FIFA 2022: Qatar’s Special Guest Zakir Naik Says Football Is Haram 

NEW DELHI | Updated: 22 November, 2022 8:08 pm IST

At a time when Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has been invited by Qatar  to preach Islam in the backdrop of FIFA World Cup, a video of him calling the sport Haram is going viral.  In Islam the word‘Haram’ means probhibited.

In the video, he was stating that Football as a profession is ‘Haram’. Playing football on a high level like on national and world platforms is Haram in Islam. The video is purportedly from the past but exposes his views on the Football game.

Naik, who is banned in India for propagating hate speech is attending the FIFA World Cup 2022 amongst other dignitaries, tweeted Faisal Alhajri, a presenter at the Qatari state-owned sports channel Alkass.

“Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik is present in Qatar during the World Cup and will give many religious lectures throughout the tournament.” tweeted Alhajri.

In several other videos, he is seen converting people into Islam. According to sources, Naik has already converted four people after reaching Qatar.

Naik is a controversial Indian Islamic preacher who is charged by the Indian government with money laundering and hate speech. He has been evading law and hiding in Malaysia since 2017.

This decision comes after Qatar led the Nupur Sharma outrage in the Arab world. Along with Iran and Kuwait, it summoned India’s Ambassadors and the key Gulf nations expressed their strong protest and condemnation of the controversial remarks of the BJP leader against Prophet Mohammed.

In 2016, the Ministry of Home Affairs declared Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association. In March 2022 it outlawed IRF for five years. Naik’s speeches are objectionable. He praises known terrorists in his speeches and advocates that every Muslim should be a terrorist, said the MHA statement.

IRF is also charged by MHA for encouraging and assisting the group’s followers in “promoting or attempting to promote feelings of enmity, hatred, or ill-will between different religious communities and groups.”

Bangladesh, Canada, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom have also banned Naik on the basis of their hate-speech laws. Naik’s Peace TV app, a non-profit Emirati satellite television network that broadcasts free-to-air programming, is not blocked in these countries or in India. Naik has argued several times that his comments have been taken out of context multiple times.

Naik in an interview in 2019 said, “I am a messenger of peace,” he said. “Even if just one person gets salvation in the life hereafter by following what I preach, I will be the happiest.”

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