Dhaka, July 11 (IANS) Mumbai-based controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Peace TV went off the air in Bangladesh on Monday after the government issued an order that cancelled its broadcast rights.
The information ministry issued the order on Monday, a day after the Cabinet Committee on Law and Order decided to end its broadcast, bdnews24 reported.
The order read, “Based on the Cabinet Committee’s decision, free-to-air TV channel Peace TV’s downlink permission has been cancelled for violating downlink conditions.”
The ministry also asked the authorities to stop the broadcast of the channel across the country.
Copies of the order were sent to the home ministry, Press Information Department, Bangladesh Television and the Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB).
The decision followed allegations that the 50-year-old Indian preacher’s speeches, sermons and interpretation of Islamic issues were “inspiring acts of terrorism” and radicalising youths.
After the cabinet committee’s decision on Sunday, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said the administrative steps would be taken on Monday morning to take the channel off air.
“Peace TV is not consistent with Muslim society, the Quran, Sunnah, Hadith, Bangladesh’s Constitution, our culture, customs and rituals,” he said.
Naik is the founder and president of Mumbai-based charity organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which owns and runs Peace TV. The contents in English, Urdu and Bangla are broadcast from Dubai.
Naik has been banned from entering Britain and Canada and Peace TV is banned in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
The ban comes in the wake of bloody terror attacks in Bangladesh this month.
On July 1, terrorists killed 22 people, including 17 foreigners and two policemen, shortly after taking a number of hostages at the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe and O’ Kitchen Restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone.
At least two of the six attackers were said to have been his followers on the social media.
Barely a week later on July 7, the terror attack at the Sholakia Eidgah took place, claiming the lives of four people, including two policemen, as thousands gathered for the country’s largest Eid congregation.