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Zakir Naik backs demolition of temple in Pakistan, says 'temples should not be allowed in an Islamic country'

Wanted Islamic televangelist Dr Zakir Naik in his latest video has supported the demolition of an old Hindu temple in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa saying temples should not be allowed to be constructed in an Islamic country.

On December 30, a mob of over a hundred people led by local Muslim clerics from radical Islamist party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam destroyed and set on fire a Hindu temple in the Karak district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

A viral video clip on social media showed a violent mob destroying the walls and roof of the temple.

'Temples should not be allowed to be constructed in an Islamic country'
The mob incited by a local cleric was part of a rally organised by Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), a Sunni Deobandi political party in Pakistan. As per the reports, speakers delivered inflammatory speeches after which the mob stormed the temple, set it ablaze, and razed it to the ground.

On Friday, India lodged a formal protest with Pakistan via diplomatic channels against the vandalisation and demolition of a Hindu temple there and conveyed that the neighbouring country should investigate the matter and take strict action against those responsible.

This is not the first time Naik has sparked controversy through his videos.

'Haram according to Sharia'
Last year in July, he slammed the Imran Khan government saying it had committed a sin by giving permission for the construction of a Krishna temple in Islamabad.

According to Sharia, it is haram for an Islamic nation to pay or donate to a worship house of a non-Muslim, said Naik.

The Islamic preacher, who fled India to Malaysia in 2016, further said that all Muslim scholars, imams and ulemas are of the same opinion and there are several fatwas (rulings) regarding this.

Last year, the United States placed Pakistan on a list of "countries of particular concern" for religious freedom violations.

Minorities in Pakistan regularly face persecution with more than 1000 women abducted and forcefully converted to Islam every year.

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