Vice President Faisal Naseem on Thursday attributed difficulties faced in implementing counter-terrorism measures to flaws in the Religious Unity Act (Act No. 6/94), and asserted that amendments are needed to combat the country's growing rate of religious extremism.
The statement was made during a meeting held late Thursday at the President's Office amongst authority officials, discussing ways to deal with issues of Islamophobia, extremism and religious tension.
The Vice President also met with the special committee assembled by the President on January 22 upon the counsel of the cabinet, which is tasked with tackling and finding a solution to rising issues of blasphemy and religious criticism targeted towards the Islamic faith.
The Committee works jointly with relevant authorities to find both short-term and long-term solutions over public commentary that compromise the sacrosanct character of the Islam, as well as the use of religion to threaten the properties and endanger lives of people.
Topics of discussions covered in Thursday's meeting include counter-terrorism and challenges in maintaining a religiously enduring, harmonious society. Committee members shared information and updates in regards to the work carried out by the relevant authorities.
Identifying flaws in the present Religious Unity Act that they believe add to the challenges faced by law enforcement when dealing with radicalisation, VP Naseem and Committee members pressed on the need to amend the law.
Vice President emphasised on the importance of creating and upholding a tolerant society.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Defence Ahmed Mariya Didi, Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Ahmed Zahir, Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla, Minister of Higher Education Dr Ibrahim Hassan, Minister of Youth Sports and Community Empowerment Ahmed Mahloof, Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed and Chief of Staff at the Presidents Office Ali Zahir.