Bill submitted to stop hatred would further increase hatred: Adhaalath Party

President of Adhaalath Party, Home Minister, Sheik Imran Abdulla and Vice President of Adhaalath Party, Chief of Staff of the Presidents Office, Ali Zahir | Photo: Avas

Malé, Maldives — Adhaalath Party has stated that the bill presented to stop hatred on behalf of the government to consider it a criminal offense if an individual calls another a non-muslim in public has many concerning aspects and that the bill could further increase hatred amongst citizens.

After inspecting the bill presented on behalf of the government by MDP MP for Thulhaadhoo Constituency Hisaan Hussain, a statement released by the Adhaalath Party stated that while the bill consists of the offences that would lead to hatred. In addition to this, two offenses mentioned in the bill does not adhere to the international conditions required in deciding the offences that would lead to hatred.

They are the offence of accusing an individual that they are against Islamic religion in public and the offense of creating hatred towards a person in the society by relating it to Islamic faith.

The statement of Adhaalath Party noted that the aforementioned two offenses have been written in a way that it’s original meaning can be lost, inviting confusion to that area. Along with this, the two offenses also imply that one of the rightful duties of muslims, to call on to do right things and to stop individuals from doing wrong things would be considered a criminal offense.

Adhaalath Party noted that although the bill is meant to stop hatred acts in the country, it does not clearly detail the hatred acts on an international level, especially the offenses that are related to hate speech.

The party expressed concerns that the bill may further increase hatred amongst people and called on to the government to follow the methods of international committees on creating the bill as a precaution. Several people have already criticized this bill on social media.