President makes creative arts optional after pressure from religious conservatives

President Abdulla Yameen will make creative arts – including music and dance – optional subjects in the next year’s school curriculum after pressure from religious conservative organisations and political parties.

Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali tweeted his gratitude towards the president, though he was unavailable to comment on the news at the time of publication. President’s office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz also tweeted about the decision.

Local media reported that religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf had met with the president to voice concerns as well as sending a letter identifying ‘anti-Islamic’ aspects in the new curriculum.

Speaking to after the meeting, Jamiyyathul Salaf President Abdulla Mohamed said government ministers at the meeting denied the fact that creative arts was compulsory saying that it seemed unlikely that there would be any amendments to the curriculum.

The NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf put out a press statement last month describing the decision to make music and dance compulsory as an “insult to Islam”, contending that music is prohibited in Islam.

The meeting in question was also attended by the Islamic minister, education minister Dr Aishath Shiham, and the Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdullah.

The education minister had previously stated at a press conference of the Cabinet’s Social Council last week (October 23) that the whole curriculum was based on Islamic values and codes of behavior.

The religious conservative Adhaalath Party declared last week that it had been working ceaselessly to ensure that music and dance are not included as compulsory subjects in the new curriculum.

Meanwhile, Shaheem noted that Quran was included as a compulsory subject in the new curriculum and declared his support for efforts to “broaden Islamic education and Arabic language”.

Earlier this year, Islamic ministry unveiled its policies and plans for the year, placing great emphasis on strengthening Islamic education by focusing on schools and the youth population. The ministry has also revealed plans for an Islamic University in the Maldives.

Plans included sermons at school assemblies, special Islamic workshops, and a monthly Islamic magazine which is to be distributed to all schools and public libraries.

Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said the government will mainstream Arabic education in the Maldives, focusing particularly on Islamic education and the study of Quran.


17 thoughts on “President makes creative arts optional after pressure from religious conservatives”

  1. Arts is essential to produce a creative child.

    Killing the creativity of the young generation is one of the grand plans of Salfists to come to power.
    They are slowly but surely spreading their dark agenda to blind and numb the children of Maldives to their dark ways under the pretext of Islam.

  2. Vice presidet's aim is to destroy the youth of this country. It amazes me to hear how stupid these arguments are. If the Vice President was educated in the way he is advocating he would not have gotten anywhere near SOAS!

    Anyway, even with today's relatively open English medium curriculum school leavers are virtually unemployable in the biggest industry of the country, tourism.

    Can someone explain what sort of job opportunities will be there for these future Arabic medium educated, Quran experts? Perhaps migrate to Arabia as house maids and servants?

    None of them will be employable in these "economic zones".

  3. Next step is to ban education for girls.
    With this dumb attitude towards education, it is not surprising that most skilled jobs in Maldives are done by foreigners.
    Thank god we don't have 'religious conservatives' in Hinduism to keep us in the stone age.
    Which year is it in the Islamic calendar?

  4. @dark agenda and @ Ali yes you both have so right, it’s not looking good for the coming generations.

  5. You guys are so funny. You would say that if you wish to accept another religion other than islam it should be allowed as you should have the freedom to do so. But you do not agree that those who believe that singing and dancing is haram to have the freedom of not doing it.

  6. If there was no art and music, human being would not have evolved to be creative animal. Without art, you can’t be a mason, carpenter, graphic designer, a doctor or a surgeon. Music is what makes human an emotional animal; even reciting Quran is an art, the more creative and good in tuning your voice the more emotional you get by listening Quran. Without art and music, you are not human. If you are human then art and music is part of your life, you don’t have to make it compulsory, without it you can’t live. When you listen to the waves, or listening vibration of trees you are already enjoying music.
    When you stand in front of mirror and look in to water, you are already drawing your image. Your brain simply takes bits of information from light through your eyes and draws everything around you.
    When can these cave dwellers of 07th century retards will come out from their delusion? Art and music is what you call education morons….. , I am not sure why even people listen to these brain dead zombies.

  7. Music and dance are both art and science. Music has very a very deep and rich scientific basis to it and is engrained into our core. You cannot remove music from the human soul.

    Dance in its countless forms is just as rich and fundamental to life. Maldivians today cannot even dance to our traditional body beru.

    What we see today as bodu beru dance is an effeminate Bollywood influenced non-sense that is far removed from the African roots of bodu beru. Our ancestors would be horrified and cry in shame if they see this so-called bodu beru dancing as we see today.

  8. These sly opportunists are trying to stomp Maldivian youth into ignorance. It will then be easy to herd then like dumbfounded lambs.

    If only a chance is given to the whole of Maldives, a chance one in ten. Ten mullahs preach how good their turf is, and how useless the oppositions turf is. Compare it to jus t one. If one person speaks logically, explains the utter uselessness and irrationality of these mullahs, Maldives would turn away from these mullahs forever.

    That is what these mullahs are afraid of. They lose the moment unbiased exposure is provided to any one. The flying horse can't fly any more.

  9. There has to be national debate on arts, if not for raising awareness.

    When Qarees recite Quran in in different styles they are already embracing art. Also Islamic calligraphy.

    Why is it OK for for the local Mulla Ali Rameez (former rapper and drunkered turned salfist) to recite the azan or Madah songs in various artistic styles? Is art only allowed for mullas.

    The hypocrisy of the Salafists are beyond comprehension. All they want is to come to power and acquire wealth like the Iranian mullas.

  10. Islam's prohibition on depiction of animate objects didn't result in a stifling of arts, but instead lead to beautiful calligraphy and impressive feats of geometric art.

    Just because one form of creative arts is suppressed doesn't mean there will be a dearth of creativity. If anything, music promotes idleness and laxity. The country needs technically skilled people, not people wasting time on unproductive pursuits such as music and singing.

  11. then why is the minority the loudest, its clear that so many Maldivians are against this religious oppression... time to stand up...

  12. @ minivan baby

    yes, why is the minority loudest? Because they are well funded by Arabs. And in a small country, money talks.

  13. @sabina

    Get some weapons and keep'em safe and locked up. When the imperialist scum attacks, you can join the war against salafi colonialism.

    It is the duty of parents to fight for the future of their children.

  14. what difference it makes? after all it is there and its HARAAM in Islam. how can he make such decision. no one should be above The Noble Qur'an and Sunnah.


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