Controversial Dutch convert Arnoud van Doorn, one of the people associated with distributing the anti-Islamic short film ‘Fitna’ is due to give a religious lecture in the Maldives, Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem has revealed
Van Doorn was formerly a politician with the far-right Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) and had assisted PVV leader Geert Wilders in distributing the short film ‘Fitna’, which argues that Islam promotes terrorism, anti-Semitism, and violence against women.
The film received international condemnation, being branded anti-Islamic by a number of organisations including the Muslim World League and the United Nations.
Speaking to Minivan News, Shaheem said today that van Doorn is due to give a lecture on his conversion to Islam sometime during this year, adding that “a man’s past cannot be questioned after he converts to Islam”.
Meanwhile, van Doorn tweeted his gratitude towards Dr Shaheem for the invitation.
@Mohamedshaheem1 Thank you Excellency for the invitation, it is an honor to visit the Maledives.
— Arnoud van Doorn (@ArnoudvDoorn) January 3, 2015
Van Doorn – who now serves as the President of European Dawah Foundation – converted to Islam in 2013, performing the Hajj pilgrimage shortly afterwards. He has also apologised for his attempts at spreading hatred against Islam.
Meanwhile, Shaheem tweeted last week (January 2) that the majority of religious speakers invited to give out public sermons during 2015 would be brought in from Western countries.
Shaheem told Minivan News that such a decision was made because a lot of the Islam related issues are also prevalent in Western countries and because the “western scholars encourage practicing moderate Islam”.
Yesterday (January 3), US Islamic scholar Yasir Qadhi announced he will be visiting the Maldives, with the Islamic ministry confirming that he will be both lecturing and delivering the Friday sermon during March.
“I will be coming down to your beautiful islands in a few months insha Allah! I will be delivering some lectures in Male and giving the khutbah,” explained the Saudi-trained scholar via his Facebook page.
Qadhi – currently teaching in Memphis, Tennessee – has been described by the New York Times as “one of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam”.
Recent months have also seen Canadian scholar Dr Bilal Phillips and Turkish author Harun Yahya travel to the Indian Ocean archipelago to deliver religious lectures.
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