MDN report a covert operation to radicalise Maldives: Islamic Minister

Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Ahmed Zahir has assured strict actions against the people behind the Maldives Democracy Network (MDN) report, revealing the report was part of a covert operation funded by a foreign party to work towards radicalising Maldives.

Speaking at a press conference Islamic Minister Zahir said the government strongly condemns the report mocking Islam and Prophet Mohamed. Although the report recently resurfaced was originally published in 2016, and resurfaced recently, the minister promised actions against individuals engaging in activities that mock Islam. He further said love for Prophet Mohamed and refraining from activities that belittle Islam is essential to be a good Muslim. He also called the public not to engage in such activities in the future.

Speaking the press conference, Minister of State for Islamic Affairs Ilyas Jamal said the ministry has taken action since the case was brought to attention. The state minister further said the purpose of the report was thus far understood to be funded by a foreign party and the purpose of the report was to create doubts about the tenets of Islam.

Due to the subjective conclusion on matters of Islam without proper consultations with Islamic Scholars, the state minister accused this as a carefully planned activity to radicalise the Maldivians against the Islamic faith. He said the Islamic ministry intends to reveal the motives behind such a report after a detailed evaluation. He also said the recommendations on the report suggesting the removal of the teaching of prophetic biography in schools indicate signs of a dangerous deep operation. The report indicated the teaching of prophetic biography as irrelevant and a path to religious extremism.

Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the Islamic University of Maldives Dr Ibrahim Zakariyya Moosa said mocking Islam and Prophet Mohamed will not be accepted by the society. He also urged everyone to conduct themselves within the limits of Islam.

The Islamic ministry also iterated the efforts the current administration to uphold religion and religious practices although the case was ignored in the previous administration when it was submitted in 2016. The ministry called on all religious scholars to work together to ensure curative measures.

Further, the ministry called the public to refrain from radicalization and religious extremism. The ministry also promised further activities to aware the public on matters of concern on religion.