PPM running-mate 'fires' verbal response to religious scholar

Ruling party running-mate Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has 'shot back' at prominent opposition aligned religious scholar Sheikh Ilyas Hussain's earlier statement.

Sheikh Ilyas Hussain had claimed Maldives will retain its Islamic status despite regime changes, to which the Progressive Party of Maldives' (PPM) running-mate responded.

While addressing the people of Fuvahmulah during his campaign visit, Dr. Shaheem claimed that the preservation of Islamic faith and its practices depend heavily on the ideologies or beliefs of any given leader taking up the responsibility of ruling the island nation.

"Even yesterday, a religious cleric claimed Islamic faith will prevail despite whoever takes helm of ruling the country. If that is the case that King Ali would not have fought for the preservation of religion and neither would have Mohamed Thakurufaanu fought colonizers, even former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had to fight against external forces. The preservation of Islamic faith in Maldives is due to the sacrifices and bravery of yesteryear kings and former presidents," Dr. Shaheem shot back indirectly at Sheikh Ilyas Hussain.

Dr. Shaheem stressed on importance of electing a president willing to go to great lengths in preserving Islamic faith, and claimed incumbent president Abdulla Yameen as the best possible fit for the role.

Sheikh Ilyas Hussain, in an earlier tweet mentioned the island nation's Islamic preserved not specifically due to the country's leaders, for well over 900 years. He also added that it was against the faith's Sunnah and religious doctrines to claim any specific individual was solely responsible for the restoration or preservation of Islamic faith, which the cleric deemed was close to blasphemy.

The prominent religious scholar also claimed that history is evident on Maldivians choosing Islamic faith over any other religious practice.