Tuesday 5th Jul 2022
Dhivehi Edition
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Islamophobia

Linking prayer to extremism is to promote secularism: Dr Shaheem

Former Minister for Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has stated that linking prayers and adherence to prayer to extremism was an attempt to promote secularism in the country.
He made the statement referring to the controversy stemming from the ‘Hafthaares’ program held in Ungoofaaru Island. A workshop in the program allegedly was on extremism, identifiers of extremism in youth, and how it impacts on a peaceful society.
Some of the identifiers singled out were adherence to prayer, young men keeping their beards, rejection of music, and other similar aspects.
In a tweet posted in Dhivehi, Dr Shaheem said that adherence to Islam is a core tenet of the Constitution, and as such, prayer was a key aspect of this. Encouraging individuals to engage in prayer had always been a strong value in the society and, as such, cannot be deemed as an identifier of extremism.
Any attempts to link prayer and observance of prayer to extremism, was an attempt to promote secularism in the country, he added.
Education Minister Dr Aishath Ali was also questioned in the Parliament over the program. She had plead ignorance on the matter.
“Hafthaares” was run by Ministry of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment, National Counter-Terrorism Center, Hope for Women, Islamic University of Maldives, and Transparency Maldives.