A number of parliamentarians have called for the dissolution of religious organisations with extremist ideologies.
The MPs made the call during the parliamentary debate of the NGO Bill introduced by MP for Holhudhoo, Yoonus Ali, at Tuesday's sitting.
During the debate, MP for Central Maafannu, Ibrahim Rasheed claimed that a number of terrorist cells are currently operating in the Maldives and that their operations are conducted similar to the mafia.
He also noted that as per recent events, organisations are currently not regulated with consideration to international standards as it should be. He went on to point out that when a member of an organisation makes a mistake, the whole organisation is dissolved. He stated that mindsets should be adapted to penalize the offender not an entire group of people.
While referring to the Salaf organisation, that was named in the recently publicized investigative report of former lawmaker, Dr. Afrasheem Ali's, murder, he highlighted that the organisation can sometimes be seen playing football while other times they are seen actively participating in politics.
Additionally, we see them create chaos and disorder. We see them ruining the minds of youngsters by brainwashing them to think that the extremist views coming from Afghanistan or from the Pakistan border is the real version of Islam. This must be investigated. The country cannot progress without addressing this.
~ MP for Central Maafannu, Ibrahim Rasheed
MP for Makunudhoo, Mohamed Raai also contributed to the debate declaring that there are organisations founded and run by hard-line extremists in the Maldives that are run out of mosques as a headquarters instead of an office building. Raai highlighted that according to the law on institutions, an organisation's total number of members and financial statements must also be publicly available upon establishment.
He further stated that the investigative report on Dr. Afrasheem's murder and the abduction and murder of journalist, Ahmed Rilwan reveals a horrifying picture for the country's future.
There should not be any organisation that creates fear when we hear their name. Any organisation that permits blood-shed should not be allowed to exist. Such organisations can operate somewhere else. It is clearly against the principles of Islam for these organisations to call for bloodshed as described in these reports. The relevant authorities must take action and dissolve such organisations.
~ MP for Makunudhoo, Mohamed Raai
Additionally, MP for South Henveyru, Hussain Shaheem alleged that the founders of these overzealous organisations brainwash and deceive innocent people as they are motivated to recruit pawns for a foreign war. He emphasized the growth of Al-Qaeda cells in the Maldives and stressed that Al-Qaeda's agents are openly operating all over the country with some agents publicly stating so.
He also recalled protests by ISIS supporters in the country after the rise of ISIS, which replaced Al-Qaeda and highlighted the ongoing activities of the jihadist media group, Bilad al-Sham.
Shaheem further stated that no organisation has the liberty to stand in the way of the constitutional right for Maldivians to live in peace and harmony.
The Salaf organisation is clearly a terrorist organisation that spreads their extremists views and strikes fear in the hearts of the public. They had released public statements encouraging and permitting the bloodshed of Dr. Afrasheem Ali. After looking at their public statements, I appeal to the speaker and government to dissolve this organisation
~ MP for South Henveyru, Hussain Shaheem
MPs debating the bill advocated for strengthening the regulations of the management and dissolution of organisations.
Presently, the bill states that the registration of organisation is sanctioned by an authority appointed by the President.