MALE - The government of Maldives has rejected UN calls for debating the practice of flogging women guilty of committing adultery in the island nation.
"What's there to discuss about flogging?" Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem told Haveeru newspaper.
"There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with God."
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay called Friday on the Maldives government to end the practice of flogging women committed of having extra-marital sex.
I strongly believe that a public debate is needed in Maldives on this issue of major concern, she said.
Under Maldives law, women found to have committed adultery are punished with 30 lashes.
There are now estimates of how many women are flogged in the Muslim nation, but the punishment is usually done in public.
The UN rights chief's call has sparked protests in the island nation, with some protestors calling for Pillary's arrest.
Protestors surrounded the UN Building, and demanded an apology from the UN and parliamentarians.
The Maldives government said that it will not allow any debates about penalties against female adulterers.
"Our foreign ministry will not allow that to happen," said Nassem.
"Maldives is a 100 percent Muslim country."
The Maldives is a cluster of 1,200 islands renowned for its luxury resorts.
The Maldivian ethnic identity is a blend of the cultures reflecting the peoples who settled on the islands, probably from southern India and Sri Lanka.
According to CIA factbook, a 2011 July census put the number of its people at 394,999.
Islam is the official religion of the country with almost 100 percent of its residents practicing Muslims.
Islam takes a firm and decisive stance against adultery by prohibiting it as well as closing all the avenues and means leading to it.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net