Qatar has informed India through diplomatic channels that no official invitation was extended to Indian fugitive and Islamist Zakir Naik to attend the November 20, 2022 opening of the FIFA World Cup In Doha and claimed that deliberate “disinformation” was being spread by third countries to spoil India-Qatar bilateral.
India made it very clear to Qatar that the visit of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar for the World Cup inauguration on November 20 would be called off if Doha had extended an invitation to Islamic fundamentalist Naik to attend the opening ceremony.
The formal communique from Qatar came after the Modi Government clearly told Doha that New Delhi would be forced to call off the visit of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar to attend the FIFA World Cup inauguration if Doha had formally invited Islamist Zakir Naik to watch the grand opening of soccer event from VVIP box.
Vice President Dhankar attended the event on November 20 and departed from Qatar the next day but not before meeting Indian ex-pat blue-collar workers who had built soccer stadiums for the West Asian country.
While Zakir Naik, a radical Muslim wanted by Indian authorities since 2016 for alleged money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches, was nowhere to be found in the vicinity of the FIFA stadium, he is known to travel to Qatar from his refuge in Malaysia.
The Union Home Ministry declared Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association under the UAPA in March 2022 and banned it for five years. India has also requested his extradition from Malaysia, claiming he was involved in the Delhi 2020 riots. India is currently pursuing an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Naik.
He is barred from giving hate speeches in the United Kingdom and Canada, and he is one of the 16 banned Islamists in Malaysia.