An Indian Islamist preacher, wanted by New Delhi, present in Qatar for the World Cup

An Indian Islamist preacher wanted by New Delhi present in

A diplomatic quarrel has emerged between India and Qatar: an Indian Islamist preacher, wanted by anti-terrorism agencies, is indeed present at the moment in the emirate, where he was seen around the events of the World Cup. . A new sign of Qatar’s tolerance for extremist figures, which does not please New Delhi.

With our correspondent in New Delhi, Sebastien Farcis

Zakir Naik fled India in 2016 as he faces charges of financing terrorist operations and spreading religious hatred. This Islamist, educated, English-speaking preacher became widely popular through his long speeches broadcast on his Dubai-based satellite television network, during which he would incite Muslims to violence, as explained by Kabir Taneja, a terrorism researcher for I’Observe Research Foundationin New Delhi.

gain influence

People who have tried or committed terrorist attacks in India have said that Zakir Naïk inspired them. So his influence is similar to that of former al-Qaeda propagandist Anwar Al-Awlaki. But it is more effective thanks to new media. He would thus have influenced terrorists in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This is the same model of radicalization used by the Islamic State organization and that is why it is worrying. »

Qatar claims not to have formally invited Zakir Naik to the World Cup ceremonies. But this country, which also hosted the Taliban in the past, did not prevent it from entering its territory either. While he could use this popular event to gain influence.