Bangladesh has cracked down on controversial Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik by banning the broadcast of his speeches on television. "We have issued orders to completely stop the broadcast of Zakir Naik's speeches," Bangladesh Information minister Hasanul Haq Inu said in a statement today.
Naik angered Bangladesh after his speeches were found to have inspired terrorists involved in the July 1 Dhaka cafe massacre in which 22 persons, including a 19-year-old Indian girl, were killed.
At least two terrorists involved in the attack in the upscale Gulshan locality were known to have been inspired by Naik's speeches and sermons, prompting the government to clamp down on his publicity mechanisms in the country.
Last month, Bangladesh authorities banned Naik's Peace TV from the airwaves and online, and also his Peace mobile phone. Peace TV is also banned in India now. In India, the Mumbai police is examining several of Naik's sermons, speeches and literature from his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) to ascertain if he was using provocative or inflammatory language that had the potential to create communal rift.
The televangelist is currently on a tour of some Arab and African countries for the past couple of months and addressed the Mumbai media via a Skype conference last month. Naik, on his part, has claimed that his statements were "doctored and tampered out of context" and asserted that he was a "messenger of peace" and unequivocally condemned all terror and terrorist activities.