Government lifts week-long ban on resort spas, massage parlors

The government has lifted a controversial nationwide ban on spas and massage parlors with immediate effect while it awaits a ruling from the Supreme Court over the legality of spa operations and sale of pork and alcohol in resorts.

The announcement was made by President Mohamed Nasheed during a press conference today at Kurumba Island Resort, the country’s first resort which opened in 1972.

The week-long ban, which has made headlines in both local and international media, was lifted “because the government does not want the economy to suffer any damage during the time Supreme Court takes to come to a decision,” President Nasheed said.

Sale of pork and alcohol would also continue while other goods and services “such as casinos” demanded by the tourists, said Nasheed, would be allowed under the Contraband Act of 1975 until a judicial declaration is reached.

As the Maldivian constitution states that “Islam shall be one of the basis of all the laws of the Maldives” and prohibits the enactment of any laws “contrary to any tenet of Islam”, Nasheed said that the Tourism Ministry requested advice on legality of spa operations and sale of pork and alcohol at the recently-concluded ‘Islamic Scholars Symposium.’

However the scholars recommended that the government seek a judicial declaration, he revealed. Nasheed urged the apex court to settle the dispute in the near future.

Asked if the ban was necessary, Nasheed responded that the move was prompted by allegations made at the December 23 ‘Defend Islam’ demonstration.

Nasheed also dismissed opposition parties’ contention that the government should bear full responsibility for the economic consequences, arguing that “in a democracy, it is difficult to decide who’s responsible”, though conceding that the tourism sector’s reputation has been damaged in the process.

“We wanted to impress upon everyone where the opposition’s demands were ultimately going to end,” Nasheed explained.

The government’s ultimatum “woke the nation from its slumber and sparked a healthy national debate about the future direction of the country,” he insisted.

“The extremist demonstration on 23 December attracted a sizeable crowd. But their radical demands awoke the silent majority who categorically reject extremism,” Nasheed said.

The reason Maldives tourism industry have flourished for years, said Nasheed, is because the sector has been “free from religious fundamentalist demands.”

Referring to controversy over allowing Israeli airlines to operate flights to the Maldives, President Nasheed said that the tourist arrivals would be adversely affected “if we start saying that only certain nationals or certain airlines can come to Maldives,” noting that a sizable portion of tourists were Jewish.

The government’s decision rests on a decision made by parliament on recommendations by its National Security Committee, he said.

The December 23 religious rally organised by a coalition of NGOs and opposition parties was the “biggest use of religion as a political tool” in Maldivian history, Nasheed contended.

“We all must know such fundamentalist demands will damage the Maldives tourism industry’s [image] in the international community,” he said. “News will not always reach the international community in the way we prefer.”


42 thoughts on “Government lifts week-long ban on resort spas, massage parlors”

  1. Dear President Mohamed 'Joker' Nasheed, you are the biggest joker ever in the history of big jokers. You have become even a bigger joker than the master joker Qayoom himself!

  2. Congratulations Nasheed.

    Although your dangerous game would surely have adverse effects on the economy, and I squarely condemn it, one cannot help but admire the foot in the door for casino tourism that the government has made.

    I am sure that no one in the opposition would oppose the operation of casinos if it is a viable solution the falling receipts from tourism following the European economic upheaval.

    However in the interests of future stability, whichever government follows the current one should also focus on the education sector. Our human resource is seriously lacking in work ethics, discipline, ambition and skills.

  3. This is outrageous! The government continue to march us towards decadence and impiety and justify it with the promise of luxury. Or so they keep saying.

    This will help feed us they say! This will help pay our wages they say! It is for the benefit of the whole economy they say!

    Well I say this! He, who was amongst the most lofty of all men, the Ayatu'llah Khomeini, (may his name ever be praised), teaches us that economics is for Donkeys; that the piety of our women matter more than a content belly; that the upholding of our dheen is more important than the price of Melons.

    He teaches us, that pleasing Allah SWT is more important than chasing after trivial freedoms and the pleasures of the flesh!

    You "intellectuals" who do not want us to "go back 1400 years." Who scorn our religion, and the Sunnah of the prophet! I address you directly!

    You, who want freedom, freedom for everything, the freedom of parties, freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way for the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom. You should all be garroted on the spot!

    Take heed of my words ye fools! The material shall be of no avail to you, on that great and terrible day, when your lord will ask you what you did on this earth to please him and to advance his cause.

    The faithful do not worship money, we worship Allah. For avarice is another name for paganism. I say let this land burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant

    Take heed ye fools! Do not risk the hellfire for cheap Melons! Do not trade your souls for a massage!

  4. Allhamdullilah! Anni you are a clever boy and NOBODY could deny that! Congratulation to a victory of common sense ( which is not a common thing ) over ignorance and radicalism!

  5. thank you for changing your mind as you really don't want to kill the tourism industry but the damage has already been done as all over the world, the news of the spa closure was reported in most countries' newspaper......

    now is for the MTPB to restore some confidence in the overseas visitors....

  6. Mashallah brother Dhivehi Hanguraama. I am glad such a pious Maldivian Muslim Mujahid actually commented on this issue, because many comments are from Jews. Such a relief I say!

    This is madness! The government has gone mad! Do they prefer the pleasures of this material world, to that of heaven, where the pleasures are unimaginable to the inferior mind of a human being? We do not want an economy built on revenues earned from the Jewish service of spas and massages. I have mentioned another alternative to massages, which is doing salat. If you do salat (namaadh), it would relax you both physically and mentally. Plus, you also clean yourself 5 times everyday, ensuring your physical self stays clean and healthy! Subhanallah! Such an intelligent form of prayer could come only from Allah SWT, Alhamdlillah!

    I call upon every pious Maldivian Muslim brother and non-fornicating sister to boycott the Jewish spas and massage parlours! Choose the hereafter over this material world, for when Malakal Mouth visits you, it may just be too late! Inshallah, I hope you all take my advice seriously.

  7. Giving Maldives rights to operate casinos will be a much needed boost to our economy and bring in investment.

    Casinos can ban maldivians from gambling at resorts, it is far easier to monitor than the black market sale of liquor, drugs or prostitution.

    So, since we are already selling alcohol, pork which us haram why not let the tourists gamble.

  8. Government has no right to ban spas. so it does not matter that President Nasheed has been forced to overturn his fanatical extremist decision to ban spas.

  9. Hey Dhivehi Hanguraama, I thought Islam was the religion of peace. This doesn't sound very peaceful. In fact it is down right violent. "You, who want freedom, freedom for everything, the freedom of parties, freedom that will corrupt our youth, freedom that will pave the way for the oppressor, freedom that will drag our nation to the bottom. You should all be garroted on the spot!

  10. This was a debate that as a nation of hypocrites we seriously needed to have. We were beginning to sleepwalk with the extremists. Strange how when it brushes with tourism, the whole nation suddenly listens and acts. Where were the voices of reason before the protest?
    This debate can not be brushed under he carpet and he economy is part of our country. Well done Mr President. We have to face reality sometimes.

  11. So, in the war between religion v money, money wins. We are a nation of double standards and hypocrits. May be we deserve what we get!

  12. A victory for the President. Sanity has broken out!! If the price is a few lost nights, so be it. It's a bargain to stop evil extremists suffocating us.

  13. @ tsk tsk
    The numbers have never been healthier. Look at Vilu Reef, their and the nations number shot up after that so called PR disaster. There is no such thing as bad PR. Seems like MDP have done a pretty good job with tourism. In today's world, you can not hide little things like growing extremism. Get real!!!

  14. hey Sheikh Imran Abdullah , i describe myself as the first Maldivian Jew :P, just wanna ask you , about this Houris you keep talking about , what sort of Houris are you expecting at Paradise , are they male houris ?? females ? coz i consider myself gay , and would like only bearded Houris like you at Paradise , is this possible ?? if i "repent".

  15. The government has no right to force casinos and massage parlours and bars in our small inhabited island communities

  16. 6 steps ahead of Maldivians?? What a joker President Nasheed is now with his drunk advisors! Who are you ruling this country for? for the zionist?

  17. Anni defeated you in your own game. He became best political thinker in the history of Maldives. When the people who do UN-Islamic acts demonstrate to disallow those Anni exposed there plot to every Maldivian. What a shame to Gasim & co....

  18. @ dhivehi hanguraama and sheikh imran abdullah.

    Im no materialist myself. But do realize that our children,wives,fathers and mothers and the sick will all suffer. You have every right to hold your opinion. But please think about what u are willing to sacrifice, I mean really imagine watching the ppl u love the most in this world go without proper meals and without proper healthcare when they are sick. That is the result that will ensue. Hunger, looting, disease.....think about it. We are supposed to look after ourselves in this world too arent we?

  19. It is of great concern if some fanatic muslims in Maldives try to blend religion with commercialism. Maldives can only move forward if it maintains a secular government - seperate religion from State decision like what Indonesia and Turkey do. Trying to use Religion to intercede into commercial tourism activity that "feeds you" will bring you a tsunami of famine if the tourism industry collapse.

  20. Nice movie ...I am not suprised !!!! After all we have a lot of award winning stars . This time you will get an Oscar for sure !!!! Great story and awesome acting

  21. “We wanted to impress upon everyone where the opposition’s demands were ultimately going to end,” Nasheed explained.
    Sorry Mr President you only impressed everyone during the underwater stunt.Not anymore.
    Mass resignation of your cabinet, a political stunt backfired and lost some of ministers.
    We all now know you are only good at being an opporsition activist. Perhaps you will fail even under those circumstances today.

    You had just sat with Koli Mohodhey Chairman of Universal Ent and Champa Afeef for just 10 Mins and you were simply outspoken by them. You had to give in. So dont mess around with big boys.

  22. @ Waheed. Yes! Perhaps Anni is a mad man!

    He is hell bent on trying to democratize a country that has been under dictator rule for a long time.

    However, what we have been seeing from day one he took office is, the opposition trying to over throw the legitimate government by all and any means!

    With all these difficulty, I see that he is seeing doing a good job! Hats off especially to the care for the aged! And the nation wide health care scheme which I sincerely hope will not be disrupted in any way!

    But this "defend Islam" thing is the worst of cowardice and selfishness I have witnessed!

    Religious scholars going mad over their personal whims and interest! Politicians and stake holders in the tourist industry going crazy to over throw a legitimately elected government not knowing they were stepping and stamping their own toes and cutting their tails as well!

  23. Gasim says he is following Islam, while he has been selling liquor, pork and having massage parlors in his resorts. In the past most of the Maumoon's ministers visit his resorts to drink on his account. So much for the Islam he is following.

  24. please people!
    I beg you...
    to ignore this kaafir dhajjal who is impersonating sheikh imran. He is just another kaafir with a vile agenda. To impress upon people that sheikh imran harbours grudge against jews. For some this may be funny but i sense something sinister. This guy is posting in every thread in minivan and he seems to have time for this. this could only mean that he is possibly receiving some incentive to do this and i do not discount missionary activities for this. It fits perfectly in their plan. their plan is:

    1) to make the islamic ulema look like ignorants.
    2) to raise false claims against islam in the name of freedom of speech.
    3) to promote secular thinking because converting a Muslim to Christianity is difficult but converting a Muslim to atheism is easy.

    etc etc.
    have many points to write but out of time now.. but pls... ignore this kaafir dhajjal.

  25. In my experience, the religious fever which drives these protests against alcohol, pork, spas is not NORMALLY born from a motive of caring for the wellbeing of others, or else I would support it myself.

    Fundamentalist Islam is based on a collective victim mentality, it feeds on, in fact it is born from an addiction to the rush and power created by self-justified, or group justified rage (such fierce expressions, and often actions of hate and rage are rarely, if not never, justifiable...)

    To justify the rage you have to see yourself in your own mind as a victim. Furthermore, you tend to feed your own tragedy at a subconscious level to fuel your rage, you tend to deprive yourself of the ability to overcome your tragedy, as you need it to justify your rage.

    This is done through a morose fatalism, the idea that one is ultimately helpless before the All Mighty WILL of Allah feeds a sense of deep despair, a fear, an inability to persevere in eradicating from yourself a dependant victim mentality.

    Don't get me wrong, Allah is in control of everything, I believe in Taqdir deeply, but ALLAH also wants us to rise above anger and to see that all humans are Sacred, and if they are wrong, to try and correct them in a caring manner.

    I experienced all of this because I was an angry fundamentalist myself.

    This victim mentality creates a distorted perception of the other (RACIST/Classist for example) which justifies your abuse of them, and leads to yourself becoming blind to your own selfish traits (as you always see yourself as the righteouss because you are oppressed!) We then become the greediest, most selfish evil humans alive, we can't even see it, yet we would feel the world owes us these pleasures if we did see it as we are the righteouss and the world is evil and deserves any pain we inflict!

    This thinking becomes even more tyrannical as a political ideology because it is also also fed by this idea that we are all born in a state of fitrah (purity) and that being pure is possible. So, we expect others to become pure, (we are blinded by the reality of our own greedy 'naffss...) and are less tolerant of failure.

    Why can't the understanding of fitrah be used to see the basic goodness in others and be forgiving?

    One particular psychiatrist noted that narcissism was a common mental disorder amongst Muslim communities for the above reasons, just as the Lutheran idea, application, understanding of original sin creates depression amongst many in Protestant societies (ENGLAND< USA for example...)

    Now, religious interpretation forms a great part of the culture of all, even in thoise who are not religious. For example, a narrow understanding of Christianity in the Western world has, unintentionally lead to racism. In the name of others needing to be saved (when you see others as being lost and you being FOUND, you tend to see only the negatives in others cultures and fail to see your own faults and the goodness in others and you become a racist in the name of compassion! This mentality fuels Imperialism and neo-Imperialism even in the minds of those who are not outrughtly Christian, the assumption that others need to be "freed" and democratised is a carry over from an Evangelistic mentality. This evangelistic, condecending 'compassion' creates offense and resistance, us Westerners have had to learn that other cultures are also from the Divine, and have riches in them that our culture is poor in.

    My caring for Maldives is probably routed in this subconscious selfish motive of mine, yet I have recognised it and I am withdrawing from being so inadvertendly racist, and I am deeply sorry for being so.

    However, this particular criticism is not coming out of my compassion, but out of my anger for Maldivian politics, because, for reasons I had previously explained I had been hurt personally. So, before I continue with it, I have to say I generally love Maldives and her culture, but I don't think I would be being fair by not being honest, about what my opinion is!

    So here is my conclusion...

    I personally believe that alongside all of the beautiful qualities I observe in Maldivians, that this fundamentalist thinking I have decribed is deeply rooted in Maldivian collective psyche (culture) on many different levels, even in an extremely moderate way in the liberals. This is why a democratic culture is so hard to realize at a high political level.

  26. Despite any adverse effect it may have on the industry, the International exposure of the country as a whole and at such a proportion would far out weight in terms of actually promoting the country in the world tourism market. The cost of such an exposure will be in multi Million Dollars ... and we got it all FREE .... The adverse issues will be soon forgotton, but not the breath taking photos and write-ups about the countrys natural beauty. Yet another million people who have not heard the name of Maldives would have read a little more about the Maldives, and its natural beauty as a tourist destination.
    Couple of years back a similaar fisco happened about a fake wedding on a resort. Exposure very similar ... end result was a multi million dollar worth press, tv, radio exposure on an international scale ... all free. The actual negative impact on the industry .. ZERO.
    Ofcourse we do not pre-plan these fiascos, but often they are blessings in disguise. Even adverse publicity is PUBLICITY. And publicity is costly.

  27. @Sheikh Imran!

    I am really growing tired of your kind, so filled with hatred and ignorance. You have no idea the damage you are doing to the image of Islam when you write such words.

    May Allah (swt) put love and tolerance into your heart.

  28. I have never seen such a president. Every month he tries to prove himself as an idiot

  29. @ibrahim

    Love and tolerance towards the Jews? Perhaps you need to visit Gaza, and see the amount of love and affection Jews spread there.

    Allah SWT has revealed in the holy quran, that Jews would never be good to muslims, and that they are always trying to lure us into hell. If you're a muslim, surely you wouldn't befriend Jews, or even speak in defense of Jews. Actually, since you do speak in defense of them, I think you are a Jew, pretending to be a muslim! May Allah SWT's wrath be upon you, your family and your entire people!

  30. Antisocial personality disorder

    Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. This behavior is often criminal.


    A person with antisocial personality disorder may:

    Be able to act witty and charming

    Be good at flattery and manipulating other people's emotions

    Break the law repeatedly

    Disregard the safety of self and others

    Have problems with substance abuse

    Lie, steal, and fight often

    Not show guilt or remorse

    Often be angry or arrogant

  31. I believe Mr. President just did the right thing for the sake of both his fellowmen and the tourist. This will save the Maldivians's economy and make it progressive as the years will come. I know this is not easy for all of us but sometimes we have to consider many things before we come up with a final decision. If it will affect many things, then it is not a good decision and we will suffer from it. If it is for the our children's future, then we have to make sacrifices.

  32. @Sheikh Imran

    2:62: :Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve."

    Explain that verse to me then, O sheikh.

  33. @ Dhivehi Hangyourself and Sheikh Imran Abdullah (same person)
    You clearly don't follow the basic principles of commenting on a website which is 'engage brain before writing'.........assuming hate filled fanatics like you have a brain
    @ Ben Plewright
    Keep your comments (drivel mosly) a bit shorter

  34. @ Brother Ibrahim

    The Jewish scripture and the Bible you find today are the corrupted versions and not what was orinally revealed to Prophet Moses(PBUH) & Prophet Easa/Jesus(PBUH) by Almighty Allah.

    What quran mentioned as quoted by you is what was originally revealed to the Moses and Jesus(PBUH).


Comments are closed.