The Adhaalath Party has sent a letter to Parliament Speaker Abdulla Shahid requesting he clarify the educational qualifications of MPs in Penal Code committee before 10:00am tomorrow (14 May).
The letter was sent following the Penal Code Committee’s decision to summon Chair of Adhaalath Party’s Scholars Council, Sheikh Ilyas Hussain, after alleging he had made misleading comments about provisions of Penal Code bill during a religious sermon.
In a statement issued today, the Adhaalath Party confirmed the letter was sent because the Penal Code Committee had “invited” Sheikh Ilyas before the committee.
This is the second time the parliament has sent summons to Sheikh Ilyas over his comments, after he failed to show up the first time.
According to local media, on March 22 Sheikh Ilyas held a religious sermon dubbed the ‘Purpose of Islamic Sharia’ at the Furuqan Mosque after Isha Prayers, where he swore to God that the new Penal Code was “made to destroy the religion of Islam”.
Local media reported that during the sermon Ilyas declared the Penal Code did not have penalties for fornication, theft, corruption, forgery or robbery, and that if a person committed a crime while intoxicated, they were not to be subjected to punishment. He also claimed that according to the new penal code, it was not a crime for two people to have consensual sex.
Ilyas declared that the Penal Code was “a trap made by the West” to erase Islam in the name of Muslims, and vowed that he was ready to argue the point even if all the country’s lawyers came out against him.
After being summoned to parliament for the second time, Sheikh Ilyas told local media 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 attended the committee meeting.
Ilyas further stated that the bill had a number of clauses which contradicted the penalties defined in Islamic Sharia, and that it had many “deceptive clauses”.