Tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb has expressed his joy over the show of support by a team of youth leaders – including MP Yamin Rasheed – in promoting Thursday night’s Akon concert in Male’.
In a tweet hashtagged #ShowWillGoOn and #TeamZuvaanun, Adeeb said he was “happy to see Youth Leaders from all the Political Parties United for a cause, Respect!”.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Yamin Rasheed told Minivan News that he will be involved in promotional activities for the show, acting in his personal capacity.
Meanwhile, the Adhaalath Party has reportedly said this week that it will continue to work to stop the concert going ahead.
MDP Youth Wing President Mohamed Azmeel expressed support for the show, noting that when the MDP government organised such shows aimed at the youth, the current minister for Islamic affairs along with the Adhaalath Party also protested.
Stressing that the MDP supports entertainment avenues for the youth, Azmeel pointed out that the party has had no official contact or involvement with the government regarding the Akon show, despite the suggestion in Adeeb’s tweet.
In a press conference held yesterday (January 5), Azmeel did express some concern over the government’s decision to host another international star without the conclusion of the investigation into threats made against Sean Paul, who had been scheduled to perform at the Tourist Arrival Countdown show.
Sean Paul backed out of the show at the eleventh hour, with Adeeb telling Minivan News on December 30 that the decision had been prompted by pressure in the artist’s home country, Jamaica. Adeeb was not responding to calls at the time of publication today.
Adeeb told media this week that he hoped the appearance of international artists in Malé would rid the capital of the reputation it had gained as “a lair that harbours members of the Islamic State or extremist militants”.
The President’s Office has denounced the online threat as a hoax intended to create an atmosphere of fear in the capital.
During the ‘Tourist Arrival Countdown Show’ on December 31, which eventually featured a host of Indian artists, it was announced that the American R&B star Akon would be performing in Malé on January 8.
In 2010, a show featuring Akon was organised – and tickets sold – before organisers cancelled citing a lack of technical support and security. As with the Sean Paul concert, both the Islamic ministry and local religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf had spoken out against the show.
Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla has stated on Vnews this week that the party will not differentiate between governments with regards to “anti-islamic activities”, saying that the party is working non-stop to block the Akon show.
“Akon performing in Maldives is something we condemn in the harshest terms. We do not support the show,” Imran stated.
The party was reported last weekend to have expressed concern at what it sees as “horrifying acts that defy Islamic teachings and social convention” taking place in the country.
Local media have reported that Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra is also scheduled to perform on Thursday, although the event’s organisers have not officially confirmed her appearance.
Meanwhile Jamiyyathul Salaf have said that social media announcements about a religious sermon scheduled for the same evening at the Artificial beach are a hoax designed to deter the masses from the activities of religious scholars and sheikhs, reported Haveeru.
Minivan News was unable to obtain comment from Jamiyyathul Salaf President Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed Ibrahim.
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