President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has urged everyone towards unity, stressing that the actions of a few by abusing Constitutional freedoms was negatively affecting nationalism and destroying the social fabric of the nation. President Solih made the remarks, speaking at the special ceremony held tonight to mark this year’s National Day.

Speaking in this regard, President Solih said a few have been tarnishing the image of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) in the name of exercising the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. He said that they were advocating for religious freedom in the guise of human rights.

Moreover, the President noted that other groups were exploiting such freedoms to promote religious extremism, radicalisation, and acts of terror. Highlighting these abuses, President Solih asserted that observing and respecting the sacred tenets of Islam is a fundamental facet of Maldivian society and that any such attempts will not be permitted in the Maldives. He further stressed that the administration would not tolerate hate speech and fearmongering.

In his address, President Solih also explored the history behind the recent cases of abusing Constitutional freedoms and questioned the motive behind the failure to address such acts then. He further called upon everyone to refrain from using religion as a political tool to create discord amongst society.

Speaking about the reasons behind marking a National Day, President Solih stated that, when celebrating the contributions of individuals who have served the nation, it is also essential to work towards preserving traditions and skills that are in danger of being relegated to history books. He said that such traditions distinguish the ‘Jazeera’ characteristics of Maldivians.

He further extended his warmest felicitations to the two honourees who received the Order of the Distinguished Rule of Izzuddin and the recipients of the National Award of Honour and the National Award of Recognition tonight. Speaking further about nationalism, President Solih stressed the sacrifices made by the ancestors to protect and preserve the nation’s sovereignty and freedom.