Parliament’s Penal Code draft committee has once again decided to summon Chair of Adhaalath Party Religious Council and member of Maldives Fiqh Acadamy Sheikh Ilyas Hussain, after he failed to attend the committee’s previous summons.
The committee stated that it has asked Sheikh Ilyas to attend a committee meeting on May 15 regarding a sermon he gave at the Furugan Mosque in March titled “The Purpose of Islamic Shariah”.
In the sermon, Ilyas swore to God that the Penal Code was intended to destroy the religion of Islam. Calling the penal code “a trap made by the West” to eradicate Islam in the name of Muslims, Ilyas alleged that it did not have penalties for fornication, theft, corruption, forgery, or robbery. He further claimed the code stipulated that if a person claimed they were intoxicated when committing a crime, then they would not be subjected to punishment.
After the initial decision to summon Ilyas, Penal Code Committee Chair Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Hamza rejected the Sheikh’s claims and stated that “[Sheikh Ilyas] has told the public that there are some provisions in the Penal Code that are not in it. We want to bring him and have a chat and inform him about the provisions that are there in the Penal Code.”
“MPs summon me as they are ignorant of the ways of Islam”: Ilyas
Upon being summoned to parliament again, Sheikh Ilyas told local media that the committee continued to summon him only because they were ignorant of the Islamic way regarding the matters he had raised.
Ilyas stated that the parliament members who sat in the committee had insisted that the Penal Code did not have any clauses against Islamic principles, but only because none of them possessed sufficient religious education to understand the reality. He added that he will would explain the matter to the MPs through verses of the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet when he attends the committee meeting.
Ilyas further stated that the bill has a number of clauses which contradicted the penalties defined in Islamic Sharia, and that it had many “deceptive clauses”.
“I will strip the MPs naked”: Ilyas
Sheikh Ilyas was also reported in local media as stating that he would “strip the MPs naked” if he is summoned to the Penal Code Committee.
“I am willing to attend the committee. I will not be called Sheikh Ilyas if I fail to strip them naked. What will they prove? Who gave these people the right to take out the penalties defined in the Quran and categorise them into Part 1 and Part 2?” Ilyas stated.
Ilyas also called on all Maldivian media to broadcast the committee meeting which he is to attend live on TV.
Ilyas made the comments at the gathering held by Adhaalath Party and the National Movement at the Artificial Beach on April 30.
The Adhaalath Party has previously alleged that the parliament committee had added a clause to the Penal Code after Sheikh Ilyas gave the sermon in the Furugan Mosque, and accused the committee of orchestrating a cover up.