MALE, September 17 (HNS) – President’s Office has gazetted the controversial Religious Unity Regulation, declaring it an offence to preach a religion except Islam in the Maldives.
The 12-clause regulation makes it mandatory for preachers of Islam, both locals and foreigners, to have a first degree in a field of Islamic education from a ministry-approved college, university or centre.
A list of 36 worldwide institutes recognised by the ministry has been published in the gazette. The Maldives National University and local colleges and institutes are not included in the list.
The Islamic ministry is authorised under the regulation to license experienced persons who do not possess the educational qualification required.
The regulation, which instructs scholars to consider the social harmony, states practices that should be avoided in preaching Islam in the Maldives, including the practice of making comments in contradiction with prophetic traditions and majority view of the scholars.
The regulation does not allow preventing healthcare and education in the name of religion. It further instructs preachers to avoid giving sermons that support gender discrimination, racism or any other form of discrimination.
“In explaining an issue that has been disputed by scholars, the different views expressed by scholars should be explained. If the scholar favours a certain point of view, evidence to support his view should be made clear,” the regulation reads.
The regulation also prohibits comments of hatred towards people of other religions, spreading a religion other than Islam and using an object that resembles a sign of a religion other than Islam.
A person who violates the regulation will be sentenced to 2-5 years in prison, banishment or house arrest.
So anyone carrying a religion symbol of any faith except Islam will be arrested. And wherever Muslims are in a minority, these jokers become champions of secularism, like in India. What happens to their secularism when they acquire a majority in any area?