Governance Legal Society & Culture

Cleric loses preaching licence as ministry probe begins

Sheikh Ali Zaid

The Islamic ministry has revoked the preaching licence of Sheikh Ali Zaid and said the cleric is under investigation, local media reported.

The licence was suspended from Monday, according to a ministry media official. He did not know the duration of the suspension.

The official said Zaid was being investigated in connection with several complaints but refused to disclose details.

Zaid also refused to comment when contacted by local media.

On Saturday night he said in a Facebook post that he was aware of what the Islamic ministry was trying to do and called on “those involved in this to fear Allah.”

He has criticised the government recently and urged the education ministry to cleanse itself of “secular people” after the Islamist NGO Jamiyyathul Salaf accused the ministry of obstructing gatherings.

He has tweeted about being blocked from carrying out religious events and sermons in the atolls but did not say who prevented him from doing so.

The ministry media official denied his accusations and told Sun Online there was no bar to holding gatherings or giving sermons “in accordance with the rules.”

Zaid was summoned to the Islamic ministry last Ramadan for saying that 70 percent of the people from one Maldivian island do not fast during the holy month.

The Maldives has been declared a 100-percent Muslim country and all able-bodied Maldivians are compelled, by law, to abstain from eating and drinking during the day in Ramadan.

Zaid has also attracted controversy for saying that people who favour same-sex marriage should be killed and warned of “divine wrath” for people who plant false evidence.

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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