Zakir Naik not invited to FIFA World Cup inauguration: Qatar
Qatar has reportedly informed India that no official invitation was sent to Islamist and Indian fugitive Zakir Naik to attend Sunday's 2022 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Doha. It is also learned that the Arab country claimed that third nations deliberately spread "disinformation" to spoil the bilateral relations between India and Qatar. Earlier reports suggested Naik would attend the opening ceremony.
Why does this story matter?
- Faisal Alhajri, a presenter of state-run sports outlet Alkass, tweeted last week about Naik's FIFA World Cup visit.
- This triggered a massive row across the globe, with many questioning the motive behind Naik's invitation to the Qatar World Cup opening ceremony.
- "Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik is in Qatar during the World Cup and will give many religious lectures throughout the World Cup," Alhajri tweeted.
Jagdeep Dhankhar's Doha visit
This development comes after India allegedly told Qatar that they might call off Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar's visit to attend the opening ceremony if Doha had invited Zakir Naik to watch the grand kick-off. Dhankhar attended the event on Sunday and left Qatar the next day,e but not before meeting Indian ex-pat blue-collar staffers who helped build football stadiums there.
Know about Zakir Naik
Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik is the founder of the contentious Peace TV Network and Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and is a follower of the late Islamic preacher Ahmed Deedat. He is an Indian fugitive, and his TV network is banned in the UK, Bangladesh, Canada, and India due to hate speeches. Despite these bans, Peace TV still enjoys a viewership of over 200 million.
Naik controversy a disinformation campaign against us: Qatar
As per Hindustan Times, Qatar officials stated that Naik could be in Doha on a private visit, but there has been no sighting of the Mumbai-born doctor. Reportedly, the government of Qatar also informed India that outsiders engineered the entire Naik controversy as a part of a more extensive disinformation campaign against the Arab nation.
Naik's old video goes viral on socials
An old video of Naik is going viral on social media, where the Indian fugitive can be seen calling football "haram" in Islam. In the viral clip mentioned above, Naik can be heard saying, "Football as a profession is haram in Islam."
Zakir Naik- A controversial figure
Many terror groups, terrorists, and people responsible for numerous terrorist activities have allegedly cited Naik as their inspiration. A significant incident that brought Naik into the spotlight was the 2016 Dhaka cafe terror attack that killed 22 civilians. Furthermore, the leader of the terror group that carried out the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter Bombings also lauded Naik after the attack.
FIFA World Cup underway in Qatar!
On Sunday, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar officially kicked off at the Al Bayt Stadium, nearly 35 kilometers from Doha. The first game saw the hosts lose 2-0 against Ecuador as Enner Valencia scored twice for the La Tricolor.