Renowned religious scholar Sheikh Ilyas Hussain has called on the president, parliament and defence forces to take action on those who work to misinterpret the spirit of Islam.
Ilyas made the appeal at a sermon named "Beloved Prophet" delivered Friday night.
Ilyas said any person who slanders the character of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and challenges Islamic tenants and principles is a person who works against the spirit of Islam. Such people must be held accountable for their actions, said Ilyas.
"Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to request the president, the vice president, members of the esteemed Parliament, - I prefer to say it this way as it is the parliament that is esteemed and not its members- to be mindful of the oath you took", urged Ilyas.
Ilyas called on the defense forces to protect the sanctity of Islam by taking action against those working against Islam. Ilyas warned of God's punishment and said the country will be helpless if it faces God's wrath.
The scholar further said even if certain groups worked to portray Muslims as terrorists, they will be unsuccessful in achieving their goal, adding that any attempts to tarnish the character of Prophet Muhammad in Maldives will not be victorious.
"I swear by Allah, I do not care even a bit if I am killed or labelled as a terrorist for speaking the truth about Islam. I have no reservations, I have no problems", said Ilyas.
Sheikh Ilyas appealed the public to refrain from doing anything that could cause unrest, and said it is not a characteristic of Muslims to do so. However, every Muslim must speak up against wrongdoing and urge the country's leaders to take action against such misconduct, said the Sheikh.
A report issued by a non-partisan organization named Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) in 2016 recently caused an uproar in the country due to controversial content included in the report. Titled '‘Preliminary Assessment on Radicalization in the Maldives", the report 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, religious scholars and the public have been calling to ban the organization. However, no such action has been taken thus far.