Indian Declared Wanted for Terrorist Views, lLabels NAF as ‘Muslim Force’

Zakir Naik, a controversial Indian Islamic preacher, has been criticised for labelling the Nigerian air force as a Muslim outfit.

Naik is currently on a tour of Nigeria at the behest of Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, according to a post on his X account.

The Islamic preacher who appeared to have arrived in the country on Monday, posted pictures of himself alongside some Nigerian soldiers and immigration officials, while identifying the operatives as Islamic.

“Interaction with Muslim Airforce Group Captain Abbas Hashim, Military Airport Commander Abuja airport, Abuja, Nigeria,” Naik captioned one of the posts.

Reacting to the preacher’s posts, many Nigerians expressed anger and displeasure, pointing out that Naik was instigating more tension in a country battling religious divisions.

In another separate post on his Official X Handle, he wrote with captioned image of him, the Sultan and Shaikh Fariq Naik on 31st October, 2023:

“Interaction with the Head of States

“Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abu Bakar Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria

He had come on invitation on a programme titled:

“Islam and Christianity – A Comparative Study” on 1st Nov, at 4:00pm (Nigeria Time) at Convocation Theatre, Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Nigeria, he would also tour Ilorin and Abuja.


Naik is a Muslim scholar infamous for views that some have described as extreme.

In 2006, Naik declared support for Osama bin Laden “as far as he is terrorising America”, and added that “every Muslim should be a terrorist”.

In June 2010, the cleric was banned from entering Britain by Theresa May, then UK home secretary, for “numerous comments” and “unacceptable behaviour”.

In 2016, the Indian government declared Naik wanted for allegedly spreading hate and for money laundering.

The same year, India’s counter-terrorism agency filed a complaint against him for promoting religious intolerance and “other unlawful activities”.

Naik is the president of the Islamic Research Foundation in India and founder of the Peace TV channel that, according to its website, promotes “truth, justice, morality, harmony and wisdom for the whole of humankind” through “presenting Islam and removing misconceptions about Islam”.

However, Naik’s foundation was banned from India to “safeguard national security”, according to the Delhi high court.