The DRP has submitted amendments to the Act on Religious Unity for Majlis consideration. The amendments are designed to “strengthen the Shafi sect Islam in the country, strengthen the Islamic foundation of the country through Islamic education at all academic levels and to prevent Maldivians from studying religions other than Islam,” according to Dr. Afraasheem Ali, MP for Ungoofaaru and chairperson of the DRP’s religious cell.
The bill stipulates that Islam and Dhivehi shall be taught as compulsory subjects from grade 1 to 12 in the Maldives.
It criminalises any action in the Maldives school system to promote religions other than Islam and bans the teaching of those religions.
The bill also makes the Shafi sect the basis of Islam in Maldives.
The bill also calls for the establishment of an independent Fiqh Academy which would issue fatwas on new and emerging issues on Islam and on those issues where there is disagreement among scholars.
Of 72 MPs present and voting, 70 MPs supported accepting the bill for preliminary debate.