Religious scholars oppose SAARC monuments, Israeli flights

Religious scholars spoke out against controversial monuments erected in Addu City for November’s SAARC summit and government authorisation for Israeli national airline El Al to operate scheduled flights to the Maldives at the ongoing symposium at the Islamic Centre.

Newspaper Haveeru reports that most participants at the two-day symposium organised the Ministry of Islamic Affairs opposed erecting the monuments as well as plans to allow Israeli flights to land in the country at this morning’s debate sessions.

However a proposal by Transport Minister Adhil Saleem to debate the issue of the Israeli flights was voted down by a majority of the religious scholars yesterday as the item was not on the official agenda for the first day.

Most religious scholars argued today that authorising Israeli flights to the Maldives posed a threat to national security while fostering “relations with Jews” was discouraged in Islam.

The symposium, which was held to debate contentious religious issues in Maldivian society, concludes tonight with a special ceremony at the Islamic Centre.