The Maldivian government has condemned attempts to denigrate the religion of Islam, stating that derogatory remarks and blasphemous publications cannot be characterized as a reasonable exercise within the rights of the freedom of expression.
In a statement released by the Maldivian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday afternoon, the Maldivian government expressed deep concern over the increase in aggression and provocative rhetoric towards the religion of Islam and Prophet Mohamed.
“Maldives categorically condemns such acts and deem them as none other than hate speech,” said the Maldivian government in its statement.
The statement follows France’s President Emmanuel Macron’s support of secular laws that deem caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohamed as protected under freedom of speech, sparking protests in Islamic nations and calls to boycott French products.
“Efforts to denigrate Islam and the beloved Prophet (ﷺ) through derogatory remarks and blasphemous publications cannot be categorized as a reasonable exercise within the right of the freedom of expression,” said the Maldivian government in its statement.
Maldivian government said that as a democratic society built on the tenets of Islam, Maldives remains committed to upholding the freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.
Maldivian government said that Maldives is opposed to all forms of extremism, whether in the name of religion or the purported exercise of the right to freedom of expression, and condemns all act of corruption and is committed to combatting terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms.
“However, Maldives strongly refutes any attempt to link the peaceful religion of Islam with terrorism or violent extremism. Such a characterization is not only fundamentally flawed, but irresponsible,” said the Maldivian government in its statement.
The Maldivian government urged everyone to exercise respect and tolerance and resort to non-violent and non-provocative means in the exercise of their fundamental human rights.
It also reiterated its commitment to working with the international community to promote peace and tolerance.