The Centre has extended the ban imposed on fugitive Islamic evangelist Zakir Naik’s NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) for five years. The Home Ministry in a notification said the IRF has been indulging in activities that are prejudicial to the security of the country and have the potential of disturbing the peace and communal harmony and disrupting the secular fabric of the country. IRF was first declared an unlawful organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by the Government in November 2016.
The Notification said the Centre is of the opinion that the IRF and its members, particularly, the founder and president, Zakir Abdul Karim Naik alias Zakir Naik, has been encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities and groups which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country.
The Ministry also said the statements and speeches made by Naik are objectionable and subversive. It said, through the speeches and statements he has been promoting enmity and hatred among religious groups and inspiring youths of a particular religion in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts. It said, Zakir Naik also makes radical statements and speeches to millions of people worldwide through international satellite TV networks, the Internet, print, and social media.
The notification said the central government is further of the opinion that if the unlawful activities of the IRF are not curbed and controlled immediately, it will take the opportunity to continue its subversive activities and re-organize its activists who are still absconding. It said Naik’s activities will disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, propagating anti-national sentiments, escalating secessionism by supporting militancy and some people may undertake activities that are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country. The notification said the central government is also of the opinion that with regard to the activities of the IRF, it is necessary to declare it an unlawful association with immediate effect.