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Dr. Shaheem's compassionate approach to educate on religion

Mohamed Rehan
30 November 2023, MVT 08:47
Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed-- Photo: Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
30 November 2023, MVT 08:47

Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has said that the path to truth can be through academic discourse.

In his interview to Mihaaru News, the minister noted that though Maldives is a 100 percent Muslim nation, lack of proper knowledge about the Islamic faith has led to instances of mockery and insults aimed at the faith.

Minister Shaheem assured legal action, if required, against such instances as well.

The minister, however, will uphold a policy of compassion in educating individuals questioning the aspects of Islamic religion and its customs.

He emphasized the importance of prioritizing compassion, endearment and patience in approaching people posing questions about the religion, and underscored the importance of academic discourses on religious knowledge.

"The discourse based on religious knowledge is necessary in society, which would lead to the ultimate truth. Our efforts would be made to ensure the public becomes aware to religious preaching and knowledge. Resorting to violence or enmity over dissidence would pose negative consequences for the society, and since our ministry's mandate is to educate the people of the truth and right knowledge, we would ensure the efforts are made to best achieve this," Shaheem said.

The minister also highlighted the growing public tension towards radicalism and lack of action to those mocking or insulting the Islamic faith.

Dr. Shaheem bemoaned the negative influences on the youth, which he added, has led to undesirable consequences. The minister highlighted the spread of radicalism among the younger generations, and added that since it was tied to ideals, it was important to provide relevant knowledge regarding such issues to resolve them.

"I believe radicalism is related to ideologies, and from my experience I can attest that the issue can be countered with progressive ideals, with the spread of proper knowledge," the minister commented.

He also recalled past instances of radical uprisings, and noted the role of religious scholars in dissipating such incidents by providing proper knowledge. The minister is confident the same approach is applicable in future as well.

"We need to promote religious awareness through a welcoming perspective. The youth need to be made aware of good and evil, and bring them closer to us. We need to provide them proper religious knowledge, and we are embarking on the first phase of our five-year plan towards this goal," Dr. Shaheem added.

The minister emphasized the first year of religious awareness will focus on the tenets of Islamic faith, principles, jurisprudence and protection of the faith.

Dr. Shaheem is confident the efforts, led by academic youths, will be impactful.