The minority opposition Jumhoree Party (JP), led by MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim, has issued a statement urging the government of the Maldives to demand the US government take action against those who planned to burn the Quran on September 11.
Pastor Terry Jones, from the 50 member Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Florida, drew headlines worldwide after he announced plans to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The Pastor abandoned the plan on urging from the US government, including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, telling US television network NBC that “even though we have not burned one Quran, we have gotten over 100 death threats.”
The pastor told NBC his goal was “to expose that there is an element of Islam that is very dangerous and very radical [and] we have definitely accomplished that mission.”
The US president meanwhile condemned the proposed burning as “un-American” and “a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda”.
Locally, the Adaalath Party and the JP strongly condemned the planned burning, describing it as an affront to 1.5 billion Muslims across the world.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said the Maldivian government had already taken action, noting that Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed had sent a letter to US authorities “explaining that the plan was against the spirit of Muslims and was not encouraged.”
Zuhair said he respected the call of the Jumhoree Party and all the others who protested against the burning.
Meanwhile, two protesters were killed and five were seriously in Afghanistan after security forces opened fire on the crowd, who were attempting to storm government buildings in Puli-Alam, the capital of the Logar province.
A plan to build an Islamic cultural centre and mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center in New York has also caused controversy.