Parliament’s committee responsible for the new Penal Code has decided to summon Chair of Adhaalath Party Religious Council and a member of Maldives Fiqh Academy, Sheikh Ilyas Hussein.
The committee decided to summon Ilyas on the grounds that he had made ‘’misleading’’ comments suggesting that the purpose of the penal code was to “destroy the religion of Islam”.
The decision was made during last Thursday’s meeting. During the meeting, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Nazim Rashad proposed that the committee summon Ilyas to clarify doubts he may have regarding the Penal Code and to clarify how much the Penal Code incorporated the principles and penalties in Islam.
According to local media, on March 22, Sheikh Ilyas held a religious sermon dubbed ‘Purpose of Islamic Shariah’ at the Furuqan Mosque after Isha Prayers, and there he swore to God that the Penal Code was made to destroy the religion of Islam.
Speaking to Minivan News today, the Chair of Penal Code Committee MDP MP Ahmed Hamza said the committee had asked the parliament secretariat to send notice to Sheikh Ilyas to produce himself before the committee on Tuesday.
“He has told the public that there are some provisions in the Penal Code that are not in it,” Hamza said. “We want to bring him in and have a chat and inform him about the provisions that are there in the Penal Code.”
Hamza said the Penal Code included provisions stating that theft and fornication were crimes.
“It also has a provision on flogging,” Hamza added.
Local media reported that during the sermon, Ilyas had declared that the Penal Code did not have penalties for fornication, theft, corruption, forgery or robbery, and if a person commits a crime while intoxicated, the person is not subject 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.