Indian cleric Zakir Naik, whose permanent residence status in Malaysia was recently challenged in court on the grounds that he poses a national security threat, gave a speech in which he said that "slavery in Islam can only take place if there is a war" and that while internationally, slavery has been abolished, "today we have POWs." In the speech, which was posted on YouTube on February 10, 2017, he justified polygamy as a solution to a demographic problem, saying that the 4.8 million women more than men in the U.S. can "either marry a man who already has a wife or become 'public property'." Women's liberation "is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honor, he said, adding that: "In the garb of women's liberalization, in the name of art and culture, they are selling their daughters." In 2010, Zakir Naik, who heads the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and is the founder of Peace TV, was barred from entering the U.K. and Canada.
Audience Member: "So what is the concept of slavery in Islam? Especially female slaves and keeping [sexual] relations with them – with marriage or without marriage... There are some verses I read, and this is quite confusing for me."
Zakir Naik: "Slavery in Islam can only take place if there is a war. And in the war, there can be slaves. Today, internationally, slavery is abolished, but today we have POWs. Do you know what POWs are? Prisoners of war. If you analyze the U.N. Charter, which is supposed to be the most humane... If you know what is happening in Guantanamo Bay, it is totally against Islam, yet they are doing it – the Americans. They claim to be the most humane people in the world, the maximum human rights. According to me, they are the most unjust people in the world. The maximum violations of human rights in any country is done by the American government. The Americans may be good, but I am talking about the American government. And that is the reason I am there on the list also... Because I have proven to the world... Today, if you analyze... In a prisoner of war (camp), sister... Any prisoner of war, in any country, is enclosed in a jail – correct? In Islam, a slave is not enclosed. You know that?
"Islam doesn't say that marrying more than one wife is compulsory. According to me, it is permitted. But if you marry [more than one woman], you have to be just between your wives. Today, in the world, there are more women than men. In the U.S.A. alone, there are 4.8 million females more than males. If every man marries a woman, there will still be 4.8 million females more than males. So what will happen to these 4.8 million females? They either marry a man who already has a wife or become 'public property.' Oh, 'public property' – such a harsh word. It is the most sophisticated word I can use, sister. So Islam has the solution to the problems of humankind, and the problems of womenkind. Islam only has the solution. There (in the West) what do they do? They are selling their daughters. They are selling their mothers. They are talking about women's liberalization.
"In Islam, we respect our mother, we respect our daughter, we respect our sister. This is the hijab. They put the blame: 'Oh, they are subjugating the woman by keeping her in a hijab.' We are not subjugating. We are uplifting.
"So what you have to realize, sister, is that it is mere words: 'women's liberalization.' It is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honor. In the garb of women's liberalization, in the name of art and culture, they are selling their daughters."