Imposing the death penalty, following Shari’a, and harsher prison conditions are the best way forward for solving the increasing violence in Maldivian society, several MPs have stated.
Fares-Maathodaa MP Ibrahim Muththalib said the major problem faced by society today is the decision of the criminal justice system to ignore Shari’a. “We cast aside the Shari’a and adopted man-made sentencing laws”, he said, making today’s violent society possible.
“Instead of being put to death, murderers are allowed to languish in prisons, given the opportunity to get married and to procreate. We cannot stop the violence without stopping such practices. We cannot stop such problems without a death for death policy”, Muththalib told the Majlis.
“I believe that if you impose the death sentence on just two people in this country, there will no longer be anyone left who will kill. If you amputate the hands of two people in this country, there will be no more thieves left. We have to think about how we can establish these principles of Islam”, Muththalib said.
The debate began after an emergency motion tabled by Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Rasheed on Monday to discuss the violent murder of 81-year-old business man, Hussein Manik, on September 27 in Hoarafushi.
“Those who kill should be killed”, Rasheed said, introducing the motion. “We should amend our penal system to ensure that those who endanger the lives of others would be held in solitary confinement for life, and are never eligible for parole”, Rasheed told the Majlis.
If the murderers of Mohamed, or “any criminals of the sort” should ever return to Hoarafushi, he said, he would personally lead a campaign to provide justice to the people of the island. “I will not hesitate, even if it means that I personally get entangled in the law.”
Madaveli MP Mohamed Nazim agreed that the death penalty, as in the Shari’a, was the answer. “Islam is unequivocal that the penalty for death should be death”. The current violence in the country is a consequence of ignoring or violating the teachings of Islam, he said.
“Otherwise, had we maintained the principle of death for death the murderer would not be there to kill again, or to encourage others to kill. The problems we are confronting today is a consequence of ignoring this principle, which would have set an example for the Ummah and the nation’, he said.
Nazim also said there is no need to amend the country’s murder laws, as the death penalty already exists. “I do not see anything in the penal code that says the penalty for murder should be changed to 25 years imprisonment”.
Nazim said that unless and until the death penalty is imposed, as it is stated in the current penal code, the escalating violence in the Maldives could not be stopped.
Thoddoo MP Ali Waheed attributed the increase in violent crime to the lack of proper prisons. “People who should be behind bars are sitting around on the beaches, sucking on butts and all sorts of things – this is the result”, he said.
Drugs, agreed several MPs, were the main cause for the increase in violence in the Maldives. “We know that sometimes people can get intoxicated to such an extent that they become unaware of their own actions. Sometimes murder can be committed,” said Vilifushi area MP Riyaz Rasheed.
MPs themselves should set a good example, and allegations of intoxicating substances being found in their places of residence or their vehicles are not helping matters, Riyaz Rasheed said.
“Pictures of official delegations abroad show them drinking some sort of a yellow liquid”, he said. Unless such ways are amended, there would be no solution to the social problems of the Maldives today, Riyaz Rasheed said.
Maavashu member Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakr suggested that religious scholars can make the most important contribution to the problems in society. Perjury, he said, is a major problem in Maldivian courts.
The gravity of such an act, as stated in Islam, should be made clear. “It is incumbent upon religious scholars to relay the ominous penalties that await such actions in Islam”, he said.