26 January 2008

Maldives Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs claims the sun rose from the west on Mars

The Maldives Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has officially endorsed a scientific hoax (spread mainly through forwarding emails) which states that the sun has risen from the west on planet Mars. An article translated in to dhivehi by 'abu osama' (purportedly from an Arabic language Islamic magazine) was displayed on the council's official noticeboard.

The article displayed on the Council noticeboard.
[view the full article here: Pages 12 and 3 ]

The article was also published on the Islamist Adhaalath Party's official website and Haveeru daily news paper as well. Copies of this article -with the stamp of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs on it- was also distributed by islamists around the city. The council have repeatedly confirmed this hoax to be true, when ever people inquired by phone or by visiting the council.

Quoting from the Quran, Hadiths and Islamic Scholars, the article argued that this (sun rising from the west) may to earth as well, and  that it would be a sign of the end of days. It called on all muslims to "hasten to do good deeds" and invited non-Muslims and heedless Muslims to return to Islam because "once the sun rise from the west (for earth) the doors of repentance will be closed forever".

After a local science enthusiast responded on his blog (in english and dhivehi) by exposing scientific inaccuracies of the article, Haveeru news and Adhaalath Party have agreed that there were 'some mistakes' in it, without admitting they fell for a hoax. 

To this day the Supreme Council have not apologized nor professed they were wrong in endorsing a hoax. The Council which operates under the Office of the President have earlier banned the animated cartoon film "The Prince of Egypt" and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1 comment:

Leane said...

People should read this.