The ministry of Islamic affairs has reconstituted the Fiqh academy and excluded senior members of the Adhaalath Party.
Former members, Sheikh Ilyas Hussain, Sheikh Iyaz Abdul Latheef, and MP Anara Naeem were not included in the reconstituted academy. Ilyas is the president of the Adhaalath Party’s religious scholars’ council while Iyaz was the vice president of the Fiqh academy.
The religious conservative withdrew its support for the government in March and joined the opposition ‘Maldivians against tyranny’ coalition.
Former Islamic minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed meanwhile resigned from the cabinet earlier this month following the detention of Adhaalath Party president Sheikh Imran Abdulla.
Imran was arrested in the wake of the May Day anti-government demonstration and accused of inciting violence. He remains under police custody.
Deputy Islamic minister Ibrahim Ahmed told local media today that the ministry decided to reconstitute the academy because the previous council was not functioning properly.
Former chief justice under President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Sheikh Mohamed Rasheed Ibrahim, was re-elected as president of the academy, and Islamic college rector Ibrahim Rasheed Moosa was elected vice president.
Rasheed and Moosa were elected at the first meeting of the reconstituted 16-member academy on Wednesday with nine votes in favour out of the 12 members present.
The academy was instituted during the administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed in 2010. His successor, President Dr Mohamed Waheed, reconstituted the academy with a Sharia council and advisory council in December 2013.
The academy’s mandate includes resolving differences of opinion and disputes on religious issues.
The academy has issued fatwas on abortion, kosher meals, marriage of inmates, Muslims visiting temples, taxation, and life insurance.
The other members on the reconstituted academy are Dr Gubad Abubakuru, Sheikh Mohamed Latheef, Sheikh Ali Zahir, Sheikh Adam Shameem Ibrahim, Mohamed Easa, Abdul Sattar Abdul Hameed, Sheikh Ali Najeeb, Sheikh Ishaq Mohamed Fulhu, Samir Zakariyya, Sheikh Ibrahim Ahmed, Sheikh Hassan Thaufeeq, Dr Aishath Muneeza, Mariyam Shabana, and Hassan Saeed.