Mumbai: Controversial speaker Zakir Naik, who is founder of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) has denied reports that he has been granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, and lashed out at sections of the media for publishing it.
“It (news of Saudi citizenship) is false, unless Allah wills. This is how media even prints gossip as facts,” the IRF said in a statement.
Earlier, reports by the Middle East Monitor said King Salman, the Saudi Arabian monarch, had intervened to grant Naik Saudi citizenship to protect him from arrest by Interpol.
Also Read: Non-Bailable Warrant Against Zakir Naik
Naik was believed to be staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after his activities came under scanner following accusations that he had inspired some of the terrorists who attacked a cafe in Dhaka last year.
The Centre had declared Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), an NGO based at Dongri in south Mumbai, an unlawful organisation under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act (UAPA).
The Delhi High Court had recently upheld the decision to immediately ban IRF saying the organisation and its president and members were indulging in “unlawful activity”.