Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has condemned former Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem’s claim of connections between the Islamic Ministry and the Islamic State.
In an interview with India’s first post, Naseem blamed Shaheem for “Maldives’ rapid degeneration into Wahabi Islam” and said Shaheem was “in cahoots with the IS.”
In response, Shaheem tweeted last night: “The Maldives’ Islamic Ministry does not support the IS ideology. I have repeatedly said so before.”
Dhivehi raajjeyge islami ministry in IS ge fikurakah thaaidheh nukuraane. mikan thakuraarukoh vaanee haamakoffa
— د.محمد شهيم علي سعيد (@Mohamedshaheem1) February 21, 2015
On August 24, Shaheem said in a tweet “ISIS is an extremist group. No space will be given for their ideology and activities in the Maldives.”
Two days later, Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon issued a press release condemned human rights abuses carried out by the IS and called for the respect of life and dignity in the spirit of Islam.
Subsequently, approximately 200 people carrying the ISIS flags marched in Malé calling for the implementation of the Islamic Shari’ah.
The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has repeatedly questioned the government’s sincerity, alleging the government had failed to take concrete action against growing radicalism.
Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed in January estimated over 50 Maldivians to be fighting in foreign civil wars.
Since then, a former cleric of Malé’s Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and his wife reportedly left to ISIS-held territory in Syria for jihad.
A Facebook group called Bilad Al-Sham, claiming to represent Maldivians in Syria reported at least five Maldivians have been killed in battle in the Middle East last year.