Zakir Naik, the Islamic preacher and televangelist, has been linked with the Dhaka terror attack after one of the terrorists was discovered to have been inspired by his preaching. There has been a storm of protest in India against Naik, in turn generating support movements as well.
In past videos, Naik has been heard declaring his support for Osama Bin Laden. "If Osama Bin Laden is terrorising the enemies of Islam, I am with him," he seems to say, although he claims the video was doctored.
India's Home ministry has called for an investigation into the preacher's statements, and the Shiv Sena has called for a ban on Naik, who is already banned from visiting United States, United Kingdom and Malaysia. Now, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatrey Padsalgikar to launch an investigation into Naik's talks.
Naik is famous for his supposed ability to quote verbatim from the Quran, the Gita and the Bible and even, since he is a qualified doctor, to cite scientific research and books, all without consulting his notes. In the talk that is analysed above, the preacher expounds on his views on evolution. He tries the usual debunking of evolution that many evangelical people from all religions do – "there are missing links", "even Darwin didn't believe in it" "So and so scientists has disproved it", and so on.
Only, as the analysis shows, he gets it hopelessly wrong, far too often. The less significant errors are those of pronunciation, so that Galapagos Islands becomes Kelotropos Islands. Sometimes they are ridiculous: Naik says that Homo Sapiens died out 5,00,000 years ago when human beings, Naik included, are alive to this day.
Along the way, history is reinterpreted in new ways. "Galileo was sentenced to death," Naik claims when he was in fact sentenced to life imprisonment. And the video ends with the names of a number of people whom Naik appears to invent to support his claims.
Not that Naik's supporters are silent about this take-down. There's even a rebuttal to the rebuttal, which makes the argument that the analysis is by a Christian and since "Dr Zakir Naki is the greatest threat to Christianity", this criticism cannot be valid. Some of the other gaffes are explained away, too.
Here's the original video, which begins with him saying he doesn't believe in Darwin's theory of evolution because it is a "theory" which is different from the Quran which is "based on fact".