Parliament accepts emergency motion submitted over MDN report

The emergency motion submitted over the report prepared by Maldives Democracy Network (MDN) on "Preliminary Assessment of Radicalization in Maldives" has been accepted by the parliament.

MDN's report assessed how 'radical' Islam was practiced in the Maldives, describing Islam and Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) in a negative light in derogatory terms and in contradiction with the principles of Islam.

The motion submitted by Nolhivaram MP Mohamed Nasheed Abdulla was accepted with the unanimous vote of all 55 members who took part in the vote.

The motion submitted by MP Nasheed said while the Maldives Constitution states that the religion of Maldives is Islam, the contentious report issued in 2016 challenged principles and teachings of Islam in the Holy Quran, and disrespected Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).

The report outlined several verses from the Quran and 'hadith' - (record of the traditions, actions or sayings) of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as examples of ideas included in school text books that contribute to promulgation of radical worldviews.

Member Nasheed said when the report was initially published in 2016, it had 25-pages while the same report had over a 100 pages when issued ahead of the 2018 presidential election. Nasheed said the authors of the report were clearly promoting anti-Islamic ideals, and called to take action against the individuals.

While the contents of the report has recently come to light on a national level, scores of people including religious scholar have expressed their outrage and concern on the report, with many calling to ban MDN.

Maldives Police Service is currently investigating the issue after Ministry of Islamic Affairs filed a case on the matter.

The Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) is a non-partisan NGO which aims to promote human rights and the values and principles of democracy in the Maldives. MDN has since apologized for the contents of the report, and retracted it from their website. While the organisation has stated that they are working with Islamic scholars to revise the report, some members of the organization have defended the report on social media platforms.