The Maldives on Wednesday appointed the former Chief Justice Sheikh Mohamed Rasheed Ibrahim as the president of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
The President’s Office said in a statement that Sheikh Rasheed, the Advisor of Ministry of Islamic Affairs and former president of the Fiqh Academy, was appointed to the position by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom under the authority granted to him in the Religious Unity Act.
President Yameen had also appointed two new members, Sheikh Adam Shameem and Ishaq Mohamed Fulhu, to the Supreme Council last month.
The Maldives parliament approved an amendment to the Religious Unity Act towards the end of last year, which gives the authority of appointing members to the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs solely to the president in order to protect religious unity and enhance council operations
The amendment also mandates the president to establish a council for Islamic Affairs which would be run under the Islamic Ministry as a separate state institution. Preparations to put together the council are already underway.
Responsibilities of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs include providing sermons to the public and government entities on topics that create difference in opinions, and researching new areas of Islamic law to provide religious counselling.