MDN founder expresses disapproval over ministry reviewing contentious report

Founder of Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) Shahindha Ismail has expressed disapproval after Maldives Police Service revealed that the report on radicalization in Maldives prepared by MDN is being reviewed by the Islamic Ministry.

Titled '‘Preliminary Assessment on Radicalisation in the Maldives", the 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' of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) as examples of ideas that contribute to promulgation of radical worldviews. While the organization has been temporarily suspended pending investigation, Maldives Police Service are summoning the authors of the report and other relevant individuals for investigation purposes.

In a statement released by the police on Sunday, they stated that three separate academic researches are being done by three scholars of Islam on the contents of the report. The statement further said that the Islamic Ministry will also be providing a scholarly opinion on the report.

Shahindha, who is currently abroad shared the statement on social media platform Twitter and wrote that it does not make sense for Islamic Ministry to research the report while it was the ministry that accused MDN of blasphemy and filed a police case against the organization.

"How far back do you plan to jump? To the time of [former president] Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom? Ask him for some guidance too, won’t you?"wrote Shahindha, directing her tweet at the police.

In their statement on Sunday, Maldives Police Service assured that action will be taken against those involved in issuing the contentious report. They also urged the public to refrain from acts and speech that may incite hatred and unrest in the country.