The Adhaalath Party is reported to have expressed concern at what it sees as “horrifying acts that defy Islamic teachings and social convention” taking place in the country.
“Entertainment activities and events are an important part of a society” read a statement obtained by Haveeru. “But these activities must abide by our religious and social traditions”.
The comments follow controversy surrounding the New Year’s eve ‘Tourist Arrival Countdown Show’, which eventually featured Indian artists ‘Salim-Sulaiman’ after Jamaican artist Sean Paul cancelled following an online death threat.
After Sean Paul’s late cancellation, Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb revealed that a second show would be held on January 8, with an announcement made at the conclusion of Wednesday’s concert that US R&B artist Akon would be performing.
Following the online threats against Sean Paul – later denounced as a hoax by authorities – members of the Adhaalath Party, including the Islamic minister criticised the decision to invite the dancehall singer.
Haveeru have today reported that the party maintained it would not support such activities, urging the youth not to invest all their time in pleasure.
“If the youth are not kept from such decadence they will undoubtedly grow into people from whom neither their families nor the society can benefit,” Haveeru reported the party as saying. “This is the bitter truth”.
Minivan News was unable to obtain comment from the Adhaalath Party members contacted prior to publication.
After safety assurances from police prior to Wednesday night’s concert, the event passed without incident, culminating in the announcement that the country had received a record 1.45 million tourists in 2014.
Plans to hold a concert featuring Akon were attempted in 2010, before the artist pulled out citing technical and security concerns.
In the run-up to the scheduled Akon concert, Islamic minister Dr Shaheem reported receiving a number of complaints about the explicit content of the singer’s lyrics.
Adhaalath Party member Shaheem last week said that bringing foreigners to hold shows coinciding with New Year’s eve – as well as the threats made – were “unacceptable”. Adeeb later told Minivan News that the concert had been discussed at cabinet level and that Shaheem’s comments were merely his personal opinion.
While jihadist group Bilad Al Sham denied being behind the YouTube video threatening Sean Paul’s life, the group did describe the concert as “filthy” and an “ideological attack”.
Meanwhile, local religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf said the state was “investing in destruction” by funding the show.
Adeeb, who has taken a lead in organising and promoting the event, has insisted that attempts to “give back to the youth” will not be obstructed, tweeting: “I will stand against extremism”, and “We will not give into threats”.
In his video message announcing his performance in Malé on January 8, Akon said he would appear after receiving Adeeb’s invite, joking that he had heard everyone was blaming the tourism minister for everything that goes wrong in the country while his 2007 hit ‘Sorry, Blame It on Me’ played in the background.
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