Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is not expected to return home to Mumbai for a few more weeks as he is on a scheduled tour of the UAE and Africa.
Dismissing speculation of his return on Monday and his addressing the media on Tuesday, the aide said Naik planned to interact with mediapersons over Skype and not in person but that too has been cancelled.
Presently, Naik is in Saudi Arabia. He would proceed to the United Arab Emirates for a series of engagements and later visit Africa before leaving for Mumbai after a few weeks.
Naik, 50, is at the centre of a storm with calls for imposing a ban on his TV for allegedly inflammatory speeches.
The Bharatiya Janata Pary-led government in Maharashtra has already ordered a probe into his teachings, speeches and literature. Its ally Shiv Sena has demanded stringent action under law at par with the treatment given to Hindu activists.
The Centre has indicated that Naik could face action if his speeches were found objectionable while the Indian Union Muslim League has come out in his support.
Naik himself went on social networking sites appealing for public support to help him combat the ‘media trial’ he is subjected to since the recent terror strike in Bangladesh.
Two of the Dhaka cafe attackers who slaughtered 20 hostages are reported to have drawn inspiration from Naik’s speeches.
Bangladesh on Monday took his Peace TV off the air.
Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik should be booked immediately even if processes to ban his TV channel and organisation may take time, the Congress’s Rajya Sabha member from Goa, Shantaram Naik, demanded on Monday.
Addressing a press conference here, he criticised the central government for what he views as delay in filing a first information report (FIR) against Zakir Naik.
“I do not know if the central home ministry has conducted a study. If proper study had been done, then an FIR could have been filed. Have they not got a copy of any speech in which he commented against any community or religion? Does it take so much time,” Shantaram Naik said.
“I can understand that to ban a (TV) channel or an association, you need time to investigate. But to find out whether the person’s speech creates communal hatred or not does not require time,” the Congress leader said.
Zakir Naik has denied the charge that his speeches fuel radical Islam and even instigate terrorism. The Union Home Ministry has started an investigation into his activities.
The Congress leader said one of the speeches delivered by Zakir Naik that he listened to did not seem “right”.
“If you examine the speeches, you will realise what he has said about a particular community. I heard (him saying) that there should only be one religion and the rest should come under its wing. This is not right, is it?” Shantaram Naik said. (IANS)