“Bad effects” if Dhivehi and Islam made optional, warns State Islamic Minister

State Islamic Minister Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has warned on the Adhaalath Party website that making Dhivehi and Islam optional subjects at A-Level would risk “bad effects” to the country.

Shaheem said that changing the subjects from compulsory to optional was one of the biggest disputes regarding the new developing school curriculum.

”In my view it would wiser to instead revise the school curriculum and keep Islam and Dhivehi as compulsory subjects,” said Shaheem.

He recommended that A-Level Islamic studies be improved through the inclusion of topics such as ‘human rights in Islam’, ‘freedom of expression in Islam’, and ‘the Quran and science.’

”It would prove to the students that Islam is a religion fit for all ages, and will lead students to understand how developed it is,” Shaheem said.

He said that changing Islam and Dhivehi to optional subjects was like ”breaking down a good habit attached to the country.”

He said the school curriculum should be designed in a way that would make Islam an interesting subject for students.

”We do not have to demolish mosques because people do not pray,” he said.

The controversial decision to make Dhivehi and Islam optional subjects for A-Level students has sparked a series of protests outside the home of Education Minister Dr Mustafa Luthfy.

Dr Luthfy recently said the decision was not finalised and was ”just a suggestion proposed by the Education ministry’s steering committee.”

The move led Independent MP Ibrahim Muthalib to push a no-confidence motion against the Education Minister over the decision, while the Adhaalath Party meanwhile warned that Dr Luthfy “has put the final nails in his political coffin.”


President asks German scholars to help interpret Sharia law for the Maldives

President Nasheed has asked German scholars with expertise in Sharia law to help apply it to certain fields in the Maldives, during his visit to Berlin.

“I have done my homework and I am quite aware of the amount of German discourse in Islamic jurisprudence”, President Nasheed said, according to German news site deutschenachrichten.

Nasheed told the German press that Maldivian law was based on Sharia, but warned them about “jumping to the wrong conclusions.”

“We are a tolerant and free country, and we want to keep it that way,” he said.

Press S for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair said that Germany was a country where a large number of experienced and professional scholars live.

”In the 20th century, the highest standard of Islamic universities was also in Germany,” Zuhair said.

Zuhair said the government had discussed the request for German assistance with the Islamic Ministry, which had expressed its approval.

However spokesperson for the Islamic Ministry Sheikh Ahmadullah said he had no information about the matter and did not want to comment.

Zuhair explained that “many Islamic books also were preserved in Germany” and believed that “German religious scholars would be more experienced than Maldivian scholars.”

”The origins of Sharia code would not be changed,” Zuhair said. ”They will only help in some areas like taxation.”

He said the president had received very positive answers in response to his interest.

State Minister for Islamic Affairs Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed said if good advice was given “it should always be heard and acted upon.”

Shaheem said people should realise “that there are Islamic scholars all around the world, and not only in Arabic countries.”

“The are good scholars in many countries,” Shaheem said, “even in those where Islamic people are in a minority.”

”Even a scholar like Sheikh Bukhari (a famous scholar of the Hadiths) was not from an Arabic country,” Shaheem explained.

“If a scholar in another country can give the right information on Sharia law, we have to accept it. But if anyone gives the wrong information, we have scholars here who can tell us the right way to implement Sharia.”