Dr Zakir Naik banned from entering UK – A Review

I call this the height of Hypocrisy!


So much for a country that was backing all the claims of freedom of expression by promoting Salman Rushdie (even though he insulted their Queen by calling her filthy names) or Taslima Nasreen (who made fun of Islamic Hijab) or Sarkozy (who banned Hijab) or Danish cartoonist (who insulted prophet muhammad) and so on….the list is too long! On the name of “Right to freedom of expression”, UK has always crossed the limits of decency, respect and modesty by always backing those who spoke out whatever they wanted.
For example, Salman Rushdie in his book “Satanic Verses” for which he received much publicity, insults not just Islam but also others (eg, white women, Black people, Americans, Brits, Londoners, the Queen, Hinduism etc.). He openly and shamelessly mentions how he had sex with the Queen of England. He makes fun of Ram and Sita in Ramayana in Hinduism. Daniel Pipes says about salman rushdie that “Rushdie is a disaffected intellectual who criticizes or makes fun of nearly everything. One book attacks the Gandhis and modern India; another reviles the leadership in Pakistan; a third takes on American foreign policy; the fourth one blasts fundamentalist Islam and Britain.” He also calls the Queen of England with filthy names. These actions of Salman Rushdie were considered to come under “Right to freedom of expression” and hence UK gave him shelter. The Queen of England herself gave him the knighthood honors.
Second example is that of Sarkozy, the man responsible to spark the controversy of Hijab in Europe. He openly reviled the Hijab system in Islam and called for complete protest. When Muslims in UK protested against these actions, UK government gave them the same reply “Freedom of expression”!
Same was the case with Taslima Nasreen, Danish cartoonist and many more…

Ms Theresa May
But what happened in the case of Dr. Zakir Naik? The entire case built against him is based on the statements he made in public. So doesn’t the argument of “Freedom of Expression” holds good even for him? Why did UK government ban him from entering its territory? Ain’t this open Hypocrisy?


I think the new home secretary, Ms Theresa May, either doesn’t know proper English or may not be aware of the UK’s past stance on “Freedom of Expression”. The case presented by her were extracts from the lectures of Dr Zakir Naik where he has been quoted completely out of context. How can such an illiterate lady become secretary of state? [This can happen only in western world! Remember, Bush was the president of USA!! ]
And those who have presented these “out of context” quotes from Dr Naik’s lectures, have either deliberately done it or must be very weak in English.
Below is a news extract from BBC site. Lets try to read the news by taking words out of context and tweaking them:
Correct extract from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/10349564.stm :
Theresa May said that visiting the UK was “a privilege, not a right”. The home secretary can stop people entering the UK if she believes there is a threat to national security, public order or the safety of citizens. That includes banning people if she believes their views glorify terrorism, promote violence or encourage other serious crime. However, somebody cannot be banned just for having opinions that other people would find offensive. Ms May said: “Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour. “Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK. “Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.”
Here is how it sounds when you tend to take it out of context and change words:
Theresa May said that visiting the UK was “a privilege, not a right”. The home secretary can stop people entering the UK if she believes there is a threat to national security, public order or the safety of citizens. That includes banning people if she believes their views glorify terrorism, promote violence or encourage other serious crime. However, somebody cannot be banned just for having opinions that other people would find offensive. Ms May said: “Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour. “Coming to the UK is a privilege, not a right and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK. “Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.”
See how it sounds when you cut words and take things out of context? Even the Home secretary of UK, Ms Theresa May sounds like a fanatic, who supports terrorism and dictatorship herself and that she is a national threat to UK herself!
Hope you now understand how important it is to take opinions of a person in full and in proper context!
Now check out below the correct context of what all Dr. Zakir Naik spoke (just presenting those quotes that have been taken in his case by the UK authorities based on which they banned his entry in UK):
Quote-1 Extract:
“As far as terrorist is concerned, I tell the Muslims that every Muslim should be a terrorist… What is the meaning of the word terrorist? Terrorist by definition means a person who terrorizes. When a robber sees a policeman he’s terrified. So for a robber, a policeman is a terrorist. So in this context every Muslim should be a terrorist to the robber… Every Muslim should be a terrorist to each and every anti-social element. I’m aware that terrorist more commonly is used for a person who terrorizes an innocent person. In this context, no Muslim should even terrorize a single innocent human being. The Muslims should selectively terrorize the anti-social element, and many times, two different labels are given to the same activity of the same individual … Before any person gives any label to any individual for any of his actions, we have to first analyze, for what reason is he doing that?” (Source – Dr. Naiks video)
Sane understanding: Isn’t the above extract self explanatory? Gosh! I wonder what’s wrong with the English of English men!! Does it even sound that Dr. Zakir Naik is saying “Every Muslim should be a terrorist” in the way that he should be banned from entering UK? Even my 4 year old can understand the above extract in its right perspective.

Quote-2 Extract:
“Beware of Muslims saying Osama Bin Laden is right or wrong, I reject them… we don’t know. But if you ask my view, if given the truth, if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him. I don’t know what he’s doing. I’m not in touch with him. I don’t know him personally. I read the newspaper. If he is terrorizing the terrorist, if he is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, he’s following Islam” (Source – You Tube – 2006)
Sane Understanding: Dr Zakir naik has been asked by hundreds of journalists about his views on Osama Bin Laden. The reply given by Dr. Naik is as per the Glorious Quran. Islam does not allow anyone to judge any other person without proofs and evidence. Osama bin Laden has not yet been convicted in respect to 9/11 attacks, nor has he agreed that he is responsible for the attacks. Instead, USA and UK claim that they have evidence which they share only between them without showing to the rest of the world. Can such evidence be considered reliable? If evidence is there then why has it been kept away from the entire world till now? Then there are zillions of top officials of American and UK who proved that 9/11 was an inside job. Many blamed Israel, and some have said that it was Bush’s administration who faked the attacks in order to attack Afghanistan to get hold of oil fields. Can such proves be denied? If you cannot accept these proves, why do you accept those so called evidences (which has never been showed) which proves that Osama is responsible for the attacks?
That is precisely why Dr Naik takes the stance that he niether considers Osama as terrorist, nor consider him saint. He says “I don’t know”. There is not a single statement of Dr Zakir Naik after 9/11 in which he has praised Osama Bin Laden or supported his activities. With regards to the extract of a quote on Osama Bin Laden taken from a video on YouTube, this clip was taken from a lecture Dr Zakir Naik delivered in Singapore in 1996, almost five years before 9/11 and not in 2006, as has been posted. It is therefore not possible to link this quote to Osama Bin Laden in the context of the 9/11, when the atrocity had not taken place; and took place after almost 5 years in 2001. The lecture was recorded by some local people [in Singapore] and was later edited and uploaded on You Tube by a prejudiced group. Unless and until we have the rushes (original unedited tapes) of the program, it is not possible to know which portions of the lecture have been edited.
It is therefore not reasonable, in the light of Dr Zakir Naik’s known views about 9/11 and all other atrocities such as 7/7 (London, UK) and 7/11 (serial train bomb blast in Mumbai, India) to link these manipulated and very old comments to recent world events. Dr Zakir Naik has emphatically and regularly condemned any and all persons responsible for these appalling atrocities, killing innocent civilians.
Quote-3 Extract:
“How can you ever justify killing innocent people? But in the same breath as condemning those responsible we must also condemn those responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon” (As reported by the Manchester Evening News, 21 August 2006 as part of a speech you gave at the Expo Islamia conference in Manchester).
Sane Understanding: This is pure double standard behavior from the home department of UK. They only quote that part where Dr Naik is condemning US attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebnon; but they do not quote that part where Dr. Naik condemns 9/11 new york attacks or 7/7 London attacks or 7/11 Mumbai attacks!
The same Manchester evening newspaper quotes ““However, Dr Zakir Naik, described by organizers as “the most sought after Muslim public speaker in the world”, criticized the actions of the New York, London and Bombay bombers”.

Quote-4 Extract:
“strongest in enmity towards the Muslims are the Jews and the pagans…. It [the Quran] does not say that the Muslims should fight with the Jews… the Jews, by nature as a whole, will be against Muslims… there are many Jews who are good to Muslims, but as a whole … The Quran tells us, as whole, they will be our staunchest enemy” (Peace TV, recorded on You – Tube)

Sane Understanding: Dr Naik was quoting from the Glorious Qur’an which says in Surah Ma’idah 5: 82, “Strongest amongst men in enmity to the Believers will thou find the Jews and the Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the Believers will thou find those who say, “We are Christians”.
In this context Dr Naik said “strongest in enmity towards the Muslims are the Jews and the pagans…. It [Qur’an] does not say the Muslims should fight with the Jews… the Jews, by nature as a whole, will be against Muslims…. there are many Jews who are good to Muslims, but as a whole …The Qur’an tells us, as a whole, they will be our staunchest enemy.”
So many times Dr. Zakir Naik criticized Adolf Hitler for killing 6 million Jews, yet the report doesn’t mention it.
So many times Dr. Zakir Naik criticized and condemned all the terrorist attacks on innocents, yet the report doesn’t mention it.
So now you all can clearly see the dishonesty in the exclusion report submitted by Home department of UK. The irony is that Secretary Ma’am also did not go through it before giving her decision of banning Dr Naik from entering UK.
Conclusion:

Dr. Zakir Naik
In reality, Dr. Zakir Naik is a great ambassador of peace to the world who utilizes the books of various religions to bring all the people on a single platform. He actively denounces terrorism and condemns killing of innocents. At the same time, he believes in being just and honest when judging someone. Just because he is honest, sincere, peace loving, social worker, down to earth, soft spoken, follows laws of the country, respected citizen of India and an Islamic Preacher, Will you ban him from entering your country?
HOW CAN A PERSON BE BANNED FROM ENTERING A COUNTRY JUST BECAUSE OF HIS OPINIONS ON A TOPIC?
WHERE DID THE CONCEPT OF “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” VANISH NOW?
Dr Zakir Naik will be challenging this decision of UK authorities in the high court soon. Inshallah, he will come out a winner even in this!
“Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.” [Quran 17: 81]
Guess what! Even if UK authorities turn down the appeal, Dr. Naik need not worry. Rather this saves him the trouble of traveling all the way to UK. Those who think they have stopped Dr. Zakir Naik from entering UK, fail to realize that he doesn’t require a VISA to enter UK. He enters and exits UK daily through PEACE TV!

Un-Worthy victims, even Un-Worthy to report

At a time when media and spin are arguably as powerful as armies, the outcomes of battles for hearts and minds often shape the world we live in.

This is truest when it comes to the Palestinian struggle for liberation. As a journalist I’m aware of the simple nuances that can, and are, often used which ultimately affect the lives of millions of people. For example,  a “war” can be described as a “conflict”, or civilians “killed” in an air strike could also be referred to as civilians who “died” in an attack etc.

Whoever said words were just words was lying.

From Mark Regev, to Press TV, as spin doctors and media outlets decide how to react and report on the Freedom Flotilla in the coming days, it’s important that one scrutinises their words (or lack of) in every way possible.

For starters, one must ask why such a big story is not being covered by many of the large international news networks. Surely one of the biggest demonstrations of collective international civil resistance, involving 50 nationalities, more than 30 parliamentarians, and costing millions of dollars is news worthy.

This Flotilla directly affects the lives of 1.5 million Gazans who have been living under siege for over 3 years; in fact it also affects the lives of many Israelis too, as they struggle to cling onto a two faced fallacy of democratic colonisation. It baffles me how some news outlets think the European launch of Apple’s i-Pad is more of a story.

When it comes to Arab media, the case is similar. In Egypt for example, there is little mention that were it not for Cairo’s collaboration with Israel, the siege on Gaza would never have succeeded, and this Flotilla would probably not be necessary.

Instead, newspapers and talk shows alike, label the Flotilla organisers as disingenuous for refusing the benevolent offer by the Egyptian government to allow the ships through Alarish and into Gaza.

And Egypt is not alone, even those in the Arab world who have commended the passengers on board the Flotilla in their attempt at breaking Israel’s inhumane and illegal siege on Gaza, have failed to question why their governments have not done more.

Why have a few hundred individuals taken it upon themselves to relieve a besieged people, whilst their “brother” nations with all their wealth and military might do nothing?

In the coming days, as journalists and politicians alike ponder on what words to use (or not to use) let us not forget that beyond all this, 1.5 million people remain besieged.

Un spin the spin and you will find that a territory ravaged by 23 days of Israeli bombardment remains crippled.

Read between the lines and you will see that this Flotilla is nothing more than a flame of hope, for people who possess little more than just that. Hope. Just a word.

The Role of the Media in Politics

The Role of Media in Contemporary politics forces us to ask what kind of a world and what kind of a society we want to live in , and in particular in what sense of democracy do we want this to be a democratic society ? Let me begin by counter-posing two different conceptions of democracy .

One conception of democracy has it that a democratic society is one in which the public has the means to participate in some meaningful way in the management of their own affairs and the means of information are open and free. If you lookup democracy in the dictionary you’ll get a definition something like that.

An alternative conception of democracy is that the publich must be barred from managing of their own affairs and the means of information must be kept narrowly and rigidly controlled. That may sound like an odd conception of democracy, but it’s important to understand that it is the prevailing conception . In fact, it has long been, not  just in operation , but even in theory .

There’s a long history that goes back to the earliest modern democratic revolutions in seventeenth century England which largely expresses this point of view. I’m just going to keep to the modern period and say a few words about how that notion of democracy develops and why and how the problem of media and disinformation enters within that context.