Salaf dismisses feminist campaign to withdraw support for ”The Call”

Religious NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf has hit back at feminist movement Rehendhi and the ‘Enough is Enough’ group after they called on sponsors to withdraw support from the upcoming Salaf-hosted event, ‘The Call’.

At a press conference today, Salaf said it did not consider the voice of an unregistered, underground NGO “as an official complaint”.

Mohamed Sobah, Secretary General of Salaf who spoke on behalf of the NGO, said that “all NGOs and all Maldivians support the event”, which will feature talks and lectures from visiting Islamic scholar Dr Bilal Philips.

”There might be a few people who are concerned that a professional western scholar is to arrive to the Maldivies,” Sobah said.

Sobah said that as Salaf was a registered NGO,  it did not have to deal with “unlawful, unregistered and underground” groups.

”No one has officially complained about the event,” Sobah said. ”It is surprising that they fear to face us, and it is confusing because they use the internet to raise their voice while we are accessible easily anytime.”

Sobah said that the two visiting scholars, Dr Bilal Phillips and Dr Abdul Raheem Green, would deliver seven lectures on different topics.

”We are working to enhance the security and solving some other technical problems,” he said. ”We hope this event will be a very successful event.”

On May 5 Salaf has announced it would host ‘The Call’, a series of religious sermons to which it expects more than 10,000 people to attend.

Dr Bilal Philips was brought to the Maldives by Salaf last year. Many people attended the sermon and reportedly more than 100,000 people watched it via media.

The Maldives’ self-styled ‘underground feminist movement’ Rehendhi last week announced joint letter writing campaign with the ‘Enough is Enough’ group in protest against Sonee Company’s intention to sponsor the lecture.

They issued a press statement condemning Dr Philips’ preaching at last years’ Call, accusing him of “preaching that it is Islamic to marry off young girls as soon as they reached puberty, irrespective of their age.”

Sonee Company, reported by Rehendhi as one of the targets of the campaign, said it did not wish to comment on the matter at this time.

Correction: The original press statement from the Rehendhi group referred to ‘Sonee Company’, not ‘Sonee Hardware’ as previously stated in this article. Minivan News apologises for any confusion caused.