Zakir Naik, a controversial Indian Islamic preacher who faces charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, arrived in Qatar ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup where he will give religious lectures throughout the tournament, according to social media posts.
“Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik is present in Qatar during the World Cup and will give many religious lectures throughout the tournament,” Faisal Alhajri, a presenter at the Qatari state-owned sports channel Alkass, wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Naik is a wanted fugitive by the Indian authorities on charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, which he denies.
India banned Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation in late 2016, accusing him of encouraging and aiding its followers to “promote or attempt to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities and groups.”
Naik moved to Malaysia after fleeing India in 2016.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup will begin in Qatar on November 20 with the host nation taking on Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium, located about 35 km (22 miles) away from Doha.
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