Islamic Minister to investigate “Christian missionary” allegations against the State

Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has consulted with President Mohamed Nasheed on allegations that the government has cooperated with Christian missionaries in an effort “to wipe out Islam”.

“The President is now considering the best way forward,” said Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair. “He will either form an independent commission to address the issue, or allow the Islamic Minister to consult with his colleagues. The Islamic Minister will advise the President in the matter.”

The consultation is in keeping with the government’s commitment to share decisions of religious matters with Islamic scholars.

Speaking to local media today, Dr Bari said “The President called very late yesterday and said he would request the Ministry to look into the allegations to understand the truth.” At the time, Bari had not received a formal letter stating the request but said he would cooperate with the request upon receiving such a document.

The Minister and officials at the Islamic Ministry could not be reached at time of press.

Over the past week, members of minority opposition Dhivehi Quamee Party (DQP) Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and ‘Sandhaanu’ Ahmed Ibrahim Didi have accused the government of cooperating with “Christian missionaries” and “Jewish parties” against the state religion of Islam- Didi claimed the President was “a madman and a Christian”- and of spreading undue fear with the claim that the islands are sinking.

Both men have been repeatedly summoned for police interrogations, prompting protests outside police headquarters and the Presidential Palace.

Speaking today with Minivan News, Zuhair called the allegations “a big lie that has been repeated since 2003, when Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) began to work abroad.”

He added that the claims were also raised in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, in which currently ruling MDP won the election over the 30-year administration of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

“At that time Dr Hassan Saeed had made these allegations and the government carried out a full-scale, professional investigation in the United Kingdom. The ‘Operation Druid’ found no substance to any of the allegations. There was no evidence of any contact with Christian missionaries or priests. So it is surprising that members of Saeed’s party are again repeating these allegations,” Zuhair observed.

Operation Druid

In 2007, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s government contracted UK security and private investigation firm Sion Resources for a surveillance operation dubbed ‘Operation Druid’. According to the former Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Gayoom “had concerns” about the origins of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), exiles from which had fled to Salisbury where they had been sheltered by Nasheed’s high school alumni, David Hardingham.

Hardingham, founder of the Friends of Maldives NGO, and Sarah Mahir had previously ambushed Gayoom in the UN building in Geneva in May 2005, accusing him of complicity in human rights abuses.

“I think Gayoom was quite shaken by that, and afterwards he was not as complacent over the security given to him by his hosts, be that by the UK or UN,” Dr Shaheed told Minivan News, in an interview in June 2011.

Subsequently, “The government may have wanted to see what was going on [in Salisbury],” Dr Shaheed said.

“What these operations did was try to see who was who. And a lot of the operations the government felt were against it came from Salisbury, and I think the government of the day felt justified in engaging a firm to look into what was going on,” he said. “They felt they needed to check on that, and what came out was a clean bill of health. Nothing untoward was happening, and these people were by and large bone-fide.”

Back in the Maldives, Gayoom’s government released a leaflet accusing Hardingham and Salisbury Cathedral of conspiring to blow up the Islamic Centre and build a church.

It was just a mischievous suggestion, a very mischievous suggestion,” Dr Shaheed acknowledged. “At the time everyone was accusing each other of being non-Muslim, and this accusation that the MDP was non-Muslim was getting very loud.

“There is this very, very deep reaction to anything un-Islamic in this country, and you can use Islam as a political tool quite easily. Therefore these allegations become political charges.”

Former Conservative Party MP for Salisbury, Robert Key, who had been instrumental in getting Nasheed an audience in British parliament, told Minivan News in February 2011 that Salisbury Cathedral had taken the accusation “at face value” .

“It was not true, and therefore we had to say ‘It is not true,'” he said. “The Dean of Salisbury Cathedral understood the issue, she took it at face value, and we sought security advice as necessary. But it was never a serious threat. It was a juvenile political ploy.”

For his part, Hardingham has dismissed the allegations that he is a Christian missionary as “absolute nonsense – I have never been a priest or anything associated with any church, and I challenge the people making the allegations to provide a shred of evidence to support their case.

“I was refused entry into the Maldives in April 2005. Government spokesperson at the time, Mohamed Hussein ‘Mundhu’ Shareef, told Associated Press that this was due to my involvement with an Islamic extremist group. So I have been accused of being an Islamic extremist and a Christian missionary – probably the fastest and most radical conversion in history.”

Government respects religion

Citing the Maldives’ commitment to be an Islamic state, Zuhair today pointed out that it was the government’s public responsibility to clarify that the allegations against it were baseless.

“Not only do these statements refer to the government, they also refer to our members and supporters and their respect for our religion”, he said, adding that the allegations involving Jewish parties came close to anti-Semitism – “and we don’t want to spread that image.”

In its efforts to staunch DQP’s “hate speech”, the government has drawn criticism from main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) for “suppression of the constitutional right to free expression”.

Speaking previously at a press conference held in response to the allegations, which were broadcast on DhiTV news on January 8, Zuhair called “spreading baseless and demonstrably false claims” about the government a “criminal offence”, and the coverage of demonstrably false allegations of foreign religious influence a “violation of journalism ethics”–statements which drew prompt criticism from media associations and opposition parties.

“The government will not allow anybody to be influenced by the crime of incitement,” Zuhair clarified today, explaining that the opposition had put the media in a position of defending the general freedom of expression in order to promote their own agenda.

“It is very easy for any Maldivian or journalist to find out about the Druid operation or to see if we have been accepting payments from a Christian priest. Ask us. What is surprising is that this story has been going on for a week and yet none of the media have found out or reported what the grounds for the allegations are,” Zuhair said. “It’s part of journalistic integrity to at least get the five W’s right: who, what, where, when and why. Why are they being fooled?”

According to Zuhair, the findings of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the court will be necessary to resolve the matter.

The matter continues to be investigated by the police, who have now summoned Didi and Jameel for four consecutive nights. Meanwhile, a protest supporting the freedom of expression has been scheduled for the Artificial Beach this evening.


42 thoughts on “Islamic Minister to investigate “Christian missionary” allegations against the State”

  1. I really would like to know the truth behind these allegations, personally I don't care about politics or who runs the government, but it becomes my priority concern when people accuses the Government of Maldive being run according to the whims and fancies of Christians priest and Jews.

    It no more becomes freedom of speech if the allegations such as this are falls, as a citizen of this country I like to know if the government is run by Jews or Christian priest or not.

    If they are being run by Christian Priest and Jews, I am willing come out on the streets to over throw them legally or illegally.

  2. Dr. Judge Jury Jailer Jameel and Dr. J.J.J.Saeed apparently needs some cash, So much so that government would apparently will go bankrupt.

    Dr.J.J.J.Jameel and Dr.J.J.J.Saeed from where on earth did you two get your P.hd. I wonder.

    You should return your doctorate to what ever institution you got these documents and hurry to a mental institution.

    Hopefully they will tell you, you two have no sense of politics what so ever in your systems.

    You both may have acted as the Judge, Jury and the Jailer plus the torturers during the Former President His Excellency Maumoon Abdul Gayooms time.

    If you have been sleeping since than you two kids seriously needs to wake up.

  3. Zuhair doesn't understand his own Constitutiion! He came out breathing fire and using words such as "criminal offence" about Jameel and Didi's blabbering on TV. If he was so sure about it, why don't we have a case in the Courts?

    Zuhair would have been wise to point out exactly how those guys fell foul of the Constitution and laws of the land. The Police seem to be at a loss as well, with the constant summoning of these two chaps, locking them up and then unlocking them due to Court orders. It really resembles a circus. I can't help but feel the bemusement of the international community at all of this.

    Meanwhile, Jameel surrounded by Police, all smartly dressed in black tie, as if he's a martyr on the front line brandishing the V-sign, is being broadcast all over the nation.

    The image, the rhetoric and action/couter-action taking place just doesn't look like Zuhair or his boss will get their way over this matter.

  4. The opposition are protesting on several streets of Male' tonight because of the arrogance government officials have seen on issues such as this.

    If the government were a bit humble, this sort of chaos could have been avoided.

    Looks like the protesters are there to stay.

  5. A bad play by MDP indeed.

    All this does is just provide free air-time to allegations of irreligious behavior against the MDP. We all know that most members of elite Maldivian society are not religious at all and often drink on occasion and converse freely without religious restrictions.

    Also the government very clearly stated to the UN that current political realities do not allow for complete introduction of religious freedom.

    However as long as religion plays a pivotal role in forming public perception of a government then religion will remain a part of politics. I cannot believe the hypocrisy of Zuhair and Co.

    The MDP government has a Ministry specifically for the purpose of regulating the practice of Islam, ensuring the homogenous practice of it across the nation and forming religious policy. This means that religion is not a personal issue in this country but a matter of public policy.

    So the religious records of any government will be open to public debate and such debate can involve allegations and counter-allegations. This is the nature of politics. All the crying and bawling and arresting of critics just tarnishes the government's image while providing free publicity to opposition figures.

    I do believe that Gary and the others are light years smarter than most of us when it comes to politics but the problem with their advice for the MDP is that the MDP's own lack of political experience makes fitting their suggestions into our own social context an impossibility for this young and inexperienced government.

    The truth is that unless Nasheed can return stability to the country he will have to walk out the door.

  6. It's time, my dear friends... "'One' for All, All for 'One'" ... nothing more than 'One'

  7. Can someone tell me why the government is arresting political leaders every night for the past few nights?

    Dr Jameel has been arrested and released once everyday for the past three days. he is arrested again tonight.

    This idiocy by the government reminds me of a doctor's prescription. Some drugs are prescribed to be taken once a day. Some medicines are to be taken once at night.

    Dr Jameel's arrest is perhaps once every night for 2 weeks? Or may be 3 months? Or may be until 2013?

  8. No doubt the threat to islam's dominance in Maldives is real and the opposition is correct to protest, demonstrate, or use means, not only to say so but to halt the decline. What the opposition fails to realize, however, is the source of the threat. I must disappoint them by pointing out that the threat does not come from christians or jews, who really have no interest in Maldives (according to Mr. Gayoom and Mr. Nashed, Maldives will sink into the Indian Ocean soon, anyway). In fact the threat comes from two sources. These are improvements in education and interaction of the Maldivian people and government with the rest of the world. As long as the average years of schooling for Maldivians remain at 6.1 or lower, islam has nothing to fear. The people will remain stupid and continue to believe that the 7th century represents progress and the way to paradise. Education changes all that by showing up the falsity of that paradigm. On the other hand, interaction with the world allows some of the world's resources to be distributed to Maldives. These resources, ideas, technologies, techniques and, of course, money, goods and services effectively bring the world to Maldivians' doorstep and entrances them with glamour and hope for a life better than the one presented by islam. No longer can they expect to be flogged for engaging in sex, or imprisoned for uttering thoughts and ideas. In fact, ideas are expected and sex is seen as a natural biological act that is engaged in freely by people upon consent. So, rather than accusing christians and jews of corrupting Maldivian society, the opposition should focus on limiting education (no secondary school, technical college or university) and building a fence around the little sand pits they call islands. Believe me, the world will be no more the wiser. As for tourism, we can all go to the Pacific islands.

  9. I am an atheist and I do not want the Maldives to become secular, nor do I want to see the introduction of faiths other than Islam.

    Islam provides a sense of community and identity that keeps our nation stable, and provides comfort to those among us who do not enjoy the privileges of the political elite or wealthy upper classes.

    Beleif is a personal matter, and I have no intention of following a religion.

    But for the sake of the well being of our country - I urge my fellow non-beleivers to put aside some of their idealistic and unrealistic aspirations, and opt for a vantage point that benefits all Maldivians; not just a self conciously different few.

    That would be the truly patriotic thing to do.

  10. how can islamic minister investigate this? Islamic Minister is rediculed by his excellency himself!! His excellency needs to be investigated!

  11. I call on the president to release the arrested court judge. Pleroyase do not destroy our young democracy that quickly.

  12. @Thuththube

    Jameel and Didi are being called by the Police because they refuse to speak and give the source of the accusations they have made. When you go on television and accuse the government of anti Islamic activities it is a constitutional matter because the constitution forbids any activity against Islam. The Police has to investigate such allegations. The Police are doing their job.Surely you know that?

  13. Although I am not the biggest fan of Baaree due to his connections with MDP, I welcome this move. Jews who try to spread Christianity should be beheaded in front of the public, to show the world that we do not tolerate Jews and the way of the Jew!

  14. “It was just a mischievous suggestion, a very mischievous suggestion,” Dr Shaheed acknowledged. “At the time everyone was accusing each other of being non-Muslim, and this accusation that the MDP was non-Muslim was getting very loud"

    This man DR. Ahmed 'janaza' Shaheed was the mastermind of all these dirty cheap politics under Gayoom. Now he jumped over the fence and is talking about things he did himself. Nooney vaa nubai nulafaakameh ebahuuri.

  15. We have genuine request from Anni, that we are not interested in the affairs of lives of ordinary Maldivian who are ready to scarify their lives for the sake of 07th century Arabian Bedouin’s way of life. Born in Maldives, we have no choice but to call ourselves Maldivian and are unable to get citizenship from other civilized countries in the World. Anii should help us to get out of this hell as you are our president and hope you will open up a channel for those who seek not be part of this uncivilized people and work with other governments to give citizenship to few of us who don’t want to be part of this crazy people.

  16. This Abdulla Gaazee is the biggest threat for the flourishing of democracy in the Maldives. He should be kept behind bars for the rest of his life! Heil General Moosa Ali Jaleel!

  17. MDP is an extremist Islamic movement, who can't tolerate Christians or Jews.

    We welcome Nasheed and his foul-mouthed Sappey with open arms at our home, fed them food cooked by my christian sisters and brothers, secured funds from Jewish banks for their campaigns and this is how they repay us?

  18. i can put my life on this bet that minister would never know about this whole investigation handling thing.

  19. Maldivian politics and false accusations, people using Islam as a weapon against me, saying that I was a Kafir because i USED to be a radical Christian MANY years ago and all of this broke my heart and NEARLY made me leave Islam! Using Islam as a weapon has broken the hearts of a few Maldivians and has almost caused them to ALMOST leave Islam as well!

    Alhumdullilah that Allah saved me from losing my faith through his Rahim and Hidayat, but this use of Islam is destroying the people's perception of the religion!

    Don't you get it!


    Sahih Muslim: Book 37, Number 6635:
    'Umar b. Khattab reported that there were brought some prisoners to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) amongst whom there was also a woman, who was searching (for someone) and when she found a child amongst the prisoners, she took hold of it, pressed it against her chest and provided it suck. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Do you think this woman would ever afford to throw her child in the Fire ? We said: By Allah, so far as it lies in her power, she would never throw the child in Fire.' Thereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Allah is more kind to His servants than this woman is to her child.

    Book 37, Number 6634:
    Salman reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Verily, Allah created, on the same very day when He created the heavens and the earth, one hundred parts of mercy. Every part of mercy is coextensive with the space between the heavens. and the earth and He out of this mercy endowed one part to the earth and it is because of this that the mother shows affection to her child and even the beasts and birds show kindness to one another and when there would be the Day of Resurrection, Allah would make full (use of Mercy).

    I could quote another thousand Hadith or Ayat even!


    Islam is the religion of Mercy, even Al-Qital in Islam (fighting or warfare) was all about a self sacrifice of Mercy for babies who were being killed by their own Fathers when nothing else could prevent such cruelty... Fighting was about protecting the sanctity of humanity in an age of darkness (Zulm)and Jahillya (ignorance.)

    EVERYTHING in Islam, even so called cruel looking Ayats and Sunnah, is routed DEEPLY in Mercy and LOVE, the place Islam sought to take a people in darkness (the Zalimun in Jahillya!)

    To use Islam as a weapon like this is to make something which is beautiful because it is so Merciful, into something which looks ugly because it looks hateful! STOP debasing, degrading our Majestic religion by turning into a weapon to divide and cause hatred!

    The Merciful essence ALONE has the capacity to unite the hearts of the Dhivehin, but it first has to be DEMOSTRATED by those who profess to be Muslim scholars, particularly liberal Muslim scholars who understand Islam deeper than a rote learned rhethoric!

    Hassan Saeed is a brilliant scholar, his brother in Melbourne is one of my heroes, so Hassan should really know so much better!

    PLEASE Dr. Hassan Saeed, forgive whatever the hell it is that President Anni may have done against you! If Anni is not a Muslim (I actually believe Anni IS a Muslim, very much so from what I had heard) but IF you believe he is not, show him the beauty of our religion by showing him kindness and love, Mercy!

    Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said: "You will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another." (Sahih Muslim). He also said: "You will not be a believer until you love for your brother what you love for yourself" (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

  20. If you have to force people by law to follow a certain religion or cult then that religion or culy must be false.

  21. If you have to force people by law to follow a certain religion or cult then that religion or cult must be false.

  22. "We all know that most members of elite Maldivian society are not religious at all and often drink on occasion and converse freely without religious restrictions."

    How dare some of us point accusatory fingers at our elite and calling them irreligious and boozers, You must be just another maggot who got out of the same university as Dr.Jameel and Dr. Hassan Saeed.

  23. This is called hiding behind religion in suppressing opposition and free speech. This Christian missionary allegation has been given such hype to minimise international opposition to the ongoing suppression of opposition and intimidation of those who dare to speak against the government. Just because the closure of spas by President Nasheed made him look like a fool does not mean that he should threaten free speech in the country. It is even more creepy to see the defence force arresting judges late at night. The country seems to be headed towards a military dictatorship.

  24. You could quote another thousand Hadith all your life but non of it you can prove it to be One Hundred Per Cent Correct.

    Why don't you try quoting Ayats perhaps it will be more convincing to most of us monotheists.

  25. Excuse me Ben if I may,

    We have more important things to address than mere philosophical debates.

    The Foreign Minister is making vigorous attempts to justify last night's arrest of the Criminal Court's Chief Justice to the international community.

    Minivan should quickly draft a subtly-crafted one-sided report on how the Courts are filled with 7th graders and that the government is on a god-given mission to save the populace from their own barbarism with or without their consent.

  26. does Bari know how to carry an investigation of this scale? this is not interpretation of Quran you know? i dont understand why President keep giving this guy a stage, unless its to humiliate him and show how incompetent he is in a democracy i dont see the reason why this should be investigated by Bari.

  27. Jameel's doctorate is fake, self acclaimed. no university issued to him any doctorate award. this is a fact and i am speaking from first hand information.


  29. Be with Press secretary Zuhair for few nights after dark till mid night! Any ordinary Maldivian will be shocked!! How openly the business is conducted!! This is the case with some opposition members too!! Save this country from these lunatics!!

  30. @Ahsan_Sulaiman: I hope your prayers turn back to you instead. It would be great to see people like you drown to a terrible death coz your brain is so low and cheap.

  31. General Moosa Jaleel is an uneducated man. He does not know what is in the new constitution. He only knows to follow orders. That was what he was trained for by former dictator. The current dictator is also using him. He should now be sentenced for kidnapping.

  32. @tsk tsk,

    Ben Plewright here.

    You have valuable insights to offer. Butwhen you start your comment with sarcasm the only people who are going to even try and learn from you are those who already agreedwith you before you wrote anything.

    My 'philosophy' was aimed at the heart of the problem, if you did not appreciate that, or understand it, you can't help your ppl in any meaningful way.

    This conflict is emotional at the core, it is about lust for power, and the absence of Mercy, often on both sides of the divide. You know all of the "what is happening..." yet you are afraid of knowing the essence of why it is happening, and therefore, all your "knowledge" all ANYBODYS knowledge will be impotent, as what is needed, culturally, is empathy from both sides for reconcilliation, empathy on both sides is a must if this pettiness is ever going to end!

    Drop the sarcastic attitude and try to relate your big problems in a way we can agree to listen to you.

    I have gone way past the point of being either yellow or blue, frankly I think the same essential problem exists on both sides of the divide.

    Chief Justice Abdullah's arrest is not the big problem, he will be released and continue on sneering as before.

    That is, was but a symptom of the real problem the absence of empathy on BOTH sides, Maldivian politics so far seems to be struggling to address the symptoms yet not the cause of the problems. YOU TSK TSK, and you and you, reader, Dhivehin, can begin to adress and treat the cause of the problem yourselves by asking Allah sincerely to give you love, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, empathy for your people.

    The solution to your problem is not a political solution, neither Anni's power, nor Maumoon's Power, nor Yameen's Power can change anything!

    Even Maumoon's noble intention of wishing to impose Islamic empathy and brother hood through gaining power and creating unity through a top down imposition of unity will not work because, what he has to do to hold onto power, to regain power, stirring up hatred jealousy etc... is counter productive.

    One cannot be forced to have empathy top down, you cannot be forced to love, you have to agree to love through reason and, love is awakened by love, not by forcing it.

  33. @Cane and Abel; Sorry I hope this helps, this basically summarizes the point I am trying to make above to Tsk Tsk and it is an Ayat, not a Hadith, seems you wanted an Ayat.

    “And He has united their hearts. Had you spent all that is in the Earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah united them; surely He is Mighty, Wise.” [Sūrah al-Anfāl: 63]


    "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do." [An-Nisa 4:35]

    "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do." [Al-Maidah 5:8]


    "Allah doth command you to render back your Trusts to those to whom they are due; and when ye judge between man and man, that ye judge with justice: verily how excellent is the teaching which He gives you! For Allah is He Who hears and sees all things." [An-Nisa 4:58]


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