Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has apparently reached Qatar to give religious lectures throughout the FIFA World Cup which will begin on November 20, several media outlets reported.
Citing a tweet of Faisal Alhajri, a presenter on Qatar's state-owned sports channel Alkass, India Today and the Hindustan Times reported that Naik is already in Qatar, and is expected to give numerous speeches as the world's biggest sports gala will begin in Qatar in the next few hours.
"Preacher Sheikh Zakir Naik is present in Qatar during the World Cup and will give many religious lectures throughout the tournament," wrote Alhajri on his Twitter page.
It should be noted that Zakir Naik is a wanted fugitive in India, and the investigation agencies have charged him with multiple cases related to money laundering and hate speech, which Naik denies.
Zakir Naik became a popular figure in India during the 1990s over his activities of dawah -- proselytising for Islam -- through his Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation.
In the first decade of the 20th century, speeches of Zakir Naik grabbed the attention of right-wing Hindutwa supporters, and soon several complaints were lodged against the preacher, stating that he was trying to instigate communal imbalance in the nation.
Upon enquiry, the Indian government banned Islamic Research Foundation, and since 2016, Naik has been living in Malaysia in exile.
In 2016, India canceled the passport of Zakir Naik. However, Naik now has a Malaysian passport, but he is not permitted to give speeches in the country.