Time for the Maldives to update the Gulf on religious reforms

According to The Times of Addu, the Islamic ministry said that the Indian workers “uttered a slogan of another religion that was contrary to Islam and the laws and regulations of the Maldives and that the Islamic minister Dr. Ahmed Zahir Ali had condemned their actions.” “.

“Anything that uses a religious slogan is strictly prohibited by law and regulation to protect the religious unity of the people of the Maldives,” the ministry said.

The Islamic ministry filed the complaint after a viral video on social media showed workers praying to a road construction machine, followed by the sacred ritual of breaking a coconut. The ministry took action after Miuvan Mohamed, spokesman for the president’s cabinet, said at a media briefing that the government will not allow anything against Islam to be carried out on the island.

India has supported the infrastructure development of the Maldives in a big way.

The Maldives, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, practices Sunni Islam and prohibits the worship of other gods or religious symbols.

The Maldives, which have been heavily influenced by the Gulf States in following Islamic practices, have not implemented reforms as the Gulf States have. Oman, the UAE and Bahrain have toned down the role of religion in an effort to align their countries with the global economy.

The UAE shifted the weekend from Islamic Friday-Saturday to the more accepted Saturday-Sunday to align with global markets and improve trade and economic relations. Last month, Dubai inaugurated a major Hindu temple in the worship village of Jebel Ali, which also has a gurudwara and many churches.

The neighboring kingdom of Bahrain, with its Sunni government, is currently organizing an interfaith dialogue with the world’s leading clerics who have gathered on the island.

The Saudis have also gradually allowed social changes to take root – more rights for women, music concerts and a boost to the tourism and entertainment industry, all of which were previously considered un-Islamic.

The winds of change blowing through the Gulf do not seem to have hit the Maldivian archipelago, which continues its solitary march towards radicalization and strict enforcement of Islamic rules.

In September, Indian nationals were sent to prison for making a small murti from clay, worshiping it and immersing it in the sea. Bilehdhoo’s local government said “idol worship” will never be accepted within the community. It also called on the police to take firm action against “this disgusting act” so that those involved “can be severely punished”.

Radicals in the Maldives had disrupted International Yoga Day (ITD) celebrations earlier this year by raiding the National Stadium in Male during the event and threatening participants and guests.

A few years ago, Maldivian police had invaded the Canadian hotel chain, Fairmont’s luxury property, and destroyed underwater sculptures with hammers and axes for being “anti-Islamic”.

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