Islamic NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf has called on the government to cancel a New Year’s eve concert featuring Jamaican artist Sean Paul in Malé, a day after an online group threatened to kill the singer should he visit the Maldives.
The NGO’s President Abdulla bin Muhammad Ibrahim said the ‘Tourist Arrival Countdown Show’ on December 31 would encourage youth to remain ignorant and sinful and said the state was “investing in destruction” by funding the show.
“Instead of ensuring the youth, who are the future of this Islamic country, are educated in the ways of Islam and reformed into being religious, the wealthy are encouraging the youth to remain in their ignorant state by getting intoxicated with music and other sinful activities,” said Ibrahim.
The Facebook statement went on to accuse government leader of “keeping the youth on the attractive footsteps of the devil” by arranging the celebration, calling for its cancellation.
“I further call on all brothers and sisters to refrain from participating in such misleading actions, and to do whatever you are capable of doing, in whichever field you can, to ensure that such activities cannot be carried out,” he continued.
The sponsors of the event will “regret their actions on the day of judgement,” added Ibrahim.
Salaf’s statement comes in the aftermath of a video posted on December 25 threatening Sean Paul with death.
“If you visit the Maldives, the world will see your burnt and blood drenched dead body,” read the message in the Youtube video.
The video bore the logo of Bilad Al Sham (BASM), an online group that claims to represent Maldivian militants in Syria. However, the group has denied any involvement in the video’s production.
BASM did, however condemn the concert as “filthy” and “part of the ideological attack being waged by the kuffar and their allies on the Muslim youth to take them further from their Deen.”
Police have confirmed that they are investigating the video and said they will strengthen security at the Galolhu Football Stadium where the concert is to take place.
“We are investigating the video. We also urge the public to not be alarmed or intimidated at all by the video. We are further strengthening security measures in response to the video,” a police spokesperson told Minivan News today.
Police have also issued a press release assuring the public that appropriate security measures would be taken and that a security plan, which includes blocking traffic in areas adjacent to the stadium, has been formulated.
The police said it is confident it can assure the safety of all concert goers based on its experience of overseeing security at international football matches at the Galolhu Stadium.
In addition to Jamiyyathuh Salaf, Adhaalath Party Vice President Dr Mauroof Hussain has also expressed his disapproval with the concert.
“I don’t like the planned new year eve show but I abhor more the extremism of some people issuing death threats which is more unIslamic,” a tweet dated December 26 from Dr Mauroof’s official account read.
The Adhaalath Party’s only parliamentarian Anara Naeem has meanwhile tweeted, saying the youth need Islamic education and not ‘music 24 hours’.
In a second tweet, she criticised the imitation of “Western” culture and celebration of Western festivals.
Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has commented on the threat yesterday via twitter, saying: “Bringing foreigners to hold shows coinciding with the New Year is unacceptable. Issuing death threats is also unacceptable.”
Tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb has also condemned the video, saying that the government would not give in to threats.
The last major Western artist to perform in the capital was Irish singer Chris De Burgh in 2012. Prior to this, a concert featuring R&B singer Akon in 2010 was cancelled, with the event’s managers citing technical and security concerns.
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