After incendiary sermon, thousands pray for Nasheed and Nazim’s freedom

Following an incendiary Friday sermon warning unjust judges of hellfire, thousands gathered outside the Islamic Center in Malé at noon and prayed for former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim’s freedom.

Dozens of police officers attempted to disperse the congregation before the prayer began, but later watched on until the prayer was completed. The police then cordoned off the area.

The sermon, issued by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, quoted several verses from the Qur’an and hadiths from the Prophet Mohamed’s Sunnah on the importance of delivering just verdicts and the wickedness of false testimony.

The unusually incendiary sermon comes in the wake of an 11-year jail term for Nazim on charges of smuggling weapons, and a 13-year jail term for Nasheed on charges of terrorism over the military detention of a Criminal Court judge.

The opposition has claimed the trials were unjust and marred with irregularities including the Criminal Court’s refusal to call defence witnesses and to allow adequate time and facilities to mount a defence.

Nazim maintains he was framed by rogue police officers on the orders of Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb, a claim the police and Adeeb have denied. Defence lawyers said prosecution’s witnesses had lied in court, and said the judges had violated the ex-defence minister’s right to defence.

Reading out the prepared sermon, Imams across the country said upholding justice was necessary for progress and the establishment of peace and order. Islamic Empires had progressed because they were founded on justice, they said.

Quoting from Surat al-Nisa, the sermon said: “Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice.”

The sermon also urged judges to be fair, consider both sides of the argument and evidence in delivering a verdict. Providing false testimony is among the greatest of sins, it added.

Quoting from Prophet Mohamed’s Sunnah, the sermon said: “Judges are of three types, one of whom will go to Paradise, and two to Hell. The one who will go to Paradise is a man who knows what is right and gives judgment accordingly; but a man who knows what is right and acts tyrannically in his judgment will go to Hell; and a man who gives judgment for people when he is ignorant will go to Hell.”

Religious conservative Adhaalath Party’s scholars control the Islamic Affairs Ministry. The party recently withdrew support for President Yameen’s administration, and joined Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) under the banner “Alliance Against Brutality.”

The alliance has been organising daily protests in Malé.

After the sermon ended, the congregation of men and boys gathered outside the Islamic Center, adjacent to the military barracks and offered a prayer for Nazim and Nasheed: “Our beloved leader, a man loved by a majority of us, Mohamed Nasheed, has been unjustly sentenced and imprisoned. He has suffered and continues to suffer brutality. O Allah! Save Mohamed Nasheed from jail and keep him safe. Bless us in our work to establish peace and security in our country, and make us victorious.”

“Colonel Mohamed Nazim, a man who has dedicated his life to serving our people, has been falsely accused and unjustly imprisoned. Protect Mohamed Nazim and all Maldivians who suffer injustice.”

Opposition supporters last week also offered a similar prayer at the Islamic Center, prompting Home Minister Umar Naseer to call for police action against using mosques and surrounding areas to “make political statements.”

Dozens of opposition supporters on Baa Atoll Thulhadhoo Island also prayed for Nazim and Nasheed yesterday.

The alliance meanwhile held a march attended by hundreds in the afternoon and a rice pudding banquet at Raalhugandu area at night in Malé. There were protest marches on Thulhadhoo and Gaaf Alif Atoll Kolamafushi as well.


3 thoughts on “After incendiary sermon, thousands pray for Nasheed and Nazim’s freedom”

  1. This will not solve the problem.

    THe King of KSA wants Draconian control, hence he will do everything he can not to let democracy take hold there. He stands to lose his power and wealth, the moment he allows people to think freely.

    Maldivian power-straddlers are exercising the same rule. No thinking allowed for the people. Let the people pray and hope that somehow God will help them. da!

    This is the fundamental problem with faith-led governments. Little do the followers know they are led to the river by the pied piper. They can never question, where the supposed-infallible made the error, which has led us where we are now. An utter failure as humanity; a perpetual never-ending war with each other. This then gets capped with the blame that somehow the victims at fault.

    Yaamin is doing the same thing, but with Draconian control. Democracy is a namesake to get the outside world's monetary help, while exercising religious-constitution, which favours you know what! A playboy magazine gets you 2 years jail sentence. A drug dealer literally caught red handed, with kilos of drugs, couldn't be found guilty; the fact that it is under his pillow is not proof. But in Nazims case, the same scenario, is indicted, proof is more than enough.

    The president, is playing a very dirty game, in which the public loses more than they imagine. YAG now has religion, corrupt judges, corrupt MPs, MPS and MDF, all in his armoury. He can play the Game of Caesar now.

  2. Before democracy comes order. Do you want like in Inidia, the 'largest democracy' but without any discipline or order? If that is that what some people want in Malides, a dictatorship is 1000 times better.

    Only Democracy with order, discipline and rules is democracy. Making the nation like a zoo is perverting the purpose of freedom.

    Order should come first. Democracy 2nd

  3. What the new generation of government-funded toadies fail to understand is.

    "What order do we have now? We're a so-called 100% muslim country with a porn star for a judge who lets drug barons go, and jails people who have served Maldivians."


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