Malé, Maldives – Islamic scholar Dr. Mohamed Iyaz has been suspended from his job at Maldives National University.
According to Dr Iyaz, he was suspended from his job of assistant professor for a period of 14 days for the university to investigate his recent social media posts because it had negative impacts on the people.
Dr Iyaz had told that he hasn’t done anything against the law and that the suspension comes from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists in MNU and that such a suspension would not silence him. He told that even though he is not worried about his suspension over the social media posts, that he was concerned that his suspension might hinder the studies of his students.
His suspension comes following his remarks on prayer gathering regulations set to control the spread of Covid-19 in the Greater Malé Area. While HPA consulted with islamic scholars regarding the suspension of prayer gatherings amidst rise of Covid-19 cases in Greater Malé Area, Dr Iyaz openly commented against it. He also was against physical distancing in mosques during prayers.
After the consultations with various scholars, Islamic Ministry informed on March 4, 2021 that the decision was taken to continue daily prayer with social distancing instead of closing down the mosques as several Islamic Scholars had advised that closing down the mosques would greatly sadden the citizens reasoning that, it is better to carry out daily prayers with social distancing until the Covid-19 situation gets better.
While the Islamic Ministry had decided to carry out daily prayers with social distancing as a protective measure against Covid-19, several citizens and Islamic Scholars have criticized this movement saying that praying with gaps in between each other is not encouraged and has never been done in Islamic religion. However, other muslim countries including Saudi Arabia are following social distancing prayers at present due to the pandemic.