The Maldives is a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean.
You wouldn’t want to live there.
According to the revised constitution, in article two, it says that the republic “is based on the principles of Islam.” Article nine says that “a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives”; number ten says that “no law contrary to any principle of Islam can be applied in the Maldives.” Article nineteen states that “citizens are free to participate in or carry out any activity that is not expressly prohibited by sharia or by the law.”
Mohamed Nazim does live there, though, and he has openly declared he is not a Muslim.
Nazim claimed he was “Maldivian and not a Muslim” during a public question-and-answer session with Islamic speaker Dr Zakir Naik, the first time a Maldivian has publicly announced he is not a Muslim.
The 37 year-old angered many in the approximately 11,000-strong crowd with his statement during Dr Naik’s ‘Misconceptions about Islam’ lecture on Friday.
Dr Naik responded that Nazim had read the wrong books and “deviated from Islam”, and requested him “to read correct books on Islam, and Inshallah, you’ll come back to Islam.”
However Nazim did not relinquish the microphone and pressed Naik to clarify the penalty for apostasy.
Oh, they’ll give him a chance to repent… but he won’t do it.
And because of that, he’s probably going to be killed.
Today the Islamic Foundation of the Maldives issued a press statement calling on judges to give Nazim the opportunity to repent “and if he does not, then sentence him to death as Islamic law and Maldivian law agree.”
“The Islamic Foundation believes that the person who announces apostasy should be punished according to Islamic laws,” the NGO said, warning that Nazim represented “a disturbance to the religious views and the religious bonds that exist with Maldivians.”
Could any of those moderate Muslims who were so vocal against the stick figure drawings of Muhammad please remind me again why Islam deserves our respect?
Something about it being a “religion of peace”…?
(Thanks to Cristina for the link)