An old video of veteran Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt praising radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has once again surfaced on social media. The video was gone viral as Bhatt’s new film ‘Sadak 2’ is ready for release.
Bhatt can be seen praising the radical Islamist in one such video after he was denied entry into the United Kingdom by the government in 2010.
“At the onset, let me salute Dr. Zakir Naik for daring to lock horns with the mighty British Empire… I salute his audacity which comes from his Imaan… If he had any grey spot in his heart, he wouldn’t have risked locking horns with these bullies… The world is becoming the most entertained and the least informed one… We, as Indians, owe it to our brother (Zakir Naik) who is national pride, (and) a prized treasure,” Bhatt was heard as saying.
“They call Dr. Naik the warmonger but history knows who is the warmonger”, Bhatt added.
“Are you going to believe in the opinions of those people who have the means to lie, buy wordsmiths, get newspapers, have TV networks by their side to market lies and hang a man like Dr. Naik? I will say No.” Bhatt urged the Indian government to intervene, stand up for Zakir Naik and plead his case.
Mahesh Bhatt was invited as a guest on Zakir Naik’s Peace TV, recently fined £300,000 for broadcasting hate speech, to address a group of Muslims. On being asked whether he would feature the hate preacher in his films, Bhatt stated, “The life of Zakir Saheb is a fascinating story in itself. It contains material for a feature film. I don’t know whether Zakir Naik will want to play the role of a hero in the movie. We can find someone to play his role, provided he gives me permission to do so. Please get the idea approved from him and then only I can make a film.”