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Maldives removes monuments “offensive” to Muslims

Wednesday January 25, 2012 07:11:57 PM, IINA

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Male (Maldives): The Maldives republic is currently removing monuments it was given by the South Asian Association For Regional Cooperation (SAARC) when the island hosted its 17th conference in November. This follows a “Defend Islam” protest against the monuments held on December 23, and calls for the implementation of sharia law.

Hithadhoo Court Magistrate Abdullah Farooq has ordered the removal of monuments gifted by the SAARC nations at the 2011 SAARC Summit “Building Bridges” held in Addu City.

This week, following two months of theft and vandalism, Addu City Council removed the monument given to the Maldives from Bhutan, which is described as “a wooden sign,” and which demonstrators have claimed is offensive to Islam.

According to the New Age, “Out of the monuments from the SAARC countries, the one given by Pakistan installed in Seenu Atoll, Hithadhoo, which depicts the country’s conversion to Islam, became the ‘most controversial’ as it shows several deities. Just on the eve of unveiling the monument from Pakistan, detailing the Indus valley civilization and a bust of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of the country, a group of protesters had knocked it down calling it idolatrous.”

According to the Maldivian newspaper Minivan News, state Minister for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Hussein Rasheed had previously said, “The Pakistan monument showed how Pakistan became an Islamic country from its Buddhist origins,” and that “Although the monument does not contradict Islam, it should not be kept there if Maldivian citizens do not want it to be there.”

Hithadhoo Court Magistrate Abdullah Farooq “identified the monuments as “idols of worship” used by non-Muslims which could allow for the growth of other religions in the Maldives", according to Minivan News.

“Farooq further argued that the monuments conflict with the regulations within the Religious Unity Act and were accepted into the country unlawfully according to the Contraband Act.”










 

 

 

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