Islamic Minister calls on state to withdraw all cases against religious scholars

Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali has called on the state to withdraw all court cases filed against Islamic scholars during past administrations.

“The cases filed against scholars during past administrations often involve charges for preaching religious advice without permits,” Shaheem told local media SunOnline.

“There are some charges previously filed against certain scholars, for example Sheikh [Ibrahim] Fareed. The charges against him are for preaching without a permit. I have spoken with Sheikh Fareed about this matter. In my capacity as Islamic minister, I call on the relevant authorities of the government to withdraw cases like this. These are very hurtful charges. Such charges should not be allowed to be levied against university educated, capable scholars, especially not under the current constitution,” Shaheem said.

Shaheem said that in a time where freedom to preach religion is exercised so freely, it is the duty of scholars to “invite people to religion to the extent of their capabilities” and that they should be granted that freedom as long as they do not make any statement which goes against Islam.

“Now, if they start giving out ‘fatwa’s, giving out judgements on what is ‘haram’ or ‘halal’ and speaking against the principles of Sharia, then action against them can be taken under the Religious Unity Act. I, however, cannot agree that there must be charges against someone for simple religious preaching, like asking people to go pray or pay alms,” Shaheem stated.

Speaking about scholars who held different views on religious matters, Shaheem said that such differences should be sorted through peaceful dialogue, and not through jail sentences and torture.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has previously held meetings to resolve dissenting opinions on religious matters, under the name of ‘Scholar’s Dialogue’.

Shaheem was travelling and unable to speak at the time of press.


13 thoughts on “Islamic Minister calls on state to withdraw all cases against religious scholars”

  1. In the end, Fareed, Shaheem and other scholars are all humans. It's a bad idea to grant them special privileges (oh wait, we already do) and withdraw all cases against them. Those cases need to be looked back on and only withdrawn if the charges are dropped or if there is no evidence.

  2. They should not be allowed to Preach Islam.

    1) Maldives is 100% Islamic Nation but they call the Extremist are only Islam and the rest are unbelievers.

    2)Why do we or they need a political party to preach Islam.

    3) They only go to Island to Preach if they sine 100 members to Political Party

  3. Who is Shaheem to call on the State to recall the cases? The State is the people of a country. If the people know that these pseudo-religious scholars spew nothing but lies, hate, destruction and the over-throw of the peoples power and legitimacy, the people have every right to demand their removal from what ever posts they hold! These are the very traitors who politicised religion for their own gain and destroyed the whole nation! The people pay for their posts in the useless Islamic Ministry (big mistake to even have it in the first place)! On with the cases please! Its our tax money and we demand that the cases be looked into!

  4. Maldives must delete this Ministry of Islam, to come into the 21st century. Embrace a state where religion is separate from governance and state.

  5. Although I do not agree with Shaheem on most matters, I totally agree with Shaheem on this one. People like Fareed are not just "pseudo-religious scholars" as some here would say. Fareed is a university educated scholar from a reputable institution. There are quite a few scholars who are in that category.

    For those who argue about "politicised religion", make no mistake that Islam makes no distinction between religion, life or politics; they all merge under one philosophy, i.e. Islam. It makes me sad to hear Maldivians talking utter rubbish here.

    For one thing, Islam is no worse than all the rest of the religions of the world and certainly far better than quite a few of them, including the most mainstream ones. You cannot separate the "state" from Islam; it makes no sense whatsoever. The only way to do that separation is to leave Islam aside completely. Kemal Ataturk tried that and it didn't really work; just go to Turkey and find out for yourself.

    At the end of the day, religion is there to remind us why we are here and about the importance of respecting each other regardless of differing views. Religion is the collected wisdom of humanity over its billions of years on planet earth. You cannot dismiss it so easily!

  6. What is there to preach by Mullahs. Religious preaching is derived from common sense of average man in the dark ages when people are not fully aware of the nature and universe. Do people need to be taught stealing, killing, raping, drugs, cheating, womanizing, gambling are immoral. Anyone who cannot distinguish good and bad is definitely not normal human being. People are the products of social pressure, environment and genetics. I don’t see Mullah can contribute anything good to social harmony and well being of people. If Mullahs want to prepare people for the hereafter, and train people to be salves of some imaginary God, this is definitely abusing innocent ignorant people to deprive their emotional well being in the real world and this must be stopped by sane people. Indoctrinating children with imaginary hell fire and heaven, and brain washing them with the myths of ancient people is simply abusing children and making them useless human being.

  7. It is true to argue that politics, religion and life are all very much the same thing in an Islamic society. However, whether or not all the so called Islamic 'scholars' are worth listening to is another matter. As many Islamic nations show us, religion is used as an excuse to stay in the dark ages and stop any liberal or progresive ideas influence social development. This is driven by a fear of change and a reluctance to part with the many advantages and privileges afforded to men in the religion.
    As for Ataturk- don't dismiss him that easily. The foundation he laid for Turkey has lasted to this day and as we watch we see an Islamic governemnt take over and begin to undermine the progressive society he helped to build. Even with that Turkey is doing well, and is most likely the first Eastern country to be allowed into the European Community.
    Yes, it all depends on your point of view. For me personally, as much as we must respect and preserve our past and our way of doing things, the utter failure to come to terms with changes in the world we live in, is immensely dangerous.
    And for this reason, there should be no special privileges for the Islamic 'scholars'.

  8. Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace

  9. The cherges against the religious scoolars must be dropped immedaitly, othervise we vill go on rampage and beat everyone up. we vill also destroy all idols in musuems and pubblic places also.
    Sharia law for Maldives now. Everyone must ware burka including men. Women who fornikkate must be publikly flogged for the entertainment of the men.
    Exkuse poor inglis I am from Pakistan.

  10. Watched interesting debate, ex-British PM Tony Blair versus Christopher Hitchens. You can find it on youtube if you like.

    Both Blair and Hitchens admitted the problems caused by religion. Hitchens solution was - to combat religious belief in general for the liberation of humanity. Blair, on the other hand, saw it as more beneficial, because a more realizable ambition, to promote humanity by emphasizing the positive, peaceful, humanistic aspects of religion. Given the depth of belief in many Maldivians, I think that Blair's approach seems the more pragmatic approach to creating peace etc... in Maldives.

  11. @ Pen Blewright
    As a christian apostate what are the 'positive, peaceful, humanistic aspects' of islam that you are droning on about?
    As for the positive aspects of islam ask the shias, ahmadiyas and sufis ( the wrong type of muslims) who face violence on a daily basis from sunnis (the right type of muslims?).
    Considering that almost all terrorist acts in the world and the killing of innocent people is carried out by your sunni brothers, that blows the peaceful aspect out of the water.
    And when you consider the violence and mayhem in muslim lands like Mali, Tunisia, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan what remains of humanity in these lands?
    Whatever you do Benjamin, hang on to your Aussie passport!!......also remember that in sharia law the punishment for apostacy is death!!......oops did you say islam is a peaceful religion?


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