A coalition of religious NGOs have claimed that 100,000 people will join a protest in December “to protect Islam”, and called on “all Maldivians to take part”.
Speaking to the press at the Maldives National Broadcasting Corporation (MNBC) studio, President of the NGO Coalition Mohamed Didi said that more than 127 local NGOs, music clubs, political parties and Island Councils would take part in the protest on December 23.
According to MNBC, Didi said the protest was not a movement against the government but a movement “against all un-Islamic ideas.”
Opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader Ibrahim ‘Mavota’ Shareef warned that “our faith will not be shaken by something someone says, but because of these things it might turn the non-muslims living in neighboring countries against us.’’
MNBC reported that the People’s Alliance Party (PA) had called on parents to bring children to the gathering.
Local newspaper Sun quoted Didi as saying that the government had been conducting many activities with the motive of erasing Islam from the country, and claimed that the NGO coalition was “left with no other choice but to protest to protect Islam.”
Senior officials from the Adhaalath Party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and Jumhoree Party (JP) were present at today’s meeting.
Claims that national monuments placed in Addu for the SAARC Summit were idolatrous and hostility towards a call by UN Human Rights Ambassador Navi Pillay for a national debate on flogging sparked protests in Male’ recently.
“This practice constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women, and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country,” Pillay said, referring to the practice of flogging a punishment for fornication.
Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair did not respond to Minivan News at time of press.