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Jul 09

Daily Star quietly deletes its controversial online reports on Zakir Naik and on Indian forces coming to Dhaka!

The Daily Star made another fraudulent claim, in what has become a regular occurrence by the newspaper owned by media magnate and industrialist Latifur Rahman, who also owns the media franchise Prothom Alo.

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At 02:22 pm, on July 4, 2016, the Daily Star published a report named, “Militants followed ‘IS recruiters’, controversial preacher”, in which the reporter Shahrier Khan deliberately inserted the following lines,

Two of the five young militants who have slaughtered 20 innocent people Friday night at Holey Artisan Bakery used to follow three controversial Islamists — Anjem Choudary, Shami Witness and Zakir Nayek.

Militant killer Nibras Islam, 22, used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of Islamic State — Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness — on Twitter in 2014.

Another killer Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, propagated on Facebook last year quoting Peace TV’s controversial preacher Zakir Nayek “urging all Muslims to be terrorists”.

A Pakistan-origin British citizen, 49-year-old Anjem is now facing trial in England for breaking the British anti-terrorism law. Shami Witness is the Twitter name of 24-year-old Mehdi Biswas of Bangalore in India, who is also facing trial for running propaganda for the IS.

Shami was arrested in December 2014 following an investigation into his Twitter account which was last active in August 2014. Anjem’s twitter account became inactive from August 2015 after terror charges were brought against him.

Dr Nayek is banned in UK, Canada and Malaysia and is a controversial figure in his home country India. He is wildly popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV although his preaching often demeans other religions and even other Muslim sects.

This means at least in the case Nibras and Rohan, they did not become radicalised overnight. They have been consuming radical materials for one to two years before finally disappearing in February-March and reappearing as “IS killers” Friday night at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan.

Later, perhaps under fire from social media users or the terse glare of Dr. Zakir Naik himself, they removed the news in the most unprofessional way possible, by simply deleting it. The fact that the Daily Star does this often is perhaps mark of its farcical professionalism.

But they didn’t stop there. They went further. They then made a news with a shameless claim that they made no such report.

In a Youtube speech on Friday, India-based Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik accused The Daily Star of sensationalising a report by saying that he was “responsible for inspiring one of the terrorists of the attack in Dhaka”.

The Daily Star categorically denies this allegation and wants to say it did not report that any terrorist was inspired by Zakir Naik to kill innocent people.

Acting like the blundering ogre they are, the newspaper did not retract its report, did not apologise, did not mention how it deleted the report from its online archives….

The Daily Star’s reporting was a mere presentation of facts and we regret any misunderstanding between Dr Zakir Naik and this newspaper.

If anyone of you thought that this is an accident, then be assured that you are wrong, for the Daily Star has repeatedly done such things in the past. Just as an example, on July 7, the Daily Star reported that Delhi had sent forces to Dhaka after the attacks in Bangladesh. Then suddenly, that report disappeared too!!!

For the original report, check the news agency (Indian government mouthpiece) Press Trust of India report on the issue.