Religious NGO Jamiyathul Salaf has rejected an invitation extended by the President Mohamed Nasheed, to discuss and peacefully resolve the rising religious tensions in the Maldives.
The President’s Office said that the invitation was sent to the President of Salaf, Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed Ibrahim, requesting he attend a meeting scheduled for Sunday.
However, according to the local media, Sheikh Abdullah rejected the offer in a letter he sent to the President Office, claiming the President Nasheed wants to meet and “defend” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay’s call for a moratorium and debate on the practice of flogging for extramarital sex.
Minivan News could not get his comment at the time of press.
Abdullah bin Mohamed Ibrahim was quoted in local news paper Haveeru, saying that he “does not want to debate Islamic penalties” clearly stated in Quran and revealed by Prophet’s Sunnah.
He also reportedly urged the President to end his “calls for religious debate on Islamic penalties.”
Following the explosive reaction against Pillay, President Nasheed argued that “our scholars lost the chance to showcase Sharia’s compatibility with human rights, by reacting in a provocative and ‘Jihadi’ manner.”
Speaking on the same issue in last week’s radio address, President claimed that in the name of protecting Islam, the real call of religious protesters was to initiate the implementation of Islamic penalties such as stoning, hand-cutting and execution in the Maldives.
He noted that in consideration of all its actions to date, it is evident that the state has a tradition of pardoning strict punishments for criminal offences committed against Islamic Law – however, he said that in the exercise of penal flagellation, the government has not exempted any convicts charged with adultery from punishment.
President also reaffirmed that all actions taken by the Government in matters involving Islamic jurisprudence, the Government will base its course of action only on the “consensus and counsel of Islamic scholars”.