Council ‘defied’ court order to change un-Islamic Eid banner

The island council of Gaaf Alif Villigili has been accused of refusing to comply with an order by a magistrate court to change the wording on an Eid celebration banners.

The banners put up on behalf of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Saud Hussain read, “MP Saud’s Eid Happiness.” The Maldives marked the religious holiday on Friday, July 17.

The president of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Villigili branch, Ameez Hassan, filed a case against the island at the island’s magistrate court on Thursday, which ordered the pro-government majority council to change the wordings on the banner.

Ameez told Minivan News today that he objected to the phrase “Saud’s Eid,” contending that the banner was un-Islamic.

“Children see these banners, read them and tell their parent’s that this Saud’s Eid. So I realized these banners are confusing children and contradicts our religion,” he said.

Ameez said he sued the council as the municipal authority’s permission was required to put up banners on the island.

MP Saud meanwhile told Minivan News that he has complied with the court’s ruling.

“The wordings have been changed according to the court’s ruling. This issue did not disrupt any of our festive Eid celebration activities,” he said.

However, PPM councillor Fathuhy Moosa that the banners now read, “MP Saud Eid happiness 2015, Gaaf Alif Vilingili.” The Villigili island council consists of one MDP councillor and six PPM councillors.

Ameez meanwhile said more banners have been put up since the court’s ruling, including one in front of the court. The wordings on the same banner near the island’s performance stage have also been enlarged, he said.

Ameez accused the council of disrespecting the judiciary by “clearly disobeying” an order from the court.

“I plan to take this matter to court as soon as offices open,” he said.

Photo from MP Saud.