Trinamool MP seeks to defend Zakir Naik, rebuked by party

Kolkata, July 11 (IANS) Trinamool Congress MP Idris Ali on Monday courted controversy contending that controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s speeches did not support terrorism. The Lok Sabha member was promptly rebuked by his party.

“I have heard his speeches and I don’t think his speeches support terrorism. I don’t think there is any proof that his speeches have resulted in any killing or maligning of Hindus or any other community,” Ali, a Lok Sabha member from Basirhat in North 24 Parganas district, told the media at the sidelines of an event.

Hinting a political motive behind it, Ali questioned the call for a ban on Naik’s speeches.

“Maybe there could be a political motive, I don’t know. I think any such ban will be unfortunate. I don’t know much about Naik, but from what I have seen on TV, I don’t think there is anything wrong. So why this ban,” he said.

Naik, 50, is at the centre of a storm with calls for imposing a ban on his TV for allegedly inflammatory speeches.

While the Maharashtra government has already ordered a probe into his teachings, speeches and literature, the central government has indicated that Naik could face action if his speeches were found objectionable.

Embarrassed by the remarks, the Trinamool promptly censured him.

“My colleague, Idris Ali, has been cautioned for making a statement without the consent of the party. The issue he commented on is a sensitive one and has not been discussed by us internally,” said Trinamool spokesperson Derek O’Brien.

“The party will have a discussion on the subject and then form an opinion,” he added.

Earlier in January, Ali left his party red-faced alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had links with terrorists involved in the attack at the air force base in Pathankot.

That time too he was censured by the party and was made to give an explanation in writing.



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