Maldives
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (98.3%)

Features Of Constitution

Is there a constitution?3 yes
Does the constitution state an official religion?3 yes [Article 10(a)]
Does the constitution provide for freedom of religion?3 no
Does the constitution protect religious equality/non-discrimination?3 no

Constitution

Constitution Year3 2008
Last Amended3 2015
Source3 Constitute Project
Translation3 Source is an English translation, edited by ARDA staff.
Current as of3 October 31, 2018

Constitution Excerpts (clauses that reference religion)3

Article 2. Republic of the Maldives.

The Maldives is a ... Republic based on the principles of Islam ...

Article 9. Citizens.

...

(d) ... [A] non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives.

Article 10. State religion.

(a) The religion of the State of the Maldives is Islam. Islam shall be the one of the bases of all the laws of the Maldives.

(b) No law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted in the Maldives.

Article 16. Guarantee of rights.

(a) This Constitution guarantees to all persons, in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam, the rights and freedoms contained within this Chapter ...

(b) The limitation of a right or freedom specified in this Chapter by a law enacted by the People’s Majlis as provided for in this Constitution, and in order to protect and maintain the tenets of Islam, shall not be contrary to article (a).

(c) In deciding whether a right or freedom in this Chapter, has been limited in accordance with article (a) and (b), a court must be fully cognisant of and make reference to all the facts, including:

...

(6) the extent to which the right or freedom must be limited in order to protect the tenets of Islam, where the right or freedom has been limited pursuant to article (b).

...

Article 19. Freedom from restraint.

A citizen is free to engage in any conduct or activity that is not expressly prohibited by Islamic Shari’ah or by law. ...

Article 27. Freedom of expression.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and the freedom to communicate opinions and expression in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam.

Article 36. Right to education.

...

(c) Education shall strive to inculcate obedience to Islam, instill love for Islam ...

Article 59. Retrospective legislation.

(a) No person shall be found guilty of any act or omission which did not constitute an offence under Islamic Shari’ah or law at the time committed. ...

...

Article 67. Responsibilities and duties.

The exercise and enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of responsibilities and duties, and it is the responsibility of every citizen:

...

(f) to promote democratic values and practices in a manner that is not inconsistent with any tenet of Islam;

(g) to preserve and protect the State religion of Islam ...

...

Article 70. Legislative authority.

...

(b) The law making powers of the People’s Majlis pursuant to article (a), includes the following powers:

...

(2) the enactment of legislation with regard to any matter, or the amendment or repeal of any law, which is not inconsistent with any tenet of Islam;

...

(c) The People’s Majlis shall not pass any law that contravenes any tenet of Islam.

...

Article 73. Qualifications of members.

(a) A person elected to be a member of the People’s Majlis shall be so qualified if he:

...

(3) is a Muslim and a follower of a Sunni school of Islam;

...

Article 90. Privilege.

(a) No member or other person shall be liable to any proceedings in any court, and no person shall be subject to any inquiry, arrest, detention or prosecution, with respect to anything said in, produced before, or submitted to the People’s Majlis or any of its committees, or with respect to any vote given if the same is not contrary to any tenet of Islam.

...

Article 100. Removal of President or Vice President.

(a) The People’s Majlis, by a resolution, may remove the President or the Vice President from office only on the grounds of:

(1) direct violation of a tenet of Islam, the Constitution or law;

...

Article 109. Qualifications for election as President.

A person elected as President shall have the following qualifications:

...

(b) be a Muslim and a follower of a Sunni school of Islam;

...

(g) ... not have been convicted of an offence for which a hadd is prescribed in Islam ...

Article 130. Qualifications of Ministers.

(a) A person shall be qualified to be a member of the Cabinet if he:

...

(3) is a Muslim and a follower of a Sunni school of Islam;

...

Article 142. Compliance with law.

... When deciding matters on which the Constitution or the law is silent, Judges must consider Islamic Shari’ah. ...

Article 149. Qualifications of Judges.

...

(b) ... [A] Judge shall possess the following qualifications:---

(1) be a Muslim and a follower of a Sunni school of Islam;

...

(3) has not been convicted of an offence for which a hadd is prescribed in Islam, ...

...

(c) A person appointed to be a Judge of the Supreme Court ... must be educated in Islamic Shari’ah or law.

...

Article 246. Equal treatment.

(a) Members of the security services shall treat all persons and groups ... with humanity and dignity in accordance with the decorous principles of Islam.

...

Article 274. Definitions.

(a) In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

...

• "tenet of Islam" means, the Holy Qur’an and those principles of Shari’ah whose provenance is not in dispute from among those found in the Sunna of the Noble Prophet, and those principles derived from these two foundations;

• "Islamic Shari’ah" means, the Holy Qur’an and the ways preferred by the learned people within the community and followers of the Sunnah in relation to criminal, civil, personal and other matters found in the Sunna;

...

Schedule 1. Oaths of Office.

[all oaths include: "that I will respect the religion of Islam"]


Sources

1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports annual estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivisions within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson, the principal investigator of the World Christian Database, the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database, and co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia series.

3.  Text from country constitutions was copied from primary documents obtained online using a variety of sources, including the Constitute Project, World Constitutions Illustrated, and government sources. When the text was in a language other than English, it was translated to English by ARDA staff or with web-based translation utilities such as Google Translate. Emphases were added to the text by ARDA staff to differentiate religious content from non-religious content. Text is current to the date listed in the "Current as of" field shown above. Please contact us at support@thearda.com if you are aware of any incorrect information provided on this page.

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