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Islamic ministry raises concern over religious divisions

Expressing concern over religious and social divisions in the Maldives, the Islamic ministry has warned the public against “words and actions that upset social and religious customs.”

In a statement on Thursday, the ministry stressed “age-old Maldivian unity” and said any act that may disrupt religious unity is an offense under the Religious Unity Act of 1994.

“The ministry has noted a spread in words and actions that create social and religious divisions and ideological differences. This has disrupted age-old social order and social customs. Such actions that are contrary to Maldivian customs and public interest facilitate divisions, quarrels and social unrest,” the statement read.

“We take this opportunity to remind and advice [the public] that any actions that undermine religious unity, sovereignty and independence of the Maldives is prohibited under Article 4 of the Religious Unity Act.”

The Islamic ministry’s media official, Ibrahim Abdulla Saeed, declined to reveal details of actions or words that have caused concern.

“This is just a reminder,” he said.

The religious conservative Adhaalath Party, which was controlled the Islamic affairs portfolio in successive governments, split from the ruling coalition in March and launched an antigovernment campaign over the imprisonment of ex-president Mohamed Nasheed and ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

Several scholars have since condemned what they call President Abdulla Yameen’s growing authoritarianism and warned of Allah’s wrath over “injustice and brutality.”

Islamic minister Dr Shaheem Ali Saeed resigned in early May shortly after Adhaalath president Sheikh Imran Abdulla’s arrest hours after he led a historic antigovernment protest on May 1.

Imran remains in police custody.

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  1. Thanks for refreshing my memory. I had almost forgotten there is no free speech in Maldives.

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