NEW DELHI: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Hind has condemned the Indian government’s decision to ban Dr ZakirNaik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) under the UAPA.

The Secretary General of JI, Muhammad Saleem Engineer said: “Jamaat considers the ban to be a political witch-hunt aimed at silencing the voice of all who wish to exercise their constitutionally guaranteed right to profess and propagate religion. It is a signal and a warning to all minorities and especially Muslims not to espouse and propagate their religion in this country. This draconian move will not only weaken the secular nature of our polity but also deal a body blow to religious rights enshrined in our Constitution.”

The Jamaat’s General Secretary continued saying that, “It should be noted that State Home Department of Maharashtra had recently drawn a blank and closed its probe against IRF for alleged Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations. The Bangladeshi newspaper retracted its report which blamed Dr Naik for inspiring terrorists.

All prominent Muslim organisations including a close aide of the Prime Minister have recently condemned the crackdown on Dr Naik, Peace TV and IRF. Jamaat, therefore, demands that the government should immediately roll back its decision to ban IRF and concentrate on easing the discomfort of citizens due to demonetisation and solving basic issues plaguing our country like eradication of poverty, improving  education and healthcare. We are confident that the ban on IRF will not stand up to judicial scrutiny and will be dismissed by the courts as completely baseless and devoid of concrete evidence.”