Current amendment to stop hatred opens opportunities to mock Islam: Malé Council

Newly elected Malé City Council members | Photo: thepress

Malé, Maldives — Malé city council has stated that the amendment submitted to stop hatred on behalf of the government opens opportunities for people to mock Islam.

A press statement released by the Malé city council consisting the signature of all the councilors exluding the MDP members stated that the residents of Malé have been expressing their concerns over the amendment to stop hatred saying that the government is allowing people to mock the Islamic religion and the Prophet with the power of the law.

The statement read that this amendment indicates that mocking Islam is legally allowed as it says that the person who faults those who mock islam and attempts to stop them are the culprits.

City Council stated that along with the citizens, they are also concerned about the new amendment to stop hatred. Several Islamic Scholars and political party, Adhaalath Party has also raised concerns over the amendment.

Adhaalath Party stated that 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.