It has been revealed that the Islamic Ministry had asked the Police to halt the Yoga Day activities that were held last week prior to the event.
The Ministry had sent a letter to the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed on the 15th of this month.
In the letter 6 days ahead of the scheduled event, the Ministry had implored that Yoga was prohibited in Islam and had asked the Police to find who practiced the Hindu-religion-related activity and to stop them.
The Ministry had pointed out that as per the Constitution of the Maldives, Islam is the country's religion and that it is the state's responsibility to maintain the country's religious unity, freedom, and sovereignty.
In the letter, the Islamic Ministry also said that in 2004 the Egyptian Fatwa Committee had ruled that Yoga was prohibited in Islam and had said that the ruling was based on the fact that Yoga was closely related to the Hindu religion.
It also highlighted that in 2008, a Malaysian Fatwa Committee had also ruled against Yoga and further said that it was prohibited as a sport as well as a leisure activity.
Despite the reservation from the Islamic Ministry, Youth Minister had collaborated with the Indian High Commission in the Maldives to hold activities to mark the Yoga Day last Tuesday in the Galolhu National Stadium.
A crowd of youth had gathered ahead of the activities and later barged into the stadium disrupting the event the stadium.
Since then, the Police have been arresting suspects in relation to the violence including some prominent religious scholars. A total of 19 people have now been arrested after the events.