Mumbai: Protests against Dr. Zakir Naik by Raza Aacdemy and some other little known Barelvi clerics notwithstanding, social media especially whatsapp is flooded with messages and appeals posted to show solidarity with the renowned Islamic preacher accused of inspiring Bangladeshi terrorists.
The messages are being circulated not only by commoners and fans of Dr. Zakir Naik but they are also posted by famous scholars and clerics who, noting that they have their own differences with Zakir Naik on some issues, but they said, are unanimous that he is being targetted, is subjected to media trial and is illegally linked with Bangladeshi terror attack.
Simultaneously, messages are also posted to expose media double standard. To do this, the netizens are posting Dr. Zakir Naik's speeches condemning terrorism, ISIS (Daesh), his recently concluded Malaysia tour, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's balcklash over BJP's double standard over Sri Sri Ravishankar sharing stage with Zakir Naik and Home Minister Rajnath Singh's photos Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.
But, the one which stands out in the flood of messages is the question posed to the media and the government. Sharing the PTI story and related news carried by other media houses about one of the Bangaldeshi terrorists boasting his meeting with bollywood star Shraddha Kapoor, netizens ask why she has been spared a media trial, and when the government will order a probe against the actress, as they are doing in case of Dr. Zakir Naik.
"Dr. Zakir Naik has not met any of the terrorists. But, there is reportedly a video which shows that one of the gunmen allegedly invovled in Bangladesh terror attack had met Shraddha Kapoor. Why the media is ignoring this? When Home Minister will order a probe against her?", Misbah Anjum, posed the question in a social media group.
"Initiate probe against Shraddha Kapoor... One of the terrorists was a fan of the actress", another wrote while endorsing the above post.
In a video posted on his Facebook profile on June 8, 2015, Nibras Islam - one of the six attackers who was shot at the end of the 11-hour hostage crisis at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka, is seen shaking hands with Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor. “Shraddha kapoor you beauty !! The moment when she holds my hand,” he had captioned the video.
Another most shared article is titiles 'Don't go by what Arnab says, labelling Zakir Naik a 'terror mastermind' is ridiculous' by Majid Hyderi.
"Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, was said to be inspired by the ideology of noted author Veer Savarkar. Can we blame for Savarkar for Gandhi’s murder?", Hyderi wrote in the above article.
Hyderi also exposes why Barelvi Ulemas are against Zakir Naik.
"While a sect in Uttar Pradesh, jealous of Naik’s popularity wants him jailed, other factions have several issues with him - be it his Western attire or his language. Some even have reservations over the title of his TV channel, "Peace", which they believe sounds more English than Islamic.
"There’s equally a lobby of henchmen within the Muslim community working for vested interests", he wrote.
Hyderi also cites the Bangladeshi gunman's admiration for actress Shraddha Kapoor and the media silence.
"Interestingly, though one of the terrorists in the Dhaka carnage, according to reports, was also a fan of actor Shraddha Kapoor, zealots are yet to link her Aashique-2 romance with some terror plot", he wrote.
Founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Dr Zakir Naik is under the scanner following revelations that two of the five young militants who massacred 20 hostages, including an Indian, at a popular cafe in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka on July 1, drew their inspiration from his speeches.
Dr. Naik denies the allegations saying he did not agree to the notion that the terrorists were inspired by his speeches. The government of Maharashtra has ordered a probe into his speeches, writings and other materials.