'MDN's report falls under terrorism' - MP Saleem

Prominent businessman and Eydhafushi MP Ahmed Saleem has stated that the issuance of the contentious report on radicalization in Maldives by the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) is an act of terrorism.

Released in 2015, the report titled 'Preliminary Assessment on Radicalisation in the Maldives' 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' of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as examples of ideas included in school text books that contribute to promulgation of radical worldviews.

Speaking at a rally held by the opposition on Friday, MP Saleem described the report as the biggest controversy witnessed in the country to date. While non-Muslims have carried out anti-Islamic activities in the archipelago in the past, the report prepared by MDN is the biggest such action carried out by Maldivians, said Saleem.

Saleem said those responsible for writing the report must be dealt with as stated under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Saleem recognized that the current government made several amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act before it was ratified Thursday, and said that the new amendments makes the extremity and seriousness of the situation very clear. Saleem said the actions of MDN can be clearly classified under the Terrorism Act.

Saleem added that the fact that MDN had dared to issue such a report showed that the organization is supported by 'top officials'. Saleem expressed his conviction that no Maldivians would allow irreligious acts that attacked Islam, and said Maldivians are ready to stand up against such acts.

"We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the sake of Islam. I ask you - why should we remain on this Earth? One day we will die and face our Lord", Saleem said.

While the whole country is condemning the report, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has assured that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and that appropriate measures will be taken as stipulated under the Maldives constitution. The non-partisan organization has been temporarily suspended until the matter is thoroughly investigated,