Calls for religious tolerance “shocked the nation”: Chief Justice Faiz

The December 10 silent protest for religious tolerance is a “warning” of the Maldives’ weakening Islamic faith, Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz Hussein has said.

Faiz’s claim that the demonstration “shocked the nation” was made yesterday at the opening of the Islamic Scholars Symposium, reports local media.

“It was a warning that showed us the increased role religious scholars are required to play and the work they need to do,” he said.

Recommending that the scholars focus on strengthening the Islamic faith rather than debate contentious issues, Faiz said students and lawmakers required further education about the Shariah penal code.

The December 10 demonstration was originally planned for International Human Rights Day as a peaceful, silent protest. However, the 30 participants were attacked with stones, and blogger Ismail ‘Khilath’ Rasheed was taken to the hospital with head injuries.

Rasheed was subsequently arrested without charges following requests from religious NGOs and ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik that police investigate the demonstration.

Rasheed’s detention was extended a second time last week, after Reporters Without Borders (RSF) criticised the claim that the gathering had violated national laws, and Amnesty International declared Rasheed a prisoner of conscience.

Meanwhile, Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has requested the parliamentary National Security Committee to include appropriate punishments for those who call for religious freedom in the nation’s penal code. In discussions, he said the punishments available under Penal Code Article 88(a), (b) and (c) were “soft.”

Bari previously ordered the Communications Authority of Maldives (CAM) to shut down Rasheed’s blog on the grounds that it contained anti-Islamic content.

This weekend’s Scholars Symposium is attended by 60 scholars who are debating seven key points of contention, reports Haveeru.

Points include the method for handling controversial religious issues; the formation of prayer rows between mosque pillars; alms payment; the Qunooth prayer; and the traditions of the Prophet Mohamed.

According to local media, the conference is the biggest of its kind to be held in the Maldives. Originally scheduled for January it was allegedly postponed for reasons unspecified.

The conference comes one week after a coalition of religious NGOs and opposition parties rallied thousands across the country to “defend Islam”, setting off a game of chicken with the government which has lately put the tourism industry on the chopping block.

President Mohamed Nasheed attended yesterday’s opening ceremony.

Religious conservative Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla and several other scholars from the party are participating in the conference.

Members of Adhaalath Party and Minister Bari were unavailable for comment at time of press.


22 thoughts on “Calls for religious tolerance “shocked the nation”: Chief Justice Faiz”

  1. Strengthening Islamic issues?

    Joking aside, can you elaborate on how our scholars, can do that?

    I can assist you on how we can do that.
    1) cut off all communications. Internet, mobile phones. Completely isolate Maldives.
    2) establish madarussas. Make sure the students chant at the top of their voices. Do not teach them the meaning.
    3) Pick one, particularly lustful 'Fareed' among each community and let his intimidate the whole community.
    4) each community must be taught habits like, 'inshallah' after each sentence. Stamping hard on each others foot, to ensure a shaitan does not slip through between the men.
    5) women can never be equal to men. Hence ensure women never attend any madarussas. Otherwise, the more stupid men, would feel inadequate in the presence of bright women.

    Unless the issues above are addressed, the cream of the nation will gather the rather obvious strategy of the desert Bedouins.

    And I'm sure you all would agree, if the complex universe with billions of starts and eco-systems of billions of life, were created in just 6 days, tweaking the brain cells of humans to do exactly what is expected of them, would not be a huge feat.

  2. I agree with Faiz. This is really a wake up call for us. We need to teach our children the religion of islam - not only to make them good muslims - but also as a tool to unite the whole population. In a small society like us, we cannot afford to bring other religions and differences that would divide our society. The politicians should be smart enough to adopt a more modified version of democracy that suit our society. The application of the western democracy model might not be the ideal solution for us.

  3. It is Maldives; the place is for birds, and marine life. Some misfortunate human being, probably fisherman of Sri Lanka who went drifted, landed in this tiny Island Atoll throughout her existence. People were separated with may be few people in one Island, these tiny crowd of people mated, and slowly the community had its pace, with average life span of 25 years. The fisher man who settled died out fast; the experience of wider world was lost forever. The people had rare contact with outside world from people of all types in shipwrecks, this rare contact gave opportunity for the people to survive the hash inhospitable environment and adaptability was thrived. The people are now the natives of this bird hatchery. People have lived a very humble and obedient life till a megalomaniac; a product of most violent area in the world, Qayoom took the rein of these most unfortunate people. He started to brain wash and indoctrinate them with most dangerous ideology in the world, the ideology that promises the life after death, that projects the believers only the perfect human beings, the rest as subhuman. Can there be anything better for the natives of bird hatchery other than Islam. Live as the best human and die for the ever ending happiness that their world does not offer. Once the brain wash and indoctrination was done perfectly, a wave of Mullahs who are experts on this perfect way of life started to bombard their brain how to achieve this nirvana. We don’t expect anyone in this bird hatchery to be more constructive and intelligent. What we can expect form chief judge? Definitely, will not be something new. Need time to evolve to the wider world, may be another 200 years, but the question is, are we going to be extinct before we evolve. Sad story, good luck Anni…

  4. @Zuhair ... Maakana Show?

    Bari can't be a worse hypocrite. He personally agrees that Islam cannot be forced and that Islam allows freedom of religion. They can go on trying but they can never have a Maldives with 100% Muslims. These monkeys can... dream on.

    Ego driven for world supremacy. Bloody bigots. Islam lost its beauty because of this hypocrisy.

  5. Answer to any question is loud chants of "Allahu Akubar!". That will solve any problem.

  6. @Zuhair:

    We all love a good bit of sarcasm but I sincerely hope you know that your country is 3000 years old and draws its roots from the Indus Valley civilization.

    At one time our cowrie trade with the African nations earned us quite a bit of revenue and we were not closed off as a country at any time in history.

    As for the common man, aren't the masses inward-looking and less aware than the political class in every country of this world? I do not know why some school-leavers in our country are surprised at finding varying degrees of awareness among different segments of society. Travel abroad and you will find that not much is different in some of the most celebrated civilizations of our time.

  7. But why shall we change our religion? for the fun of it? to appease the west? is that a good enough reason? me thinks not.

    its True that we have a small group of kaafirs who want among other things the US green card /visa and some easy money for championing causes popular in the west, like gay rights advocacy and religious pluralism. But shall the majority of this country's people suffer to appease a wee tiny minority's conceited whims?

    do we not see the religious wars most countries are going through and be thankful? Sure we have known kaafirs amongst us but who harms them? the government knows them, the people knows them and they are living comfortably amongst us. So where is our problem?

  8. The chief justices statement is ludicrous, he fails to understand the grownups and elderly people are hooligans and semi literates. How can this kind of people teach disciplines?

  9. The Jews in the Maldives, who claim that they are 'atheists' or 'agnostics', are all mad! Ask a random papaya seller at the local market if he would like such Jews to be in our country, and for the introduction of the Jewish ideology called 'freedom of religion'. He would definitely say 'behead these jews' or 'imprison them', like any other true Muslim Maldivian would say. Any other answers mean that the person you asked, is also probably a Jew.

    Freedom of religion shall never come to our country inshallah, and we will make sure that even the Jews bow down their heads before Almighty Allah SWT, whether they believe in him or not! As for now, I would like to tell the writer, that this country will be taken over by the Adhaalath Party very soon, and when this happens, all fahish activities will be banned, and we shall become even better muslims, free from the whims of the Jews.

  10. Bari is a real hypocrite!!! He is one of the top recruiters of young Maldivians to Yemen and Pakistan. He has connections to all the major islamic terrorist organizations in the World and receives funding from them. He is using the liberalism now in the Maldives only as a tool. This 'Mahaasintha' is a deception, a game played by bari. Even Anni is caught in his trap this time. Wait and see!! Keeping a junky beard will be compulsory on all Maldivians in near future. Ibra will be stoned on the streets.

  11. Only in an islamic country would the call for religious tolerance 'shock the nation'. Most non muslim countries would dismiss the subject but in the Maldives the mullahs and 'scholars' jump up and down and go mental at the words 'religious tolerance'. I have never been able to work out what it is that muslim fanatics.......always sunnis.......fear from other religions and beliefs. I walk past several mosques and churches every day and as a hindu woman I've never wanted to rush out and convert. Are you so insecure in your faith? Why must islam be rammed down the throats of all Maldivians? Why are christian and secular Maldivians forced to live in India and Sri Lanka?
    When travelling abroad for medical treatment or studies, please, please, please give my country a miss. We don't want your sunni muslim fanatics polluting the happy, heathen, secular atmosphere we enjoy in India.
    Bigotry and intolerance can work both ways as you can see.

  12. who seems to be the one with the weak faith
    the one calling for religious tolerance or the one calling for punishment of the tolerant people

    one more thing please ban the internet, as freedom of information is a great threat to our islam
    please government save us from our self!!


    this place seems more & more like a mental institution

  13. "It was a warning that showed us the increased role religious scholars are required to play and the work they need to do,”
    i hardly think so...if anything, i think it shows the lesser role the current scholars need to play. its because of them we are in this mess, its because of them the country has lesser faith and moral. its because of them, not because we dont have enough of them.. Cheif Judge my a**..

  14. isnt faiz sweet and lovable. feel like giving him a big bear hug and telling him 'its ok sweetie, whatever will be will be'. awwww. little shweetie's world turned upside down, imagine his horrors and nightmares. double awwww.

  15. Sheikh Imran Abdulla,

    No way!!! We have more money, more brain and more power than you can ever have. You have already been defeated in Afghanistan and Pakistan. your days are numbered. if worse come to worse we will call the americans to bomb you. so,run for cover man!!!

  16. The headline is very misleading. He didn't say calls for tolerance shocked the nation, but he was referring to calls for religious freedom. Freedom and tolerance does not mean quite the same thing. You are deliberately twisting his words.

  17. I am shocked at Faiz's surprising lack of awareness on the winds blowing in the Maldives and the tempest brewing in the Middle East.

  18. Sheikh Imran Abdullah and Dhivehi Hangyourself are different pseudonymns for the same psychopath........he was probably starved of
    oxygen at birth poor sod..........sunni muslims do produce a lot of these intolerant morons with extreme views.

  19. Freedom of religion is nothing new to Islam for it is Islam that says there is no force in religion. In other words, no one will be forced to believe in Islam and, for that matter, to remain as a Moslem. This means freedom of religion. If someone chose to be a Jew, therefore, Islam would not try to force him out to be a Moslem. This is what it means by no force in Islam, and is an important claim of Islam that it was not spread at the threat of sword.

    It’s wrong, therefore, to claim that it was a shock that there was a call for religious freedom. It was expected because it is denied in spite of the Quran being quite clear about it as a result of a misunderstanding of the Quranic statement that there is no force in Islam. It is expected as there is a feeling towards a freer lifestyle among Moslems than Islam would have allowed in its full form.


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