Muslim Council of Britain deplores Zakir Naik ban

By TCN News,

New Delhi: The Muslim Council of Britain has deplored British Government move to ban renowned Indian Islamic scholar Dr. Zakir Naik from a speakers’ tour in the UK, and said UK Home Secretary Theresa May’s action “serves to demonise the very voices within the world ready for debate and discussion.”

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“The Home Secretary’s action serves to demonise the very voices within the world ready for debate and discussion. The tour would have been a golden opportunity for young Muslims who are eager to hear the true messages of Islam which promote understanding between communities,” Council says in June 18th statement posted on its site:

Expressing his grave concern at the decision, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said: “this exclusion order demonstrates the double standards practised by the government concerning freedom of speech. While preachers of hate such as Geert Wilders are free to promote their bigotry in this country, respected Muslim scholars such as Dr Naik are refused entry to the UK under false pretences. It is deeply regrettable this is likely to cause serious damage to community cohesion in our country.”

The Council said the British Government appears to have “responded to a recent campaign of vilification against the scholar, ignoring what Dr Naik stated on 11th June 2010.”

In the statement Dr Naik had tried to clarify his views in response to the recent press reports about his intended tour to the UK in June 2010. He had said “…as a student of comparative religion my work has involved engaging in constructive discussion with people of other major faiths, promoting similarities and converging values for a common platform of Peace using the commonalities that bind us all together….”