Zuhair says government is not trying to stop religious lectures

Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair has said that the government does not prevent any authorised scholar from lecturing the public on religious matters, reports Miadhu.

There had been reports of the government putting pressure on Sheikh Ilyas Hussain so he would not speak at a special ceremony hosted by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) on the anniversary of the Maldives’ conversion to Islam.

Zuhair said it was not the government’s policy to stop any licensed sheikh from speaking and they were not trying to stop Ilyas from speaking at the ceremony.

According to Miadhu, both Sheikh Ilyas and a local religious website noorulislam.net had said the government was refusing to allow Ilyas from lecturing at the ceremony.

The Adhaalath Party said there were political reasons behind the cancellation of the Sheikh’s lecture.

Licenses to deliver religious lectures are issued and cancelled by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Majeed said his ministry had not cancelled Ilyas’ license and it had not even been proposed.