FACT-CHECK: The misleading media report about Zakir Naik who is in Nigeria on visit


Dr. Zakir Naik receiving a gift from King Salman of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during a visit to the country.

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The anti-Islamic effort of some Christian extremists in Nigeria peaked with a report in one of the online platforms, which launched out with its headline, “Panic as Islamic preacher wanted by Indian counterterrorism agency for money laundering, violence arrives Nigeria on Sultan’s invitation”.

The platform, ejesgist.ng’s report was written by one Omajemite Don but majority of Muslims, whose atttebtions were either called to the report or read it themselves had the same word saying, “there is no need for the Muslum Ummah to respond to the report for two reasons: One, it is no longer news that some Christians in Nigeria have no business in Christianity except to cause provocation leading to religious war and two, to conjure lies and mix them with seeming truths in order to mislead the public”.

They, however, concluded by tasking this reporter to go and dig into the profile of the Islamic scholar the writer was referring to, who is no less than the globally recognised and highly reputable Dr Zakir Naik and make his investigated report public.

Ejesgist.ng painted a picture of controversial figure of Dr. Zakir Naik, a prominent Islamic preacher it said was wanted by the Indian counterterrorism agency for alleged involvement in inciting religious “disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred” in his teachings, adding that “he arrived in Nigeria on Monday, following an invitation from Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto”.

The online platform continued with his report painting a falseful scenario that Dr. Naik’s “presence in Nigeria has raised concerns due to his controversial teachings and the potential impact on the already complex religious landscape in the country”, while trying hard toaunch into the sensibility of those that cared to read its concocted tales.

By these conjured tales, it said that, “Nigeria has faced issues of religious violence and the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, primarily a Muslim extremist group. His scheduled four-day lectures in Sokoto, Abuja, and Ilorin have sparked worries that they may inflame religious tensions or provoke insecurity.”

Exposed to be syndicating reports for Christian elements who – despite the Sultan’s countless efforts at ensuring inter-religious peace, unity and development in Nigeria – are bent on tarnishing the image of Islam and misrepresenting every step Muslims take for the advancement of their own religion and welfare, Omajemite Don wrote more unverifiable things that The DEFENDER found out was for no more or less than to whip Nigeria’s public sentiment against the visiting international preacher so the Nigerian government would have enough grounds to rise against him.

Our findings can authoritatively confirm that this yet another such media-based means of setting public opinions against Islam and Muslims either of Nigeria or anywhere in the world has again failed because, even many Christians who refused to stand with the extremists are saying no to them.

Don wrote in the report that, “Late Monday, Mr. Naik uploaded photos on social media, showing him alongside officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service and Air Force, captioning them as “Interaction with Muslim Immigration.” This sparked criticism from many citizens who pointed out that Nigeria is a religiously diverse nation, not exclusively Muslim.

“In addition to allegations related to his teachings, Indian authorities have charged Zakir Naik with money laundering, claiming he used $28 million to purchase lavish properties in India and employed relatives as intermediaries to handle illicit funds. He has vehemently denied these allegations.”


Mr. Omajemite Don, in his concocted report in Ejesgist.ng, was detected trying to eventually save his head by trying to provide an opportunity for a later time denial when he used only one sentence to show balance saying, “He has vehemently denied these allegations.” That was after he had poured all the sentiments and emotions, which he believed his targetted audience required to flare.

But the question is, does the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar of Nigeria, have capacity enough to stand his ground in support of his religion of Islam whether anyone’s ox is gored by that or not? Yes. Should the Sultan say because there are some Christians who would be unhappy when he says “I am proud of my religion of Islam” and he begins to dissociate himself from Islamic personalities globally so nobody would tag him an Islamist? No.

Going forward, does the Sultan, in his celebration of his ancestral father Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio Week, deserve the right to choose who to come to Nigeria as guest lecturer in a way he believes Islamic reform done by the first Amir-ul Mu’mineen can further be sustained? Yes. In bringing Dr. Zakir Naik into Nigeria, did the Sultan bring him through the back door? No, the guest lecturer’s visit was well planned with valid visa applied for and granted and he flew down to Nigeria. What then is wrong with that?

They claimed that Indian counterterrorism agency wanted him for monet laundering issues. If they are not far from from the nest of their senses, they should know counterterrorism agency has nothing to do with money laundering. If the reasons they adduced include terrorism, then we can let the cat out of the bag at this point that none of that is true.

Facts are that Dr. Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, born 18 October 1965, comes from Mubai, India and has gone through stages of life and learning to become an Indian Islamic public orator who focuses on comparative religion.

He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and the Peace TV. He is a well-known figure in the Islamic world and does not claim to be a follower of any one school of thought in Islam.

He, rather than called a fugitive in his country of India, any seeker of truth should find out on what ground would thumped up allegations be made against him by government of India and then hold on to the truth so received.

The problem of Naik with government of India is simply Islam and it can be better understood hence a minister of India publicly made a statement in a viral video a year back saying, “Muslims have no place in India”. If India has officially declared war on Islam by the government saying Muslims have no place in the country, and the environment was getting hotter for citizen Naik, who had to leave for other country, specifically Malaysia, how has this painted scenario come to earn a straight man like Naik terrorist, money laundering, incite4 of violence and so on and so forth?

Due to the antagonistic disposition of Indian government towards Islam and him as a very popular Islamic scholar, Dr. Zakir Naik has since lived in Malaysia, a 14-state structure country of nine provinces, each governed by a Sultan and Presidency of the country – officially called Agong – is rotated among the nine Sultans, who have their political powers to take decisions for their country and have power of security and economic control. Sultan of Keda currently rules Malaysia and is in charge ofbthe country’s defence, economy abd finance until his tenure expires. That was the environment Naik came from to visit Nigeria.

He is fully aware that Sultan of Sokoto in Nigeria is not the President of Nigeria but has done nothing wrong to post that he took pictures with Muslim Immigration officers. Do high ranking police officers not wear uniforms and go to public places and churches to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ? Bishops like David Oyedepo have said very despicable things and have made very sensitive, unguarded utterances capable of inciting religious war against Muslims in Nigeria utterance nobody raise a word of caution against them, talkless that any loose statement like of Femi Fani-Kayode, who said Naik should be deported from Nigeria, would be issued against them.

Malaysia is a multicultural, majority Muslim country where a visitor or anyone on asylum has limitless opportunities so long, having familiarised himself with his host country, he respects its local laws, customs, cultures, traditions and religions as well as values.

In that country, Dr. Zakir Naik lives in peace and from there, his star has been seen globally, everybody including presidents of countries and heads of states want to see and take pictures with him, and he has become very influential Islamic scholar known and loved all over the world.

If he is what his country’s (Indian) anti-Islamic government paints him to be, how come all over the world he is loved and related with even by Christians other than in Nigeria, where the Christian extremists see only the anti-Islam Indian government but fail to see the multitudes of other world leaders who relate with him.

Moreover, it is Indian government that claims to have problem wuth Naik not Nigerian government. Professor Wole Soyinka, another anti-Islamic figure insulting the Emir of Ilorin and the North because of his hate for their being Muslims, when he had problem with Nigerian government under General Sani Abacha, he ran to United States of America and nobody called him a fugitive wanted by Nigerian government.

Since Israel has been oppressing, committing defenceless Palestinian people for over 70 years, none of these Christian extremists of Nigeria has issued a single statement to condemn the genocide because they are rejoicing thar those being massacred are Muslims.

But in reality, like Muslims are killed so Christians in Palestine but the myopic nature of some Nigerian Christians, be they Journalists or human rights activities, would not letvthem reason. The only time they would talk, it was to jump at the tag designed by their main sponsor America, who backs the open terrorist act against women, children and defenceless proof Palestine under the disguise of Israel has the right to defence itself without a pinch of thought to ask, who will defend the Palestinian people?

They only talk about October 7 but fail to say the obvious as if October 7 was born out of itself. This is the level of misinformation that has today become the order of practice in many journalists in the country.

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