The president of Maldives has condemned a protest planned by an Islamic party against what it calls anti-Islamic activities in the country.
A government statement Monday quoted President Mohamed Nasheed as saying that the real goal of the protest is the introduction of Islamic penalties such as stoning, amputations and executions.
Nasheed defended working women and said Maldives should continue to practice a moderate form of Islam that allows recreation, sports and music.
Several organizations that campaign for strict Islamic rules including the Adaalath or Justice Party are calling for the protest Friday.
The country of 300,000 people forbids practice of religions other than Sunni Islam.