Maldivians among 161 Muslim clerics evicted from Sri Lanka for illegal preaching

Sri Lanka has ordered a group of 161 foreign Islamic clerics – including a number of Maldivian citizens – to leave the country after they were found preaching Islam illegally.

AFP reported the Controller of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka Chulananda Perera as saying that the clerics belonging to the Tabligh Jamat group, and were ordered to leave following complaints from the Muslim community that the “clerics were not preaching the moderate Islam” practiced normally in the Buddhist dominant country.

Perera also told that the clerics arrived in Sri Lanka on the tourist visas and they had violated Sri Lanka’s immigration laws by preaching Islam.

“We have ordered them to leave the country by January 31. They have violated immigration laws. A tourist visa is to have a holiday or visit friends and family and not to preach Islam,” Perera told AFP.

Foreign clerics are required to submit an application to the Sri Lankan religious affairs authorities to get permission before preaching Islam.

According to Perera, the clerics arrived in Sri Lanka last month in small batches.

The preachers included Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Maldivian and Arab nationals, although authorities did not specify the number of people belonging to each country.

The Maldives Foreign Ministry did not specify the number of Maldivians ordered to leave, although it confirmed the report.

“The ministry is deeply upset that some Maldivians were among the group of people ordered to leave the country for breaching Sri Lankan law,” the official added, advising Maldivians visiting abroad to respect the rules and regulations of countries they were visiting.

Tablighi community scrutinised

The group to which the clerics belonged to remains “controversial” among the Muslim community and has been criticised even by the some local religious NGOs in the Maldives.

When the Islamic Ministry permitted a group of five Tablighi Jamaat members to preach in the Maldives in 2009, several religious scholars advised the public not to join their gatherings and walked out from the mosques during the Tablighi scholars’ sermons.

Speaking to Minivan News at the time, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Ibrahim, the president of religious NGO Jamiyyathu Salaf, said the Tablighi Jamaat “have beliefs and principles which conflict with the true Islamic creed.”

He added that no prominent scholar had accepted their principles and all had warned against them for their “misconceptions”.

Further, Sheikh Aboobakuru said a number of Islamic clerics, including the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz, had urged Muslims to stay away from the group.

But, Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, State Minister for Islamic Affairs at the time, defended the ministry’s decision to issue preaching permits to the group saying “they are not extremists and they are preaching according to guidelines given by the ministry”.

Speaking to Minivannews on Sunday, Ibrahim Fauzee, President of the Islamic Foundation of the Maldives (IFM) also said that it is “concerning to hear” that Maldivians are participating in the Tablighi group.

“I do not know about the Maldivians being deported from Sri Lanka. But we have  heard that some Maldivians are involved in Tablighi group. This is very concerning and needs to be investigated,” Fauzee said.

He also added that the Tabligh group widely promotes Sufi beliefs, as opposed to the Sunni Islam practices in Maldives.

The Tablighi Jamaat, (‘society for spreading faith’) is described on Wikipedia as a religious movement founded by a Muslim named Maulana Muhammed Ilyas India in 1926, in response to degradation in practice of Islamic principles and values among the common Muslim folk and efforts by organisations to convert poorer sections of Muslims to Hinduism.

The movement primarily aims at Tablighi spiritual reformation by working at the grass roots level, reaching out to Muslims across all social and economic spectra to bring them closer to Islam, according to the site.

The movement gradually expanded from local to national, and turned to a translational movement and now has followers in over 150 countries.

Due to the orthodox nature of Tablighi Jamaat, they have been criticised for being retrogressive, according to the entry: “The women in the movement observe full hijab for which the Tablighi Jamaat is accused of keeping women strictly subservient”.

The group is also widely criticised for their “neutral political stance” and accused of being a “recruiting ground by al-Qaeda” – allegations which the movement has denied repeatedly.


24 thoughts on “Maldivians among 161 Muslim clerics evicted from Sri Lanka for illegal preaching”

  1. Good move. Maldivian government does not have the guts to expel or imprison those who try to instill pure hatred / dissonance / discord / racism in the country.

    I commend the Sri Lankan government.

    Do not ever let the Islam get the better of you. We regret the day the Arabian dog from Morocco landed on our soil, some 7 centuries ago and spread the pure evil that it has become now!

  2. Ahsan that's a but aggressive, I think it should be read , 'I regret the daya a Maldivian dog gave birth to pure evil like me' .

  3. Silly atheists.

    You see, every government wants to maintain social cohesion - and sometimes, that cohesion comes at the expense of personal liberty.

    Unless you are a foolish idealist, that is prepared to face the turmoil and unrest concomitant to 'enforcing' freedoms that an irate population do not wish to embrace, and will violently resist - then take solace in the rule of law, throw away your pride, and shut up about your lack of faith. Or consequences will follow.

    Thus I can understand why the Sri Lankan government wishes to stop the spread of elements they view as threatening to their social fabric; but ultimately, they do not have the right to prevent the efforts of those men, who only seek to instill the light of Islam into other mens hearts, and save them from the worship of their false Gods.

    I condemn them this outrageous display of Islamophobic bigotry.

  4. @Ahsan_Sulaiman

    "Good move. Maldivian government does not have the guts to expel or imprison those who try to instill pure hatred / dissonance / discord / RACISM in the country."

    "We regret the day the ARABIAN DOG from Morocco landed on our soil"

    Smooth words there genius...

    Ah the imbecility of the atheist never ceases to amaze me.

  5. what dare sri lankan people disrespect maldives people! i'm so angry because islam!

  6. @Dhivehi Hanguraama

    "but ultimately, they do not have the right to prevent the efforts of those men, who only seek to instill the light of Islam into other mens hearts, and save them from the worship of their false Gods"

    Actually the Sri Lankan government does have the ultimate right to expel foreigners who violate their laws. The SL government decides what laws work best for their own country just like any sovereign nation. The clerics didn't apply for the correct visitor visa. Therefore, they broke the law and have been forced to leave.

    Absolutely no different from foreigners being expelled from Maldives for preaching religions other than Islam. Except for when it happens in Maldives, it's an "outrageous display of Christian-phobic bigotry" (to use your words).

  7. Dear all. With my deepest respect for you and your country: You are an islamic country and there is nothing bad about that. That is the religion you choose (or your where confined to long ago), but there is nothing wrong, feel proud of what you are. Just make sure that racism doesn't take over, that extremism will not talke over, that madness wil not take over, or the tourism will stop and you cannot aford that mistake.
    May G bless the ones that really believe in HIS mandates and work to make people freer from their pain and fear. GOD would never create pain or fear just for pleasure. It is not in HIS plans.

  8. Did they have work permits? No. Does the Maldives deport people for working in the country without permits? Yes. It's honestly as simple as that. Plus it's always good to get ride of fundamentalists like these clerics poisoning the minds.

  9. There should be more governments like the Sri Lankan who have the guts to expel people who overstay their visas. Being Muslim DOES NOT give the right to ignore the laws of the country. Over the centuries we have seen what happens when people enforce their religious beliefs on others. Generally it results in the ethnic people losing their culture and identity.

  10. Very astute move indeed! The Maldives are apparently a hotbed of Islamic radicalism. Anyone coming from there to Sri Lanka to 'preach' is almost certain to be involved in a radicalisation program.
    It's all part of the 'mantiki' ambitions to divvy up the world into Islamic sectors of governance as part of the wider Caliphate.

  11. even the srilankan government has more courage than our government..

    I commend the Sri Lankan government.

  12. ""He also added that the Tabligh group widely promotes Sufi beliefs, as opposed to the Sunni Islam practices in Maldives.""

    Thats just utter nonsense...people just say things without solid facts...firstly its not a group all this "tabligh group" is a name given by people...if people really go and see only then they can tell whats happening...i think my life is better after getting involved with them...allegations of spreading extremism is just an excuse for groups who dont agree...the teaching is How we can follow the commandments of ALLAH swt and ways of Prophet PBUH...simple....its a life changing effort..there are many who transformed from worst to the best in a society and its all because of this people stop complaining and first get your facts right

  13. This is a big lie. This cannot be true. Thableegess do not propagate islam to non muslims. Their main objective is to bring muslims back to the religon. They will never ever invite non muslims.

  14. Oh dear me. What has the SriLankan people done to deserve this?

    Oh Beardees, please have some sense of kindness here. Only recently did the SriLankans managed to finally settle their domestic dispute. They are now working their butts off to catch up for the lost years.

    With this new market-found 'Islam calling' by the beardees, i fear that what SriLankans faced in the past 30 years in civil war, would be smooth sailing, compared to what is coming now.

    I feel so very sorry for Sri Lanka! The beardees have now set their sights on you and unfortunately they will not stop until they see a wasted land there, like the Afghanistan desert lands.

    SriLankans : For the love of god, for the love of country, for the love of people both Tamil and Singhalese, do take a firm stance on this incoming viral disaster and kick the Islamic fundamentals out. Permanently. You can temporarily forget about human rights while you go about this!

  15. Mr Antonio from Al Andalus.

    Why do you comment on this Islamic website, which is registered in an Islamic country? Don't you have other Jewish websites you can go to, and spread hatred against 9 year old Palestinian children? Don't you know any other websites where people like you can gather and discuss evil ways to divert Muslims from the righteous path?
    May Allah SWT's wrath be upon you and your family!

    As for this organization, I fear the idol worshiping Jews known as the Buddhists are very afraid in this case! They are afraid that the true religion of Islam, may spread like wildfire in their country, making their millions of false Gods merely a joke! They fear the rise of Muslims, and the ultimate transformation of South Asia into a South Asian Islamic Caliphate, which obviously is our goal.

    These muslims should be allowed to preach the true word of Allah SWT! It is madness to deport them! Truth will stand out from error my dear Maldivian Muslim brothers and non-fornicating sisters!

  16. The 800 year occupation of Maldives by invading Muslim Arabs and their collaborators is being exposed for what it is - an enslavement to Arab & Muslim interests dictated by foreign groups. A new generation of Maldivians will soon reject them and bring freedom.

  17. what dare sri lankan people disrespect maldives people! i’m so angry because islam!

    You mean Maldivians can do any shit in Sri lanka? No way!

  18. 'Dhon Kalo on Mon, 23rd Jan 2012 10:49 AM

    This is a big lie. This cannot be true. Thableegess do not propagate islam to non muslims. Their main objective is to bring muslims back to the religon. They will never ever invite non muslims.'
    Hey do you know that sri lankan Muslims practice islam better than you guys. There is no need for you guys to poke your fingers there.Better mind your business here.

  19. Good Afternoon Everyone,Once a complaint filed to Indian CBI that Tabligh Jamath are spreading extremism and motivating Muslim Community towards political activities, so CBI decided to Spy the situation and sent an undercover team to Delhi Nizamuddin Markez (center) the place anyone can go and stay, So they went through day by day activities of TablighIs in the center; finally,They are tired of finding for what these people were accused and found nothing guilt...
    Because they never talk and involved in worldly Affairs as One of the CBI agent said, "Day and night these people are discussing about the matters related to above the sky (Heaven) and under the earth (after Death) , nothing in between, (No worldly affairs) this movement is such a miraculous and they spend their own money and time to Motivate namely Muslims to becme a Practising Muslim's" .
    If anyone have any doubt about Tabligh Movement should go and spend some time with them, Then come and comment here... Thanks, Hamzah Rahmathullah.

  20. Salam to all who have commented on this topic.To be expelled from a land for merely teaching Islam is not new to us.This has happened to our most beloved Rasoolullah Muhammed Sallalahu Alaiwa Sallem And to his Sahabas(companions).This is a sunnah fulfilled during the time of fitn. Thanks to the Sri Lankan muslim munafiks who showed on their muslim brothers to the mushrikks and to the kuffars. May Allah bless all the brothers who have good faith in this noble work of our Rasoolallah.May Allah give us all the understanding of this great religion Islam. Ya Allah Give Hidaya to who ever deserves it, if not take them away from this world, for they spread fitna in this world.Ameen

  21. What the Tabligh Jamath do is go to house to house, city to city, town to town,country to country spending their own money calling muslim brothers in Islam to pray in the house of Allah which is 27 times more rewarding than praying individually in their own dwellings. In contrary what the "salafs" of today do is sit at home read all the books written by any Tom,Dick and Harry and in that process miss the salat with jamat. Whats the excuse they give "Oh I was gaining knowledge by reading". Neither the salafs nor any other movement do bring one person to the mosque. So pray for our Tabligh brothers.

  22. Assalamu Alaykom from Makkah(Saudi Arabia)
    I would like to say that Islam as a religion will continue with or without Jamat Tabligh, Sri lanka or what ever, go look around, search, read, travel and compare you will agree that Islam is something bigger than what been planned to be destroyed .

    Allah bless & save Islamic Maldives .

  23. Oh dear, I wonder what the Maldivian government would do if 161 Christian clerics were discovered preaching illegally in the Maldives?


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