Islamic Foundation files court case seeking repeal of Religious Unity Regulations

Religious NGO Islamic Foundation of the Maldives (IFM) has filed a case at the High Court requesting the court rule that the Religious Unity Regulations are inconsistent with the constitution.

Controversial new religious unity regulations were published in the government’s gazette last week, cracking down on extremist and unlicensed preaching of Islam in the Maldives.

Local media reported that prominent religious scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed, who currently faces charges for allegedly violating the Religious Unity Act, filed the case in the High Court and spoke to the media outside the court.

Media reported Sheikh Fareed as stating that the regulation was inconsistent with the constitution as well as the Quran.

Fareed was quoted as saying that romantic thoughts, social talks and religious speeches were part of the fundamental right of freedom of speech as stated in the constitution.

Meanwhile, religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf and the religious council of the Adhaalath Party voiced opposition to the regulations.

Sheikh Fareed today told Minivan News that the regulation was “very” inconsistent with the Quran and the constitution.

“By God’s will next week I will request the High Court issue a court order to delay the implementation of the regulation until the court reaches to a conclusion on the issue,” Sheikh Fareed said. “The regulation was drafted by the Islamic Ministry and it pressured the government to publish it in the gazette.”

Islamic Foundation protestHe said islanders of Miladhoo in Noonu Atoll have been protesting outside on the streets of the island today calling for the religious unity regulation to be amended.

Media Coordinator of the protest and Chairman of Miladhoo Island Council Hassan Gassan told Minivan News that the protest started at 4:15pm today.

“The protest is organised by the IFM Miladhoo Wing and a huge majority of the islanders have joined the protest,” he said. “We walked around the main streets of the island and stopped at the island harbor.”

He said protesters were calling for the resignation of Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, and to amend the Religious Unity Regulations.

New religious unity regulations were published in the government’s gazette last week, cracking down on extremist and unlicensed preaching of Islam in the Maldives.

The regulations reflect the enforcement of the Religious Unity Act of 1994 and were originally put forward by the Islamic Ministry, but have undergone numerous drafts and revisions over the past year. The penalty for violating the regulations under the Act is 2-5 years imprisonment, banishment or house arrest.


22 thoughts on “Islamic Foundation files court case seeking repeal of Religious Unity Regulations”

  1. 2-5 years of imprisonment sounds appropriate for hate-mongers like Fareed.

    Just a reminder that his speech tomorrow night will be closely observed. We don't want him spreading hatred towards non-Muslims in violation of the law now, do we?

  2. Laws of quruan are violated on a daily basis. People commit more serious sins daily. Why isn't Fareed lodging a case against issues which clearly puts us in position of potential punishment from God?

  3. Hope Mullah Fareed will be very careful of what he will rattle tomorrow. Mullah Fareed is advised that a lot of normal citizens will be watching you.

  4. Go go maldives.. if you give these fanatics right hand they will ask for your left hand. once they get both hands they will ask for the hart. we Maldivian were doing fine till these fanatics appear from middle of no where with those non hygienic beards and tell us how to live, how to pray and how to be a sovereign country we have been. Our forefathers did a lot for us to have this country not just from blue sky it appeared.. If they are not happy with the majority of the Maldivian they are more than welcome to go and join the Afghans and kill them selfs. Fags

  5. @ Yameen.
    Where and when have you seen Sheikh Fareed spreading hate speech? Is hate-speech synonymous to Islam the way you understand it?

    We all know that islam does not particularly have a soft spot for kaafirs and murthadh ppl.

    for example: Murthadh ppl are to be beheaded in islam. There is nothing to hide in islamic sharia. We call what is a spade a spade. So if Islamic teaching is all hate-speech for you, you will come across lots of hate-speech in Maldives.

  6. Fareed! Grow up! You have been like a dumb-ass last night on MNBC1. Only the ignorant of the Ignorant will listen to you.

  7. Be it under oppression or freedom of expression, the words of Allah (swt) will be raised high. True believers are always successful in the end. Our goal is the highest Heaven. So we trust in Allah (swt) to give us success when He wills. That is why we are patient in our struggle against injustice.

    "3:120 If good fortune comes to you, it grieves them; and if evil befalls you, they rejoice in it. But if you are patient in adversity and conscious of God, their guile cannot harm you at all: for, verily, God encompasses [with His might] all that they do."

  8. Oh Sheikh Fareed, Sheikh Fareed. May I ask you whether your behaviour, whenever you set foot outside of Maldives is in accordance with Islam and the Quran? I am willing to challenge you on this one if say 'yes'

  9. When all else fails, the kaafirs resort to attacking the messenger. Now Sheikh Fareed is to be villified;
    This is very common situation when dealing with kuffar. We know this a lot.. just shows how hollow the kaafirs are inside; all they have is a lot of hatred and venomous words for islam. But islam will be triumphant. This is a battle between truth and falsehood.

  10. nimal,

    Agreed. Fareed was completely humiliated by Ibra and Hussein Rasheed last night.

    The guy couldn't have been more thoroughly exposed as a complete moron, repeatedly making as ass of himself with chest-thumping assertions that were effortlessly debunked within seconds.

    I almost felt sorry for him towards the end when all of his arguments were completely destroyed, but still tried to stay relevant.

    Made for some great television though.

  11. No wonder Sheikh Fareed is upset. Should he be muzzled under this new instrument, who else will make those extraordinary and fascinating remarks on cucumbers??

  12. Actually Sheikh Fareed was not humiliated at all. He was upset because the position they gave him meant if he had to clarify their position in Islamic sharia, he cannot be generous with them, which he did not want to be.

    For example Ibra said that its not upto Sheikh Fareed to pronounce ppl's faith either they are kaafirs or muslims. Clearly this is the kind of response you would get from an average street kid when challenged about his faith. Not the kind of educated reply one would expect from Ibra.. So you see Sheikh was finding it difficult to dispute their impromptu and irrational replies which has very straight answers in Sharia. Namely that islam laid guidelines to distinguish between kufr, fisq, nifaq, iman and all this. But saying all those to an enraged Ibra (who was the principal editor of the religious bill) would be an insult to his intelligence, which Sheikh refrained from doing thankfully.

    Wonder if any guy in this thread ever watched the trio on tv!

  13. Fareed's secy.

    Really? That disgraceful performance was out of Fareed's divine restraint?

    The guy had his ass handed to him by Ibra. Every single pathetic 'argument' offered by Fareed was demolished within seconds.

    Fareed was proven wrong on the constitution, he failed - despite repeated prodding by Ibra, Hussein Rasheed AND the moderator, to point a clause that would restrict Islam from being spread.

    Worse, he came out looking like an idiot when Ibra and Hussein Rasheed pointed out verses from the Qur'an that appear to actually be kind to Jews - and that it is not very Islamic to abuse them.

    I loved it when Ibra stood up to Fareed's idiotic rant about 'no religion loving believer would defend the regulations'. The guy was cringing throughout when Ibra was admonishing him.

    Fareed never recovered from the jolt, and was fumbling throughout the rest of the program jumping from one desperate excuse to another, all of which were similarly demolished.

    The lesson that IFM should learn from this episode is simple: - never send a fanatic to debate with an academic - or he'll get thoroughly schooled on prime time National TV, like Fareed was that night.

  14. @Yameen
    I don't know weather you have watched the program in question or that you just you are clutching straws, but i certainly think you are way off the mark. Being a an anti islam blogger you aught to know better where the priorities lie for dedicated Muslims if there is a choice between constitution and quruan.

    As for a clause which prevents islam from being spread on the said bill, this couldn't have evaded sheikh Fareed and he did point it out very well. Dunno how you missed that part.

    As for jews being kindly referred to in Islam, this is besides the point. We are all creations of Allah (weather you believe it or not)so you don't even need sheikh Fareed to point the verse in quruan about their enmity to islam which is very evident. even my 8 yr old son can give you that reference but will you have any need of it? doubt it..

    As for loving Ibra, dunno who loves him more (u or me) but you have to admit it Sheikh Fareed will certainly be more capable of admonishing Ibra in something he is well versed in. Remember Ibra is lawyer not a religious scholar and Ibra knows that. So Sheikh Fareed was just being kind on Ibra when he was just letting off steam. Dunno how you missed that!

    I seriously advise you to be a little bit more objective in your observations and not get carried away by sentiment. Just as Ibra is a lawyer, Sheikh Fareed is a religious scholar and if you have something against religious scholarship as something not worthy recognition, then that's your problem, not others.

  15. Wow, it would seem religion does have a way of turning brothers against each other. I wonder when people will realise it. Cant we just respect each others beliefs (or disbeliefs for that matter) and live in peace? After all a belief does not require evidence or proof, it is faith based, which makes it almost impossible to argue against.

    For example, for a non believer, the whole foundation and concept of Islam falls apart unless he or she believes in Quran.

    I cant blame the Sheikh for trying to defend what he believes in, but I have to agree, a belief should never be allowed into a set of basic rules that govern an entire community. Even Islam states (according to my knowledge) that every human is free to choose what he or she believes in. So shouldnt the constitution and the regulations give such freedom?

    Maybe the good Sheikh (and the Ministry in question) should focus in trying to change this, before the whole system comes crumbling down on its own weaknesses.

    For example, the Constitution states that no rule and regulation must be made against Islam (as stated in Quran and declared by an Islamic Council based in Saudi Arabia, as per my knowledge). So what about the regulation made under the constitution, which forces students to shave, or the one that allows bank interests? I read an edict once (or Fatawa, issued by the said Council) which states that one should never force another to shave their beard. So the regulation in question is void (but still enforced). Such loop holes in the constitution will eventually lead to its collapse.

    So the way I see it, the best way to govern a nation justly and peacefully is to remove religious artifacts from the constitution entirely. Note that Im not saying that theists have no rights, Im merely remarking that the only fairer way is to let theists and atheists practice their own ideologies, within their own properties, in there own time (and not force it on others).

    Get over it people, believe what you will and let every one else believe in what they will. Cheers...

  16. The problem with our atheists is that they cannot stand muslims. For them Muslim scholars are fanatics, Islam is synonymous with terrorism, and generally there is nothing good about us muslims. There is a little bit difference about our local kuffar and foreign kuffar. The foreign kuffar they know they have to respect others to carry their argument to any length, but our local atheist brigade doesn't understand this! Maybe its something to do with their age and maturity will cure their haste and zeal in going offensive against islam.

  17. Fareeds secy,

    I watched the entire program end to end.

    Just like Fareed failed to point out any specific clause that contravened either the constitution or the freedom of disseminating information, you have failed to do the same.

    (While you're at it, do also fetch me the 'anti-Islamic' portions of my blog. I'm as curious as the next guy as to what these might be)

  18. Middled,

    You raise a good question. How can the constitution explicitly ban any law or regulation which is un Islamic at the same time permit depravities such as alcohol sales, bank interest etc?

    The only explanation, is the human mental coping mechanism known as cognitive dissonance. This is why you can't rationalize your "live and let live" narrative with these fanatics.

    They have blocked themselves out and are in the thrall of this madness concocted to advance the agenda of amassing political power for the "sheikhs".

    They will justify or argue around anything, as the conclusion they arrived at cannot be changed.

    The Sheikhs word is law and the "pious" can jump over any logical or intellectual hurdle put forward to justify this law.

  19. Peasant,

    That is exactly why we cant combine such a thing as faith with something like the constitution which represents so much logic and rational thinking.

    As for the justification of their beliefs, unless Im proven wrong, Im confident that any faith based claim cant be proven with logic. Nonetheless they still attempt it.

    I was at a dinner with a very religious man. (I respect people's feelings and beliefs as long as they extend the same courtesy towards me. So I hang out with all sorts of people.) After a while he asked me why I didnt believe. I told him that I just cant understand the logic in it. So he asked me to explain. (It was a long conversation, and I have no desire to speak against Islam. Obviously there are a lot of Muslims here.)

    But the most striking point of the conversation was when I asked him, "If Science could prove that Quran is man made and has changed over a long period of time, then what would happen to Islam?" He responded saying that, "then the Science that proved it would be wrong and would have to change."

    Faith and the Constitution can coexist, but only if one doesnt force itself on the other. The Constitution should not exert any force on religion and religion should not affect the Constitution. But maybe I am wrong, and maybe there is a better way. Cheers...


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