Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Terrorism Is Not a Muslim Monopoly: Zakir

Ismaeel Nakhuda, Arab News

JEDDAH, 27 September 2006 — Terrorism is not a Muslim monopoly, was the mesage delivered by international dawa activist Dr. Zakir Naik in a lecture delivered at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) auditorium on Monday night.

Speaking after Taraweeh prayers to a packed audience of over 5,000 people consisting of both male and female Saudis and expatriates, Dr. Zakir categorically explained the meaning of terrorism.

Quoting historical facts and figures, he explained how the assumption that “not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslim” was untrue.

Dr. Zakir, who is one of the Muslim world’s leading and most prolific speakers, quoted from the scriptures of other religions and proved that associating killing with Islam is incorrect.

“It says in the Book of Numbers that whoever worships other than god then he should be killed,” he said, referring to the Bible. “This is a media conspiracy and a way of pushing people away from Islam. In every religion there are black sheep and the media keep putting these people forward,” he added.

“We should learn how to turn the tables and convey the real meaning,” said Dr. Zakir, while calling on Muslims to dispel the media’s vilifying of Muslims and the importance of having Muslim television channels and newspapers.

The speech was followed by a lively question-and-answer session in which Dr. Zakir dealt with questions from the audience on terrorism and comparative religion. He also announced that he was more than ready to participate in a theological debate with preachers from other religions.

Meanwhile, in a private iftar meeting with journalists on Saturday at the home of Dr. Huda Fatany, a lecturer at the King Abdul Aziz University, Dr. Zakir called on Muslim businessmen across the world to boycott the US dollar and predicted that such a move would, within two years, see the end of the US as an economic superpower.

Having described the war on terror as an excuse to take control of Middle Eastern oil reserves, Dr. Zakir called on businessmen to boycott the dollar. “Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has provided us with a strategy to stop the US, which is to target the US economy. The first thing we should do is to stop dealing in dollars... America is presently in debt, the dollar is in debt and half the finance of the country is in debt,” he claimed.

Dr. Zakir added that if governments were unwilling to boycott the dollar then businessmen and businesswomen should themselves individually boycott the currency and advised them to deal in riyals, dirhams, gold and euros.

“Use the euro as an alternative. The process of having an Islamic currency would take time and so we shouldn’t wait for that,” he said, adding, “Now if someone insists on dealing in dollars then make sure you change currency as soon as possible. When you change the currency then the banks will send the dollars back to the US — within two years their economy will collapse. For us to achieve this, we need our businessmen to stop dealing in dollars. Once their economy collapses then their position as an economic superpower will end.”

Dr. Zakir spoke about the war on terror and also about Pope Benedict’s recent remarks earlier this month.

He described the pope’s comments as “completely baseless” and not befitting the leader of the Catholic Church. “The apology he delivered was, according to me, a half-half apology. The pope said he was pained that Muslims were pained by his statement; he should have rather admitted his speech was wrong. I feel that the papal apology was incorrect. The pope’s response to the protests was also wrong. From this, I feel it seems that whatever he said, he said it deliberately. It is not like as if he said what he said without knowing,” said Dr. Zakir.

Speaking at another iftar gathering in Jeddah on Sunday hosted by Afaq Baig Mirza, executive director of AISCO, Dr. Zakir also revealed that his Islamic television channel “Peace TV” was viewed in 125 countries making up three-fourths of the world and disclosed plans to open two more channels: One in English and another in Urdu.

Dr. Zakir also spoke about the success of his school, which gives priority to teaching Arabic and where sciences are taught with an Islamic perspective. Similar schools will be established in Dubai and Riyadh, he added.

Dr. Zakir is a writer and speaker from Bombay who specializes on Islam and comparative religion. A medical doctor by training, Dr. Zakir travels extensively and works toward clearing misconceptions about Islam among both Muslims and non-Muslims. Presently he is touring the Kingdom and has been scheduled to deliver lectures in Riyadh.

The JCCI lecture was sponsored by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).


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