRI.