Religious scholars warn of God’s wrath over corruption and injustice

A group of religious scholars have warned of God’s wrath on the Maldives due to rampant corruption, brutality, and injustice.

Prominent scholars including former Islamic minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari and former member of the judicial watchdog Sheikh Shuaib Abdul Rahman described the Maldives as a country “drowning in a sea of atrocities” and pleaded with president Abdulla Yameen to heed the opposition’s calls for dialogue.

“The Maldives is on the verge of an imminent God’s wrath. The executive and the judiciary have lost its powers and trust while the nation has forgotten that God has handed down justice,” read the joint statement by 15 scholars.

President’s office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali welcomed the statement, but said there were no specific allegations to respond to.

“Everybody including the religious scholars has the right to voice their opinions and I welcome it. But if they are accusing the government of something there has to be specifics,” he told Minivan News today.

Religious scholars have not spoken out as a group against corruption in the judiciary and independent institutions so far despite low public confidence and a sex scandal in mid-2013 involving a Supreme Court justice.

The religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) has meanwhile come under fire for its use of religious rhetoric for political campaigning.

The opposition-aligned scholars in Tuesday’s statement also criticised the trials of former president Mohamed Nasheed and ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

The accused are required to prove their innocence in some cases while in others defendants are cleared of charges because the state fails to establish guilt with sufficient evidence, they noted.

“This is not accepted even in human laws let alone the Islamic sharia,” the scholars said.

While the executive power boasts of its focus on youth development, the scholars said the government is paving the “path to ruin” for young people. Institutions that should serve the people are “rotting with corruption”, they contended.

Corruption in all ranks of the government has become commonplace, accepted, and even necessary for advancement, the scholars said.

The ministry of Islamic affairs last month issued an incendiary sermon warning corrupt judges of hellfire.