'Action was taken to appease extremists' - Shahindha

Founder of the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN), Shahindha Ismail has heavily criticized the government and stated that the temporary suspension of the organization was a decision made in order to appease extremists among the government.

Youth Ministry made the decision to suspend the organization on Thursday over the report titled ‘Preliminary Assessment on Radicalization in the Maldives’ which described Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) and Islamic principles in derogatory terms. The contents of the report prompted harsh criticism, with scores calling to ban the organization.

The statement released by the Youth Ministry stated that the ministry suspended the organization under the powers vested in the registrar of organizations and that the matter is currently under police investigation.

Shahindha Wednesday stated that the reality of the pressure faced due the report was not a result of the vocabulary used, but because it accurately identified the level of religious extremism present in our country.

"The Anti-Terrorism Bill along with the report scared them. We are all aware of how those who promote violence react when they are in grievance", Shahindha said.

She added that the action taken against the non-partisan government was a harmful one, and that the government took the decision in order to appease extremists among them.

"The government made the decision without granting an opportunity for explanation", said Shahindha, expressing her disappointment in the government.

Shahihdha further stated that she hoped the issue would be assessed with care, with regard to democracy and fair ruling. While a number of people have been calling to ban MDN, religious scholars have also called to expedite the process.

Commissioner of Police, Mohamed Hameed has previously stated that the issue will be taken as a serious issue and investigated without bias. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has also assured that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate measures will be taken as stipulated under the Maldives constitution.