The Adhaalath Party has requested the Education Ministry cancel the Maldives’ inter-school singing competition due to be held this year for the first time in six years, claiming that singing was haram in Islam.
Vice President of the party’s Scholars Council, Ilyas Abdulatheef, sent letters to Villa TV, the state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM) and the Education Minister Dr Asim Ahmed.
In the letter to the Education Minister, the Adhaalath Party stated that music and singing were haram in Islam according to trusted Islamic scholars, and that the Adhaalath Party was concerned that some TV stations were planning an Inter-school Singing Competition to be held between school students under the watch of Education Ministry.
The party expressed concern about the competition and urged the ministry “stop such un-Islamic activities.’’
Another letter was sent to TVM Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Asif and VTV Chairman Ameen Ibrahim.
In both letters, the Adhaalath Party stated that the party was concerned about the singing competition and urged them to cancel it.
The Education Minister, VTV and TVM were also sent research on music and singing in Islam attached with the letter.
The Adhaalath Party was one of the coalition partners that in 2008 joined Mohamed Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to defeat former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
The current President of the Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Imran Abdulla, was very critical of the MDP and joined a coalition with former opposition parties that led to the ousting of the MDP on February 7.
That followed the breaking of its coalition agreement with the MDP on September 27 last year, after the party’s consultation council voted 32 to 2 to approve a resolution to break the coalition.
The party claimed that the Nasheed’s government had ignored “sincere advice and suggestion”, and that the party was forced to stage street protests “to put a stop to serious matters related to the country’s religion and sovereignty.”
Among the 28 main points noted in the resolution included rising inflation under Nasheed’s administration, refusal to reimburse amounts deducted from civil servants salaries, failure to alleviate the persisting dollar shortage, appointing unqualified “activists” to manage government corporations, and insufficient measures against corruption in the government.
The Adhaalath Party then claimed the former government was “making secret deals with Israel in the name of the people and pursuing relations with Israel to an extent that threatens the nation’s independence and sovereignty.”
Moreover, the Adhaalath party accused the then-government of agreeing to “let Israel influence the country’s educational curriculum.”
Among government decisions strongly contested by the party, the resolution also referred to a proposal to make Dhivehi and Islam optional subjects in higher secondary education and reclaiming a land plot awarded to the Islamic College (Kulliya).
The final eight points included the use of force against protesting parents of Arabiyya school students, senior government diplomats expressing concern with Maldivian students going to Arabic or Islamic countries for studies, publishing regulations allowing sale of alcohol to non-Muslims in inhabited islands, and insufficient cooperation with the Islamic Ministry’s efforts to close down brothels.
Adhaalath Party member Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, now the Islamic Minister, was not responding to calls at time of press.