Tourism will suffer if parliament bans pork and alcohol: Tourism Minister

A proposed blanket ban on the import of pork and alcohol would destroy the tourism industry of the Maldives beyond repair, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb has told parliament’s National Security Committee.

Local media reports said Addeeb told the committee that vast majority of the Maldives economy relied on tourism, which in turn depended on the sale of alcohol and pork. The whole tourism industry would suffer should these commodities be banned, Adheeb said.

The Tourism Minister said alcohol and pork were not imported for the consumption of Maldivians, and were brought in only under strict laws.

Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed was also summoned to the committee to discuss the proposed ban on the import of pork and alcohol.

The Islamic Minister told the committee that serving alcohol and pork or profiting from the trade of such haram commodities was not permitted under Islam.

Shaheem said told the committee that despite this religious fact,  the decision to ban alcohol and pork altogether had to be “made by experts”.

The National Security Committee is currently researching a proposed amendment to the Import/Export Act to completely ban the importation of alcohol and pork in the Maldives.

The amendment to the Contraband Act was submitted by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Nazim Rashad, in November 2012.

Parliament at the time narrowly voted to accept the bill that would potentially ban pork and alcohol completely from the country. Consumption and sale is currently restricted to foreigners on resort islands, officially designated as ‘uninhabited’.

Presenting the amendment, Nazim argued that the import of these products violated article 10(b) of the constitution which states that “no law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted in the Maldives” – theoretically rendering laws governing the import and sale of haram commodities illegal and unconstitutional.

“We often hear rumours that people have alcohol at home in their fridge, available any time. We’ve heard that kids take alcohol to school to drink during their break. The issue is more serious than we think, it should not be ignored,” Nazim said at the time.


21 thoughts on “Tourism will suffer if parliament bans pork and alcohol: Tourism Minister”

  1. If the constitution causes the economy of our country to fail, something is wrong with the constitution.

    Also RUMOUR is nothing to base laws on for goodness sakes!

    You need hard evidence based research. You need to prove with some actual facts that what you want is for the betterment for society. Which it clearly isn't!

    Makes me so f***ing mad when these fundamentalists come with laws just because it is in the religion. That does not legitimise it! You need to question it and criticise it! Be intelligent about it!

  2. It's okay to compromise your sacred "religious beliefs" as long as it's for financial gain. Where's that stated in the Quran?

    How can the Maldivian government talk about the possibility of implementing Sharia law (and claim to be 100% Muslim) but at the same time have an economy based almost entirely on the sale of pork and alcohol to bikini/speedo wearing infidels?

    And nobody in the government, judiciary included, has the balls to make a real decision on the subject. Even the Islamic Minister doesn't have the nerve to call out the hypocrisy for fear of ruining the cash cow.

    Basically, Maldivians only want to follow the rules of their religion when it's convenient. Women and children can be punished for crimes by men who make their living from selling haram commodities to evil infidels.

    And why do the usual suspects here keep quiet every time this topic is reported? You know the commentators that love to blame the West for all that's wrong with Maldives.

  3. Anything that can benefit poor miserable Dhivehistanies is haram. I don’t see anything wrong in eating pork or drinking alcohol, pork is very delicious meat and alcohol gives reason for civilized people to live, brewing alcohol was passed from great Egyptian civilization, has Islam never materialized, Egyptians may have excelled in many stunning finding that would have benefitted human civilization.

    I don’t know why Majils ask Sheik’s opinion in matters that effects the life of poor Dhivehstanies, they are just bunch of ignorant still believe seventh century myths.
    Pork is easy to breed if Maldivian start herding pigs and brewing alcohol would be an easy good industry to generate revenue.

  4. 100% Muslim country does not mean that everyone faith is 100% muslim. What it mean that there are no other religion in Maldives except Islam.

  5. I'm getting a bit sick of these militant religious types. Whether its the Westboro Baptist Church or the bearded whackos with short trousers.

    It's like they swing their indoctrinated clubs and bash the enlightenment out of everyone.

    The common theme throughout all religions is union and the desire to be connected to something higher. If the central tennets are love, compassion and tolerance, bring it on. Otherwise, no thanks.

  6. 'I don’t see anything wrong in eating pork or drinking alcohol'

    At least with Alcohol here in the U.S. it is responsible for Cirrhosis of the liver and can rip families apart. I know I'm (have been) an Alcoholic. I no longer drink but it has lasting effects.

    That said, if you want to charge people for Alcohol that don't share or agree with you, go for it. They will have to learn the hard way like I did. You will just need to make sure it doesn't spill over to your society and culture. That is if you don't want it to. There is a price for everything...

  7. Kuribee, your government has a constitution that says no laws can conflict with the tenets of Islam. Muslim Maldivians selling pork and alcohol is haram. Or am I not understanding the situation.

    How can Muslim Maldivians make money from the sale of haram products without there being a direct conflict with a major part of your religious beliefs? Why is it acceptable to sell pork and alcohol but not acceptable to commit adultery or acceptable for a teenage girl to have consensual sex with an adult man?

    I'm just trying to figure out how you get to pick and choose what are the "real" laws of Islam and what rules can be ignored in the name of profit. Seems like the cherry picking is based on gender and profit margin but maybe I'm still confused. I would love someone to clarify how a practicing Muslim can justify selling pork and alcohol.

  8. And for the record, I love pork and alcohol and consume both here in Maldives on a regular basis. So I certainly have no problem with keeping it legal. I just love to watch the hypocrites tap dance around this issue every time it comes up.

  9. The Constitution of the Maldives passed in 2008 prescribes the Maldives to be an Islamic State.

    The constitution bans all activities that is against the principles and practices of Islam.

    It is interesting to note that it was MP Gasim, one of the biggest importers of pork and alcohol into the Maldives who introduced this clause into the new constitution, when he was in a formal political alliance with the Adhalath Party.

    It is also interesting that MP Gasim did not do anything during the four years in parliament to change the current laws that allow pork and alcohol into the country.

  10. @Uh Dho

    "Basically, Maldivians only want to follow the rules of their religion when it’s convenient. Women and children can be punished for crimes by men who make their living from selling haram commodities to evil infidels."

    Well said. This is the reality of the Maldives.

  11. This is one of the major flaws of the New constitution!

    This is not about religion, it's about human development. Judiciary and the State should be separated from religious rules!

  12. Bring in these rules and see where the tourism industry goes!!!..Don't suppose you will have much business if you are hoping for tourists from Pakistan/Somalia/Iran etc...

  13. Many have a noble, humanitarian reason for their atheism. But ABSOLUTE relativism, or pursuing an atheistic cause for selfish purposes is nearly as abhorrent as exploiting religion for personal gain.

    The negative, oppressive aspects of Religion in the Maldives have been well covered lately, and rightly so.

    But, are you guys aware of the positive role religion has historically had on the Maldivian psyche.'

    The first in depth explanation of Islam I received from a Maldivian was an explanation of the doctrine of Divine Destiny, the idea that everything happens for a good reason. This doctrine has the potential to be abused for political gain and oppression, and has been.

    However, I have also seen the way this deep belief in destiny has given Maldivians the ability to stay sane during circumstances of death and trauma which would tear many of us apart, emotionally, psychologically. The people I spoke to who believed in this did not believe Islam sanctioned violence, or flogging, or oppression.

    If, in the name of development, you would wish to destroy this rich aspect of Dhivehi Islamic culture, you would wish a very grave injustice.

    On the other hand, this depth and strength of Faith can not come through legal enforcement, it is something which is the responsibility of the parents.

  14. Who cares about tourism? Dollars are not the currency used in the permanent address of heaven.

    This, here o. Earth, is a temporary address.

    No pork, no liquor, no crocodiles, no sharks, err... Can anyone tell me if frogs are ok?

  15. ban alcohol and pork. And lets increase our financial dealings with interest and interest upon interest. [RIBA] Riba is much easier to swallow cos it helps you to get richer and you become powerful and gets recognized. The more Riba you deal with in your business also makes you well known and respected. not like alchol drinkers and Ganjaboas. Lets be 100% muslims and fill the nation with Riba. long live Maldives as a Muslim nation 101%. salam shaheem, ilyas and Imran

  16. Hon. Minister. I am certain you annually visit the Islamic holy lands such as Saudi Arabia, Qtar, UAE and many more. You definitely go through their airports and probably stay in some of their posh hotels.

    Did you know that Alcohol and Pork exist in all islamic countries in middle east and entire world? Saudi Arabia which is the heart of all muslims has alcohol and pork. Dubai, the gateway to middle east offers more than just alcohol and pork. It offers the biggest sex trade industry in the world with prostitutes from every corner of the world.

    Maldives is 100% islamic by name but not by deeds and you and your followers know this very well. Sexual abuse, chasing women is actually more haram than consuming some liquid or piece of meat.

    The building you sit in, the car you use and much of everything in Maldives was made from revenue collected from resorts by sell of alcohol and food. It is absurd even to think of discussion such a weird idea of burning the only source of hard revenue to Maldives. Or should we follow the Arthur brothers and start trading in goats, and camels?

    Stop confusing people in the name of religion. Why cant Saudi and all Islamic countries ban these products????????

    For once the tourism minister has said something positive since taking office.

  17. As we have experienced in the last four years, the new constitution that was endorsed by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 2008 is deeply flawed. It is disjointed, and violates our fundamental rights as citizens in many aspects and has created, in my opinion, much of the chaos that we experienced in the last four years as we transitioned from absolute power to separation of powers.

    It also appears to contradict Islam as our current constitution compels us to be an Islamic state when we are told by Islamic scholars that there is no compulsion in Islam.

    Perhaps the most valuable service the current parliament can do for us to order a review of the constitution and align the structures of governance with fundamental human rights, the protection of our sovereignity, and the safety and security of our nation.

    We had hoped that Gasim (JP) who presided over the draft of the new constitution and who knew how flawed the constitution was would have made this his primary task when he took office as an MP. But given what we have seen of Gasim over the past four years and his unrelenting attention on dismantling the administration of President Nasheed, we can see why it suited him not to do this.

    It is still not too late. It can be done.

    I urge the Parliamentary Group Leaders, to align themselves on the same page to address this critical work that is essential to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of our ailing nation.

    What is the point of electing another President when the structures that are constraining governance right now for the three powers of our democracy, the Executive, the Judiciary, the Legislature,remains unchanged?

    Katchah elhey bingaleh, ketchaa hamayah eriyas hunnaanee katchah.

  18. Good point.

    For me, Legally imposing religion through a THREAT (the threat of being a social outcast or a criminal) the way the Maldivian Constition does, creates a climate of fear. Fear crushes love out of a persons heart, it quite literally steals a persons soul.

    All beautiful things in this world, all great creativity is born from great love, love so great it is capable of enduring suffering for its cause. As Speaker Shahid spoke so beautifully, democracy is the absence of great social fear, which is an environment in which creative energy - one of the fruits of love - can thrive. Love is Divine, Divinity is LOVE.

    FEAR is the opposite of love. Fear makes people cycnical, suspicious, nervous, jealous, alienated, mentally ill. It strips people of creative energy, and makes people cruel as they seek to express rage and cruelty as a cathartic release from their deep fear and the pain and frustration it creates.

    Love is the only thing which casts out fear. Love cannot come through force, through imposing itself through a threat.

    Of course, Maldives is not loveless, parents love their children and there is a lot of family love, but, you must say, there seems to be a lot of cynicism and suspicioussness born ultimately, from fear.

  19. I urge all resorts to strictly follow the fine guidelines and we should be okay. make sure that all the bars, spas, dive schools and water sports centers close for 15 minutes prayer time. out side the bar you can just hang the sign board "namaadhu vaguthah bandhu". so simple and you are within the law


Comments are closed.