Maldives condemns attempts to denigrate Islam

The Maldives has condemned the attempts to denigrate the religion of Islam.

A statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said the Maldives is deeply concerned about the increase in aggression and provocative rhetoric towards the religion of Islam and the beloved Prophet (ﷺ). Maldives categorically condemns such acts and deem them as none other than hate speech, said the statement. Efforts to denigrate Islam and the beloved Prophet (ﷺ) through derogatory remarks and blasphemous publications cannot be categorized as a reasonable exercise within the right of the freedom of expression, it further said.

As a democratic society built on the tenets of Islam, Maldives remains committed to upholding the freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. Maldives is opposed to all forms of extremism, whether in the name of religion or the purported exercise of the right to freedom of expression, said the Foreign Ministry.

While Maldives condemns all acts of terrorism and is committed to combatting terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms, it strongly refutes any attempt to link the peaceful religion of Islam with terrorism or violent extremism. Such a characterization is not only fundamentally flawed, but irresponsible, said the Islamic nation. Maldives urges everyone to exercise respect and tolerance and resort to non-violent and non-provocative means in the exercise of their fundamental human rights, said the statement, assuring that the country remains committed to working with the international community to promote peace and tolerance.

The Foreign Ministry's statement comes at a time when several Muslim leaders and countries are directing criticism at French President Emmanuel Macron on his stance on freedom of expression. Many leaders have called on their countrymen to boycott French products in retaliation to the provocations against Islam.