Letter on tolerance & dialogue

Dear Editor,
I am appalled at the ease with which Muslims in the Maldives and all over the world take offence at the slightest indication that there is an opposing view expressively forbidden by Islam. Constitutional law dictates that all tenets of Islam should be observed strictly and nothing else can supersede this entrenchment. Unfortunately, we do not do that. We have adapted and inherited a watered-down version of Islam and rally in Islam’s names as hypocrites. Hypocrisy is the Maldivian National Identity.
I strongly appeal as a Muslim moderate to open up a dialogue and invite the public to educate and inform about the numerous cases of openly homosexual, atheistic or agnostic Maldivians, who by law are stateless. The purpose of this is not their persecution, but the need to create awareness among the public on how to use tolerant means to either get these segments of society to respect our constitution and the growing need to secure rights for minorities without necessarily secularising the Maldives.
As Maldivians, we have to acknowledge that there are Maldivians who are either apostates or non-practicing Muslims, for a milder word. We need to respect their rights. And they in turn need to respect the Islamic sentiments and sensitivities of the Maldivian People. Without it, we are doomed to anticipate religious conflict which will be perpetuated by extremists on either end of the table.