Islamic Minister denounces ISIS connection claim

Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has condemned former Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem’s claim of connections between the Islamic Ministry and the Islamic State.

In an interview with India’s first post, Naseem blamed Shaheem for “Maldives’ rapid degeneration into Wahabi Islam” and said Shaheem was “in cahoots with the IS.”

In response, Shaheem tweeted last night: “The Maldives’ Islamic Ministry does not support the IS ideology. I have repeatedly said so before.”

On August 24, Shaheem said in a tweet “ISIS is an extremist group. No space will be given for their ideology and activities in the Maldives.”

Two days later, Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon issued a press release condemned human rights abuses carried out by the IS and called for the respect of life and dignity in the spirit of Islam.

Subsequently, approximately 200 people carrying the ISIS flags marched in Malé calling for the implementation of the Islamic Shari’ah.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party has repeatedly questioned the government’s sincerity, alleging the government had failed to take concrete action against growing radicalism.

Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed in January estimated over 50 Maldivians to be fighting in foreign civil wars.

Since then, a former cleric of Malé’s Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and his wife reportedly left to ISIS-held territory in Syria for jihad.

A Facebook group called Bilad Al-Sham, claiming to represent Maldivians in Syria reported at least five Maldivians have been killed in battle in the Middle East last year.


SBI sues Foreign Minister’s family

The State Bank of India (SBI) has filed a case against the family of Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem for a loan guarantee provided by his mother for five loans from the bank.

Newspaper Haveeru reported yesterday that the case was filed against Naseem and other heirs of his mother Mariyam Ismail: Naseema Mohamed, Saleema Mohamed, Waseema Mohamed, Asima Mohamed, and Umaima Mohamed.

Other guarantors in the case include Ali Saleem of Henveiru Hikifinifenmage; Abdul Aziz of Maafannu Athassaagiri; and Mohamed Shiyam of Henveiru Maabadeyri Aage.

SBI claimed that Friends Incorporated Private Limited was issued a loan of Rf500,000 on August 11, 1994, along with a Rf900,000 loan and a US$100,000 (Rf1,542,000) loan on April 15, 1998. The company however still owes Rf6,432,280 to the bank in outstanding loan repayments.

Moreover, according to SBI, Friends Incorporated owes US$1,376,081 (Rf21,219,169) out of a US$50,000 (Rf771,000) loan taken on October 1, 1995, a loan of US$250,000 (Rf3,855,000) taken on April 15, 1997 and another US$175,000 (Rf2,698,000) loan taken on January 26, 1999.

As the company had mortgaged all of its assets and the “Kalamidhi” plot, SBI requested the court to sell all the mortgaged assets if the company fails to settle the outstanding payments and interest.


President appoints new Attorney General and Foreign Minister

President Mohamed Nasheed has moments ago appointed State Minister Ahmed Naseem, H. Hikifinifenmaage, as Foreign Minister, and Solicitor General Abdulla Muizz, Ma. Dawn Shine, as Attorney General.

The appointments come hours after parliament approved four out of five ministerial appointees, leaving the post of Attorney General vacant.

Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam had been acting Foreign Minister after parliament rejected the reappointment of former Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed in November.

The pair were sworn in by High Court Judge Yousuf Hussein. After presenting letters of appointment, President Nasheed expressed confidence that the newest additions to the cabinet would receive parliamentary consent.