Editorial: Judiciary or Journalism: Reality of the ‘Media trail’ against Dr. Zakir Naik

By: Iftikhar Islam

When the Daily Star reported, obviously to create sensation and popularity, that one of the terrorists was influenced by Dr. Zakir Naik based on a video he shared last year. No matter what the terrorists have shared throughout their life, once if any terrorist shares anything related to celebrities, it becomes sensational news and media tries to pick it up and make news for their promotions.

Even Zakir Naik was trapped in the same run-for-popularity stunt by The Daily Star who ignored all those things terrorists have done all these years, but reported the video that one of the terrorists has shared of Zakir Naik, that too, a year before.

Zakir Naik has debated with the various International figures like Dr. William Campbell and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, apart from national figures. He also challenged the Pope of Vatican, Rome, to have a public dialogue with him.

News without proof:

This News is picked by the Indian Media – hungry for fame, and defame Zakir Naik – and projected Zakir Naik as a villain of the game. Various defamatory names were given to him and tried hard to project him as a hard-liner, a radical preacher; only because he not only just preaches Islam, but also proves Islam right.

The teachings of Islam and the words of Zakir naik were taken out of context and the media tried hard to project Islam far beyond Zakir Naik. Indian Media also tried to change the message of Islam through the deviant sects and self-styled moulvis and projected Islam as a Sufi way of Life – which is untrue. Islam is based on the Quran and the authentic teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the pious predecessors.

The Indian media failed to understand that Zakir Naik never influenced any human being to walk on the path of violence – leave about terrorism. The Indian media got their story to run for TRP. Zakir Naik is an escape -goat and the news runs for weeks. 

Indian Media More concerned than Bangladesh Media:

The Indian media became more concerned about the attack and the link of Zakir Naik than the Bangaldeshi media. They have blown the news out of proportion and almost every one tried to link Zakir Naik to the terrorists – anyhow! One super journalist – who shouts – went to an extent to include other international speakers like Dr Bilal Philips, Assim Al Hakeem, Abdur Raheem Green and Hussain Yee (His research is so poor he says ‘Lee’. When he could not research on the name properly, think about the content which he talks about). This shows the end of the battle and a clear defeat of Jingo Journalism. 

Even after the Bangadeshi media issued a clarification that nowhere The Daily Star said that Zakir Naik inspired the youth for radicalization and commit crimes like terrorism, Indian media brazenly continued speaking venom against him. When The Daily Star corrected their stance on the countries he is ban, the barefaced media preferred to spread lies and hate, for their ulterior motive, against him. To hide their faults and errors, they went on to research about the other views presented by him during Q&A sessions after his presentations.

Media Diversion:

Remember the whole scene was created to link Zakir Naik with Terrorism and Stop his preaching. Suddenly, when the Indian media felt that if they stick to the “story of terrorism” they cannot corner Zakir Naik and create public opinion against him. They have come up to refute various views he presented when he was asked by the public. How is Zakir Naik’s answer on Sania Mirza relevant here? What has homosexuals to do with this topic? How is the topic of female slaves related here? Does all these views of Zakir Naik promoted terrorism? It was just to divert the case and create a negative public opinion against him. 

Media Hypocrisy:

Media Deliberately showed the sentences out of context even after knowing the context and clarification made many times. There are many statements of Zakir Naik which no media has ever taken. When they have researched to bring out those statements where they have found him saying “Every Muslim is a terrorist” haven’t they found the statements where he says “Revive Sanskrit”, “go back to your scriptures”, “let’s live harmoniously”, “you cannot take law in your own hands”, “we Hindus and Muslims will be united”, “India will be far superior then the Americans”, “I am proud of my country India” … I can just go on and on. 

Indian Media could not digest the people accepting Islam in public. India is one of the few countries which gives their citizens to follow and propagate their religion. Every Indian has the right to accept the religion of their choice. Let the other spiritual gurus propagate their faith and let the people accept them as well. When the constitution has given the right and Zakir Naik is utilizing this right to propagate, then why the media is behind him? It’s an open secret for intellectual minds.

Win-Win for Zakir Naik:

On one hand The Daily Star corrected themselves, Indian authorities has given him clean chit, millions of other people got introduced to him. Even if Zakir Naik spend millions in promotions, he couldn’t reach out to every home like how the Indian media have done. Now the intellectual people will listen to him on YouTube and understand him rightly. On the other hand, the hypocrite media got exposed and the truth stood on the surface. Zakir Naik rightly said, "Jhut ka andera kitna hi gahra kyun nah ho, sachchai ki roushni use mitha dene ke liye kaafi hai", which means, how much ever the depth of darkness be, one ray of truth is enough to destroy it.

Now it’s time to those whom Dr. Zakir Naik has challenged for the debate to come out of their shells and accept the challenge. Let the Nation know the truth – which has already got been exposed.

“And (remember) when the disbelievers plotted against you (O Muhammad SAW) to imprison you, or to kill you, or to get you out (from your home); they were plotting and Allah too was planning, and Allah is the Best of the planners.” (Quran 8:30)

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