Canada has cancelled the travel visa of a controversial television preacher from Mumbai who was scheduled to speak at an upcoming religious conference in Toronto.
Officials from the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi telephoned popular Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik earlier this week to say the 44-year-old doctor's five-year, multiple-entry visa to Canada has been cancelled, said a colleague of Naik's at the Islamic Research Foundation in Mumbai. The visa was issued just last year.
A physician by training, Naik has become one of the most influential religious scholars in India. He was described as one of the 100 most powerful Indians in a recent survey by the Indian Express newspaper and is a polarizing figure. Naik been quoted as saying "every Muslim should be a terrorist" and that Jews are "our staunchest enemy." He's also condoned the death penalty for homosexuals and Muslims who convert from Islam to other religions.