An Islamic cleric has been condemned for declaring Nigeria as an Islamic Country and the Sultan of Sokoto as the country’s head of state. A social media user, Jibreel Khalil @jibreelKhalil who revealed the photos and messages posted online by Dr Zakir Naik, said the cleric knows Nigeria is not an Islamic country and should not make such a statement that could trigger political turmoil.
Jibreel Kahlil while condemning the cleric wrote: “Just because you are a cleric doesn’t mean you are infallible or flawless.”
“What Zakir Niake posted was unnecessary and I will be here to remind you. It’s a bait trigger, he knows, he knows Nigeria isn’t an Islamic country.”
“Using Sultan’s picture and calling him head of state, is a contempt and disrespect to the place of the president. We have a constitutionally elected president here and all our forces belong to everyone.”
“Let’s call a spade a spade regardless of the person in question, do not let anyone sets your country ablaze in the name of religion.”
“Nigeria is our only country, we may have our lapses, but that doesn’t call for such a provocative and unthoughtful post. No Nigerian Sheikh, regardless of his connection and status can go to a multi-religious foreign community and start this label. Our cult-like reverence of clerics shouldn’t blindfold us from telling the truth.”
Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is an Indian Islamic public orator who focuses on comparative religion. He is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation and the Peace TV.
In 2016, Dr. Naik’s organization, IRF, was banned in India by the Indian government for allegedly being involved in unlawful activities and promoting religious extremism. Since then, he has been living outside India and has faced legal challenges in various countries.
Dr Zakir Naik gained popularity through his lectures and debates on Islam and comparative religion. He has been a controversial figure. Some of his statements and views have been criticized for promoting religious intolerance and inciting hatred. Several countries, including India, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Malaysia, have banned or restricted his entry due to concerns about his speeches and activities.