The Salafi Movement Wikipedia page currently quotes Zakir Naik as saying "every Muslim should be a terrorist". They cite a TIME article: Von Drehle and Ghosh, An Enemy Within: The Making of Najibullah Zazi, 2009, which appears to be replicated here, which says:

And listening differently too. A friend from that period tells TIME that Zazi became enchanted with the controversial Indian Muslim televangelist Dr. Zakir Naik, who preaches a wild mix of harsh Islamic rhetoric and unorthodox Muslim theology. His videos reach a global audience online. On the topic of jihad and terrorism, Naik was far from the most incendiary voice, but he managed in his own way to make clear the choice between bin Laden and Uncle Sam. “If [bin Laden] is fighting enemies of Islam, I am for him,” the former medical doctor says in one YouTube clip. “If he is terrorizing America -- the terrorist, biggest terrorist -- I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist.” In an interview with TIME after Zazi’s arrest, Naik insisted, “I have always condemned terrorism, because according to the glorious Koran, if you kill one innocent person, then you have killed the whole of humanity.”

The claim is repeated in a few online news articles, e.g., hindustantimes.com, firstpost.com, NDTV.com, but seems to be contradicted by Zakir Naik himself ("I have always condemned terrorism" in the above).

Question: Did Zakir Naik say "every Muslim should be a terrorist"?

3 Answers 3


Here is a video of the incident, and here is an Independent article attributing the quote to him.

According to the Huffington Post:

Naik has repeatedly denied these statements, claiming that the said video was doctored.

According to Daily News and Analysis:

Explaining his stand on the controversial statements [he] said the quotes had been distorted, or used out of context. He added that the infamous Osama Bin Laden quote, which promotes the world’s most wanted terrorist, was delivered in 1996 and not 2006 as claimed, and even then he was being neutral and not siding with Laden.

The 43-year-old preacher claimed he was quoted out of context for his “every Muslim should be a terrorist” remark. Naik produced the video of this statement, to prove he was misquoted. The video showed him saying, “As far as terrorist is concerned, I tell the Muslims that every Muslim should be a terrorist... What is the meaning of the word terrorist?

Terrorist by definition means a person who terrorises. So in this context every Muslim should be a terrorist to each and every anti-social element. I’m aware that terrorist is more commonly used for a person who terrorises innocent human beings. So in this context no Muslim should ever terrorise a single innocent human being.”

The News Minute published a longer video containing more context for the quote.

It seems fair to say that there is enough evidence that Naik did said this, but that he feels misunderstood.


In this video you can hear Dr. Zakir Naik say in English:

If [Osama bin Laden] is terrorizing the terrorist, if he is terrorizing America the terrorist, biggest terrorist, I am with him [gives thumb up sign]. Every Muslim should be a terrorist. The thing is that if he is terrorizing a terrorist he is for Islam.

  • Right after that he says, whether he is not, I don't no. So, don't mention outside Zakir Naik is for Osama bin Laden. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 17:32
  • 3
    @MohammadSakibArifin right, he is saying he only supports bin Laden if it is true that he is terrorizing America.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 19:43

As pointed out by tim, he did say this but the lying media, the international Lügenpresse took that out of context. According to this video, he said:

If he is a Muslim, if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him. I don't know what he is doing. I am not in touch with him. I don't know him personally. I read about him only in newspapers. If he is terrorizing the terrorist. If he is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist. The thing is that, if he is terrorizing the terrorist, he is following Islam. Whether he is not, I don't know. So, don't mention outside that Zakir Naik is for Osama bin Laden. I am with him if he is terrorizing the terrorist.

The quote is from a very old clip and Zakir doesn't promote it in his lecture videos. It is promoted by mainly his critics. So, if someone sees it, they see it from his critics Youtube uploads, not his official lectures. He used to support killing apostates and lot of his previous views were in line with the salafi thought. According to this report, he no longer holds this view.

He still promotes a strict salafi interpretation and he has said things that are not true. But the recent attacks on him about inspiring Dhaka terrorists is ridiculous. One of the attackers follow him on facebook that's the only evidence against him.

India is a state where bigotry against Muslims thrive. If Muslims like Zakir or Assaddudin say a thing about hindus, the media imidiately starts attacking them but people who call for the rape of dead Muslim women in public get a free pass.

Supporters of India's ruling party often make hateful remarks against Muslims but get away with. But when Muslims do the same, the media propagandists and liars start attacking them.


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