Vigilante justice against Islamic teachings: PG Shameem

Prosecutor General (PG) Hussain Shameem was the President of MDN for 5 years between 2007 and 2016 | Photo: Nishan Ali

Malé, Maldives – Carrying out acts of vigilantism in the name of justice is dangerous and against legal and religious teachings, said Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem today.

Shameem’s statements were published his most recent update of his blog, titled “vigilante justice is not allowed in Islamic Sharia”

The blog post opened with the lines, “Carrying out justice is a responsibility handed over to law enforcement persons. Carrying out vigilantism in regarding what one believes to be justice is dangerous and against legal and religious teachings.”

Highlighting that the legal system of Maldives is based on Islamic regulations, Shameem said that the constitution of Maldives states that the basis of Maldivian laws is Islam. He went on to say that as such, no laws that go against Islamic values can be passed, and that if the Parliament does in fact pass such a law, the constitution dictates how that particular law can be voided.

Writing on, he stressed on the fact that as long as a court declares a law as un-Islamic, citizens are to obey the law.

“The person tasked with enforcing the law shall do so, under the assumption that the law created by the Parliament is in accordance with Islamic values. It is impractical to confirm whether a law is correct [Islamic] or not, each time the law has to be enforced. If a law passed by the Parliament is not correct [Islamic], the court will decide on that,” Shameem wrote.

Shaheem also highlighted that the Islamic criminal justice system has its own standards, and said that in Islam, the aim is not to just achieve a goal, but that the method of achieving the goal is also important, and gave several examples from Islamic history.

“Solving issues on the road [vigilantism] is not permissible. That is, due to the dangerous nature of doing so,” Shameem wrote, highlighting that the law clearly states how criminals should be dealt with, and that if the system is flawed, then the Parliament should amend them.

The topic of this blogpost is becoming increasingly relevant to the Maldivian context as more and more incidents of vigilante justice are being seen in the country.

Often times in such cases, the accused are dragged on to the roads and beaten up. Police have repeatedly advised the public against such acts.