Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was seen hanging out with Zakir Naik, a controversial preacher and also a fugitive, who faces charges of money laundering and hate speech in India.
Dr Zakir Naik
In Conversation During FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 with
The Greatest Mixed Martial Artist of All Time and
The Longest Reigning Ultimate Fight Championship Light Weight World Champion pic.twitter.com/tQ3hIBogwj
— Dr Zakir Naik (@drzakiranaik) December 17, 2022
Zakir Naik took to social media to share images of his meeting with the former lightweight champion. Later, ‘The Eagle’ himself also posted a photo with Zakir Naik on his Instagram as well.
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Both Khabib Nurmagomedov and Zakir Naik are present in Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
الداعيه الشيخ ذاكر نايك يتواجد في قطر خلال فترة كأس العالم وسيقدم العديد من المحاضرات الدينية طوال المونديال 👏🏻#ذاكر_نايك pic.twitter.com/Tz9gnU6c4N
— فيصل الهاجري (@Faisal_Alhajri0) November 19, 2022
“Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik is present in Qatar during the World Cup and will give many religious lectures throughout the tournament,” The host of Qatar’s state-run sports channel Alkass, Faisal Alhajri, posted on Twitter.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently in Qatar and most recently he was seen supporting Morocco in their match-up against Croatia for the third place game.
Initially, it was reported that Qatar had invited Zakir Naik for the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup and later it was clarified by the Qatari officials that no such invitation was extended to him.
Qatar has told India that no invitation was extended to Zakir Naik to attend the FIFA World Cup 2022: Ministry of External Affairs https://t.co/assrkDcTIG
— ANI (@ANI) November 24, 2022
Why is Zakir Naik facing criminal charges in India?
The counter-terrorism unit of India filed a formal complaint against Naik in November 2016 alleging that he had engaged in illegal conduct and promoted religious intolerance. The following year, Naik relocated to Malaysia and applied for asylum. There, he was given permanent residency. Naik is currently one of Malaysia’s 16 exiled Islamic scholars.
The Naik-founded Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was designated an unlawful association and outlawed for five years by the Home Ministry in March of this year. India has also requested his extradition from Malaysia in a letter.
Naik has a permanent residence permit in Malaysia, but due to “national security” concerns, he was banned from giving speeches in 2020.
He had been accused of making inciting remarks and interrogated by local authorities about his intention to disturb the peace by making comments about the Hindu and Chinese groups that resided in the Muslim-majority country.
Khabib’s invite to India might get cancelled
Last month, it was revealed that Khabib, along with his close associate and the reining UFC Lightweight champ Islam Makhachev, are going to visit India in the second quarter of 2023 on a multi-city tour.
However, in the wake of Khabib’s recent meeting with Naik, there are chances that his visit to India might get potentially cancelled.