Zakir Naik Named in UK Think Tank’s Report on Extremists Who Exploit Charities
The Henry Jackson Society’s report raises questions about Zakir Naik continuing to be a chairman of UK-registered Islamic Research Foundation International.
Zakir Naik, the controversial India-born Islamic preacher currently holed up in Malaysia, has been associated with extremists exploiting charities in Britain by the Henry Jackson Society in its latest report published on Feb.26.
The report, titled Wolves in sheep’s clothing: how Islamist extremists exploit the UK charitable sector, by the London-based think tank says that Islamist extremists operating in the United Kingdom have established a number of charities through which they receive several benefits. “Credibility, access to the public and vulnerable beneficiaries, secure platforms to spread their radical views and, perhaps most alarmingly, tax exemption and taxpayers’ money,” the report cites as some of the benefits.
It added that charities must not harbor those who would subvert democracy.
It has raised questions about Naik continuing to be the Islamic Research Foundation International (IRFI), a UK-registered charity, despite being banned in Britain since 2010. “In the financial year ending 2016, their income was £951,356. In addition to its charitable status, IRFI is also registered in England as a private limited company,” the report said.
It added that although there is no proof of Naik’s direct involvement in terrorism, there are concerns about the radicalization potential of his lectures.
“According Peace TV, Naik is the ideologue and driving force behind Peace TV Network and launched Peace TV English in 2006. Peace TV is owned by IRF, and its English language website is clear that donations to the channel are to be made via the charity,” the report explained.
It added that as per the annual accounts of Peace TV Network submitted for the financial year ending January 2016, the primary purpose of the charity is securing donations for the continuation of Peace TV. In 2015-2016, the charity made payments of £994,848 to Peace TV.
The report said that it focused on abuse by those Islamist extremists whose views are not illegal but remain problematic as charities can be abused for criminal purposes by those involved in terrorist activities. “On occasion, the line between the two forms of abuse are blurred, with some charities connected to terrorism also showing signs of extremism, as is seen in the case of some humanitarian aid charities and those with other activities abroad,” the report stated.
In December 2017, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a fresh request before the Interpol for issuing a red corner notice against Naik, who is currently living in Malaysia. Interpol cancelled the red corner notice that it issued against Naik earlier this month, his aide was reported to have said on Dec. 16.
NIA’s previous plea was rejected by the Interpol on the grounds that no charge sheet was filed against Naik when the request was submitted.
During the hearing of the petition filed by the citizens in Malaysia in January 2017, the petitioners told the Kuala Lumpur High Court that Naik is a threat to Malaysia. They said that his permanent residence status, granted by the Malaysian government, should immediately be cancelled or revoked, reported India Today.
The petition was filed by 17 citizens, and included Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) chairman P. Waytha Moorthy, academic Lim Teck Ghee, Sabah lawmaker Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan, lawyers Siti Kassim and Asiah Abd Jalil, and Sarawak activist Peter John Jaban.
“Zakir Naik is a person who is threat to the security of federation. The fact that Naik is allowed to be permanent resident in Malaysia will disrupt harmony of country,” stated the petition, India Today reported.