I confess not knowing much about this so-called religious maverick of Dr. Zakir Naik from our neighboring lands to the north, and to change that I have started viewing a few videos of him on YouTube and I can tell (from a million miles away) that there is nothing exceptional about him. He presents himself as a super-devout muslim and a master of comparative religion, often parroting verses from scriptures as diverse as the Hindu Vedas to the Old Testament. Again, nothing spectacular about that as there should be untold thousands if not millions with a similar kind of bland penchant for mindlessly memorizing nonsense. He also likes to flaunt his medical credentials which turns out to be an MBBS that he earned a few decades ago. Of course, none of his audience ever seems to have summoned up the courage to ask him about the relevance of this, especially seeing that the guy hasn’t practiced medicine for years. I suppose a lot of people doesn’t know that the a non-practicing medical doctor is essentially worthless, as the profession requires constant revision and reference, not to mention the actual practice. Moving on…
A local fanboy of the good doctor had published a transcript of one of Naik’s miraculous atheist-converting-on-the-spot speeches and I couldn’t help myself but to laugh at the feebleness of both the attempt and the mind of its writer. He talks as if an atheist is someone who wakes up one fine morning and decide that he doesn’t believe in the supernatural without any contemplation on his existence, reality or the deeper meaning of life. He chants the age old argument of creation by design, perhaps because he has never encountered a real life atheist who would immediately ask him “the machine was made by an engineer, alright, but we’ve got proof of that. Show me how exactly this ethereal being, god, made you, me and the universe now”. And then he goes on and on about scientific miracles in the Koran, all of which, conveniently remained hidden well inside the dusty volumes until the opportunistic moment where a real, hardworking scientist discovered it and subsequently, a mullah who has a fledgling understanding of science chances upon a poetic, dreamy reference, inextricably sandwiched between divine mentions of how martyrs will have ancient Rome style orgies. This is the point where proponents of scripture’s divine origins, such as Naik, will essentially hijack real science and, gracious and meek as they are, claim all the credit for god. Of course, they will never mention any of the passages that contradict modern science such as how the earth is flat (perfectly in line with 7th century geology) or how we were all created from magic dirt resulting in man, woman, children, and a whole lot of incest that followed. Which brings me to my next point of contention.
Evolution. Dr. Naik seems to be under the impression that evolution is “just a theory” and apparently he has never encountered to it being referred to as “the fact of evolution”. Anyone who has completed an undergraduate course in science (or even a good high school science student) would be able to answer this ignoramus, who incidentally, flashed his doctor credentials as if this adds any weight to his idiotic understanding of fact, theory, science or the scientific method. Again, I kept wishing some delightfully intelligent person from his audience would stand up and point out that the average medical doctor has the same likelihood of knowing evolution, universally accepted amongst biologists, as a mechanic or lawyer does.
Even considering the little I’ve been able to glean from his online presence, there is not a single redeeming quality about this “scholar” that the Maldivians seem so eager to welcome to their sandy shores. For all I care, he is just another egoistical, fanatical, apologetic, sanctimonious, religious bigot, and frankly, he makes Akon seem like a very wise man indeed.
Take a look at this video featuring Naik and Shri Shri Ravi Shankar discuss the concepts of God in Hinduism & Islam. I am not a fan of organised religion per se, but at gun point, I’d choose the former. Peace out!