DRP proposes amendments to Religious Unity Act

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrasheem Ali has proposed amendments to the religious unity act.

Presenting the bill, Dr Afrasheem said that social unity among Maldivians was weaker than it had been in the past.

”One reason for this [disruption] is issues of  religion, particularly disputes over worship and (scholars) criticising each other,” Dr Afrasheem.

He proposed that the Shafi sect be enshrined as the basis of Islam in the Maldives.

”I selected the Shafi sect because it is the sect most friendly, most accepted and most widely followed sect in Islam,” he said.

People’s Alliance (PA) Party MP Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakuru said that the bill was necessary for the country.

”The Maldives used to be a country which was an example of social unity, but now we see cracks in that fort,” said Jamal.

Independent MP Ibrahim Muthalib also supported the bill.

”This is a very important bill,” said Muthalib, recommending several amendments to article 2(d) and article 2(e), after observing that the bill could potentially narrow the opportunity for foreign scholars to preach in the Maldives.

DRP MP Ahmed Mahloof also supported the bill.

”I recall during the last presidential elections, the Adhaalath party – which claimed to be promoting and protecting religion – tried to make (people believe) that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was a Christian,” said Mahloof. ”This is the situation of our country today.”

He said that it was very important to resolve disputes among people.

Chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and MP Mariya Didi thanked Dr Afrasheem for presenting the bill to amend the Religious Unity Act, observing that “our forefathers have protected the religion for 800 years.”

In May the Islamic Ministry announced that it had completed the new religious unity act, and has sent it to the government’s gazette for publication.

However when the new regulations were completed many organisations expressed concern over the regulations and it was held by the president’s office for amendments.


18 thoughts on “DRP proposes amendments to Religious Unity Act”

  1. I tell you.

    This Muthalib and Jamal are Piss Artists pretending to be what they are not.

    The Jamal guy has grade 7 level of education and spend most of his working life correcting grammar mistakes in Dhivehi.

    Mutalib is a sheikh who secured a seat for Adalat party running on an independent ticket.

    These two people cannot see the world beyond the tip of their noses. I heard they are putting their heads together to present the following bills in the next few weeks as they feels these bills are critical for the solidarity of the nation.

    1. A Bill to prevent men from wearing underclothes such as panties as men should be made to feel free at all times.

    2. A Bill to make female circumcision mandatory as men should always appear to be the strongest sex.

    3. A Bill to promote public flogging of women as a daily sports activity to enable women to remind themselves who they really are.

    4. A Bill to allow men with four wives a free trip to Hajj funded by the public as a means to enable rapid population growth.

    5. A Bill to cut duty on aphrodisiacs to increase men's virility as men should be happy at all times.

    6. A Bill to make it mandatory that all new born babies should have at least five names including their father's and their paternal grandfather's to enable men to be proud of their living sperms.

    So public, be prepared.

  2. Three points to be noted

    a ) Quote: "the Adhaalath party – which claimed to be promoting and protecting religion – tried to make (people believe) that former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was a Christian"

    True. And, if the religious unity regulations are implemented, THIS same party of wahhabis are going to be given absolute authority over religion.

    Gayyoom, being an influential figure (and a religious scholar in his own right), could easily get away with it.

    But how would an average citizen fend off a witch hunt kicked off by this party to get rid of critics?

    They already accuse secularists of being 'laadheenee' and feminists of being 'lesbians' [and - heavens pardon their meagre intellect - Minivan News for promoting lesbianism and 'sissyness'!]

    b) The wahhabi clerics (loyal to Saudi Arabia) of the Adhaalath party do not identify themselves as such.

    They have been known in the past to cleverly identify themselves as Shafiite muslims, and thus change the definition of the term to suit their politics.

    c) I was wondering if there could by anything even remotely good in this proposed amendment. Any such hopes are severely dashed considering that Muttalib endorses it.

    The religious unity regulations need to relegated to the trash bin, where it truly belongs.

    We do not need another instrument of mass oppression in the hands of wily politicians.

  3. Such narrow minded and backward people we have in our Majlis! I tell you brothers, we are back tracking to the 7th century.

  4. I do not support any Bill which is drafted by nonreligious people which I do not know even if they pray 5 times a day. Allah (swt) knows best.

    Dr Afrasheem Ali should not try to implement something which is his own personal view. There are a few schools of thought in Islam these days. I personally try my best to just follow the footsteps of the Prophet (pbuh) and not Shafi or any other school of thought. I read all of them because it is good for my knowledge, but they are no Prophet hence if you pick just one, then you will be following a certain man. Instead all great schools of thought should be learned so that we understand Islam from all sides.

    They all have great lessons for us to learn. But the best of lessons is learned by reading about the life of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

    The way it is now is good enough. Everyone is getting their fair of chances to voice out. This way we all get to know who is a believer and who is a hypocrite. Making laws would just make people not show their true colours. Maybe in the future when the Government is actually an Islamic government which properly educated people in Islam in Parliament.. then we can have discussions on this.

    DRP and other MPs all need to concentrate on street crimes. What are you elected to Parliament for? Wasting your time or making the streets safe for voters?

  5. What a democratic change we have!!! I really miss the peace and loving society we had just fews ago.

  6. Food for thought: Laws that cannot be properly and effectively enforced, allow for selective enforcement when and if politicians desire to silence an opponent.

  7. Many of us complain about the use of religion for political gain. Gayoom used it to discredit the secular heirs of Nasir, and to destroy all his new political rivals. During the last election, every candidate was a heretic or an apostate or a Christian, if you believed what each said about the other. Is it not plainly obvious that what we need is less religion in politics?

    If parliament wants to get deeper into politics, it should begin by closing the gates of jihad which were opened by a fatwa issued in 1980 by the Grand Sheikh of Saudi Arabia, Adelaziz Bin Baz. The timing of the fatwa, just weeks after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, clearly reflects its close association with the Carter Doctrine, whose primary aims were to contain Soviet access to the Arabian oilfields and to bolster the House of Saud, shaken by the fall of the Shah and the siege of the Grand Mosque by Juhayman bin Seif al Uteybi and his militant Wahhabis.

    So the parliament should pass a law condemning the Cold War origins of the Fatwa Decreeing that Going to Jihad in Afghanistan is an Individual Duty of Every Muslim. And the Fatwa too should be banned in Maldives.

    Parliament may also consider a law banning the solicitation, facilitation, and implementation of charitable works from Saudi Arabia in Maldives.

    DRP must also investigate the activities of the former government through Gayoom's membership in the Constituent Council of the World Muslim League. How much money did they give to members of the Council and to what use were that money put to?

  8. So the parliament is going to tell us what we can think, dream, hope, speak and act? I wonder if my MP would be there to intercede on my behalf when I am questioned on the Yaum al Qiyamah? Would the MP say, O Lord, Deejay Majeed followed Shafi Madhhab because, I, as his vicar and MP forced him to do so? Or would my MP be in the company of Pope Urban III and Peter the Hermit?

    What right do these MPs have to pontificate to me what time I should perform my Asr prayer or how I should clasp my hands in prayer or whether or not I lose my ablution by saying hello to my wife? Don't these idiots in parliament know that they should not pass legislation that they cannot implement?

    We can call Afra Sheem the Pope of Maldivian Orthodox Church, elevate Muttalib and Mahloof to the rank of Cardinal. And I have also begun to understand why speaker Shahid labelled Thasmeen and Moosa as ministers. But how do you solve a problem like Maria? She does not belong to the Convent at Hakuraage.

  9. Muttalib and Jamal and the rest of the criminals are enemies of the Maldivian Race, enemies of every Maldivian child, enemies of every Maldivian yet unborn. And they will be dealt with as such.

  10. See these parliamentarians have not done anything to address any of our porbelms. There only job has been to create trouble and conflict. Now what is this issue... Afrasheem, we know our religion, and we do not need you to tell us how to parctice it. You do what we asked you to do. Solve our problems.... You are not a teacher for god sake

  11. not long before they come up with the concept of killing children in order to save them in the afterlife

    i thought the governments job was to save us in the here & now
    it our job to save our self in the afterlife
    seriously wtf!!

  12. "100% muslim state" has always been and will always be a political statement. because there is no such thing unless you fail the nerve to accept that not everyone thinks alike and you will never be able to control people's thought.
    the fact of the matter is, no group of people are 100% anything, and we know it. politicians like to keep the citizen in line so that they can control whichever the way they want.. religion seems to be the cheapest and most powerful tool so far.

    note that im not talking against religion here, but the people. the power hungry politicians who will go their way to use religion for achieiving their political goals.. religion will be best practiced and followed when you empower people to make that decision by themselves, not by forcing. let the truth prevail.

  13. Parliament is going to issue us (Maldivians) new Religious Identity cards, which we can use at the hereafter. All new coffins (sandoh) will have a special pocket to fit the id card of the dead. Looks like we mankind has got our own idea about the day of judgement. If the Maldivian flag is to be carried then, will it be gayyoom, or barakaathu who will lead the Maldivians into salvation.
    By the way it sounds as if Mahfool is going to return the great cross of St. Michael and St. George .... I am dead against it. We shall let Gayyoom carry the cross he so dearly achived, with him in the coffin. We Maldivians shall be buried with our islamic ID which will also state Mazhab as "Safi".
    Now I am a 100% Maldivian, meaning I am naturally a Muslim of the Safi Mazhab and approved by the Maldivian Parliament. Thank you thank you Majlis Izzaiytheri boys .....

  14. This is a an absolutely necessary piece of legislation. The fact is Shafi Mazhab is no better than the other three Mazhabs.All four Mazhabs in the Sunni Jamaa'th are equally good. The present set of Wahhaabee fanatics in charge of religion will have to be contained unless we want to install a hardline and extremist Govt.These Mullahs are having a field day, exploiting the the lack of religious policies in the present government.So this bill is urgently required.

  15. Agree with gman. The purpose of religion/spirituality will be best served if it is kept separate from politics. The name of religion is usually perverted by power hungry politicians who are often willing to do whatever it takes to bring/keep people under their control. If they do not come out with a religious card themselves, they often use other less aware politicians or those with 'religious' credentials as a front for this purpose.


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