No law contrary to the tenets of Islam can be enacted in the Maldives, and while this report doesn’t mention it (and in the full version tries to establish otherwise), Islamic law mandates that apostates from Islam be killed. Islamic Tolerance Alert: “First prisoner of conscience in Nasheed’s Maldives,” from Maldives Dissent, May 30 (thanks to Sharif):
Mohamed Nazim, a man who posed a question to Wahhabi televengalist Zakir Naik has become the country’s first prisoner of conscience since president since Nasheed took office in 2008.
Nazim asked Naik the verdict in Islam for individuals who were still struggling to decide on faith in a country such as the Maldives, where most people practise religion not by choice but because they inherited it from their parents.
Naik’s jumbled response that the Maldives government should decide the plight of such people suggests that he hadn’t properly researched the country to which he had come to lecture. Clearly unused to intelligent debate, Naik then went on the insult Nazim’s knowledge of Islam and education.
“Don’t try to be too smart,” he told Nazim. “I have to educate you from scratch.”
Following the exchange, a section of Naik’s auidence hounded Nazim and allegedly attacked him before police took him away.
The latest news is that police have now obtained a court order to extend Nazim’s detention. But Maldivian judges have not extended similar cooperation to police for people accused of murder, child abuse and rape.
Mohamed Nazim did say he was not a believer of Islam, but it could be argued that he was speaking hyphothetically to elicit an answer from Zakir Naik. Only Nazim himself can verify his religous stance.
Nazim has effectively become the country’s first prisoner of conscience since Mohamed Nasheed, a self-professed champion of free speech and democracy, took office.
While Article 9 (b) of the Maldives constitution states a citizen of Maldives may not be deprived of citizenship, 9 (d) states that a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives. And, Article 10 states that state religion is Islam and that no law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted in the Maldives. […]
To my knowledge none of Nazim’s alleged attackers have been arrested for taking the law into their hands, even though they must have been caught on TV.
Meanwhile, although Naik himself is reported to have said things which might be contrary to Maldivian law, such as promoting under-aged marriage, no one has called for the arrest of the preacher yet.