BJP spokesperson Savio Rodrigues has appealed to the Indian government, Indian Football Associations, Indians in Qatar and those travelling to the ME nation to boycott the FIFA World Cup underway following an invitation to controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik by the Arab country.
Naik, an Indian fugitive, has reportedly been invited by Qatar to deliver lectures on Islam during the on-going event.
“Dr Zakir Naik is a wanted man under Indian law. He is charged with money-laundering crimes and hate speeches. He is a terror sympathiser. In fact he is no less than a terrorist himself. He has openly supported terrorist Osama Bin Laden and has been instrumental is spreading Islamic radicalism and hate in India,” Rodrigues said in a statement.
“FIFA World Cup is a global event. People from all over the world come to witness this spectacular sport and also millions watch it on TV and Internet.
“Giving a platform to Dr Zakir Naik at a time when the world is fighting global terrorism is to give a platform to a terrorist to spread his radicalism and hate. Not only people in India but people from other countries who are victims of terrorism must boycott FIFA World Cup in solidarity with the global fight against terrorism,” Rodrigues said.
In 2016, India outlawed Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) on the grounds that he had encouraged and assisted the group’s members in attempting to spread animosity, hatred or other negative sentiments among various religious communities and groups.
After leaving India, Naik reportedly relocated to Malaysia.