MDP Strongly Condemns Government’s Use of Radical Preachers to Justify Injustice

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is concerned over the Government of Maldives’ cynical use of fundamentalist preachers to stifle democracy, dissent and promote radical and extreme interpretations of Islam.

On Friday, Assim-al-Hakeem, a visiting fundamentalist preacher from Saudi Arabia delivered the Friday sermon at the Islamic Center in Male’, the Maldives’ largest mosque.

The MDP strongly condemns Assim al-Hakeem’s use of Islam to justify hatred, excuse the Government’s crackdown on dissent, and legitimise authoritarianism. In his sermon he said it is un-Islamic to disobey rulers even if they are unjust, corrupt and perpetrate the use of torture. He further said that muslims must hate non-Muslims, demonstrations will result in fitnah and “outsiders” who try to divide a ruler “you have to kill him”. His previous remarks on democracy are equally shocking. In July 2013 he said, “democracy is a big lie and it is against Islam. Hooligans can’t dictate what is right and what is not.”

Islam is a religion of justice and tolerance, and the MDP is deeply disturbed by Assim al-Hakeem’s portrayal of Islam as a religion of intolerance, hatred and violence that condones corrupt rulers.

The MDP strongly condemns the Government’s use of radical scholars to mislead the public on Islam. The MDP maintains that Islam must not be used a political tool to justify injustice, violence and dictatorship.

At a time when the Maldives is battling against radicalization, the MDP calls upon the Government to commit to de-radicalisation programs. The MDP also calls on President Yameen to investigate and dismantle recruitment networks that facilitate Maldivians to travel to join the so-called Islamic State.