Popular Front of India chairman KM Shareef in a statement condemned the ongoing tirade and demonization from some sections of right wing politics and government against Islamic scholar Dr. Zakir Naik and MIM leader and Member of Parliament Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi. Both of them are public personalities and whose activities have been open in the mainstream.
Dr. Naik is an Islamic educator and debater whose sole interest is preaching Islamic teachings by peaceful means. He has time and time again condemned all forms of terrorism. All his speeches are available in the public domain and have tens of thousands of viewers worldwide. It is absurd to hold him responsible for the actions of those who have happened to view his videos or follow him online. Hence the statements made by responsible ministers in central and state governments and by investigation agencies are all ill motivated. The intended moves of government agencies against Dr. Naik amounts to curtailing free speeches and religions preaching by minorities.
Those who attempts to malign Mr. Owaisi for offering legal assistance to the Hyderabad blast conspiracy accused are also committing similar mistake. Legal defense is a fundamental right of any accused. Therefore it is clear that those accusing Owaisi of supporting terrorism on this ground either lack basic understanding of India judicial process or are intentionally targeting simply because they hate the political position taken by Mr. Owaisi.
Unfortunately we see in both cases attempts by Hindutva forces to strip the community of their democratic rights by silencing community leaders and movements under one pretext or other. Shareef warned that such attempts are ultimately detrimental to national interests. He called upon all sane elements in the country to break their silence and come forward to support both Dr. Naik and Mr. Owaizi.