Religious scholars reprimanded Speaker and former president Mohamed Nasheed for his speech on Saturday, where he spoke of influences to erase Maldives' culture and history.
He delivered his speech to an assembly of students, parents, and teachers at the student achievement awarding ceremony of Ghiyasuddin International School.
"The biggest concern is the demolition of mosques, graveyards, and sacred grounds in an attempt to erase our history. And then came the reconstruction of our culture and traditions - the life we lead, the clothes we wear. Head scarves were introduced. Men in our traditional 'mundu' started wearing trousers. The women in our traditional 'libaas' started dressing differently too. I was 30 when my mother changed her style of her dressing. She wore a head scarf and her clothes changed. My grandmother had worn her clothes differently. She wore a head cloth around evening, but that wasn't my mother's way".--- Mohamed Nasheed.
Religious scholars and sheikhs, as well as a large portion of the public have begun to express their concern and criticisms on the matter.
Dr. Mohamed Iyaz stated that it is our duty as Muslims to wear our clothes as instructed by our prophet, and not the way Nasheed sees fit. He further stated that it wasn't uncommon for those misdirected to make an example of how our ancestors lived their lives, but that emulating their way of living isn't the way to to strengthen our faith in Allah. Instead, he said we should emulate the Qur'an and Sunnat.
Renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Ilyas Hussein also expressed his disapproval over Nasheed's speech. He said that Nasheed's words were a sign of poor faith as he spoke of reverting back to the old ways that were not based on Islamic principles, when people did not know any better. Ilyas also said that Maldivians as Muslims must act accordingly.
Sheikh Shareef Abdulla stated that a person who has complete submission to Allah, and faith his heart would adhere to the concepts brought forward in Islam. He further stated that we must seek to live righteously, and that we can find the means to such a life through Islam.