Islamic Ministry calls for ban on mixed-gender dancing

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has sent a circular to all government institutions banning the holding of any mixed gender dance events.

The circular, which was sent to all government offices, council offices and media, also calls for adolescent girls to be banned from activities requiring them to dance.

Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed called on the government to cease including activities such as dancing and singing to mark various occasions.

The administration of former President Mohamed Nasheed had included such dancing in official celebrations to promote and preserve traditional Maldivian culture. However Shaheem said such activities contravened the disciplinary guidelines and customs of Islam. It is unclear whether the call in the circular is legally enforceable under existing regulations.

The Ministry said it was acceptable to hold performances which fall within the boundaries of Islamic customs and disciplinary norms. Events such as children’s activities, performances exhibiting military skills, parades, playing the national anthem, boy scouts and girl guides performances, and the folk dance ‘Thaara’ were acceptable forms of entertainment, according to the Ministry.

‘Thaara’, dhivehi for ‘tambourine’ is a folk dance where performers sit in parallel rows, singing and dancing. This is performed specifically by men. The traditional songs sung during ‘Thaara’ are mostly in Arabic and the activity itself is said to have entered Maldivian culture through Arab influence.

The Islamic Ministry stated that its mandate is to provide religious counsel to the government, to plan state-organised initiatives of spreading and strengthening islamic values among Maldivians, and to teach citizens the righteous ways outlined in the religion.

Shaheem told Minivan News today that the directives in the circular were intended for both state bodies and individual citizens. He made no further comment.

The call for gender segregated performances comes after the government held a belated Independence Day celebration on September 9. The event was held at the National Stadium and featured dances and other performances by school children and the security forces.


60 thoughts on “Islamic Ministry calls for ban on mixed-gender dancing”

  1. Oh my god ! what next, c'mon Maldivians stop acting Maldivian for cryin out loud !

  2. Next these sheiks will be calling for all women to wear the full hijab, cover their faces, ensure that they are one of four wives and stay home just for the pleasure of the husband! This call by the islamic ministry shows once again that Waheed is a real failure and he doesn't have the guts to stand up against these lunatics.

  3. This is what happens when you give bunch of monkey to fly a plane. Dude why stop here , just rename this god forsaken country as Mu'hlaaville.

  4. Next it will be segregated office space for both sexes; and then segregated eating places for both sexes in restaurant unless they show the marriage certificate. Women will soon be barred from driving a car or riding a bike. Soon they will not be allowed to walk on the road without a mahram.

    Why not just bring one circular with all the above and be done with?

  5. If Shaheem bonaqua behaviour is fine. Do justice yourself,

  6. Yay! The ministry supports gay dancing. Like Saudi Arabia, Maldives will also be a haven for gays and lesbians now.

    Your disco, your disco, your disco needs you!

  7. This is what happens when you play with fire. And that is what Nasheed did, by getting the Adhaalath to join up with him. Before that, Adhaalath was just the party for the fanatic wahhabees and didn't get much attention from the average Maldivian. Now, they are dictating what you can and cannot do. When people say the Maldives may become the next Afghanistan, it doesn't sound like a farfetched future based on current events.

  8. Are you 'modern thinking'Maldivians going to let that lot drag you back into the dark ages???..Its 2012,,internet/i-phones freedom of speech/world travel--where do you want to be?? in the real world or in some Taliban controled mud-hut village..Wake-up my friends,Wake-up....

  9. Hassan , dude who the F..k are you to say infidales to a person !!1. It seems like you got a brain smaller than nut.

    we will believe everything you guys say, only when you don't discriminate us.

    For instance we welcome guys, lesbians into our exotic country. as long as they pay us, we don't even ASK THEM if they married or not. we treat them with our finest hospitality.

    But as a citizen of this nation , you get harassed if you even express you option regarding any of the matter.

    We take rent ,taxes, salaries, lease , sell products and get money by selling everything called taboo things .

    Anni was right, if you want say things about religion , it should apply to all. you either sell alcohol everywhere in the country or just banned from the whole country.

  10. This is a wake up call for both MDP and PPM and other parties.
    The problem in Maldives is that all these parties crave power more than they think of the country.
    Even now any party would ally with Adaalath just to get power.
    Shaheem has no authority to issue anything. No Cabinet Minister can make policy decisions without getting it passed by Cabinet.
    This was the problem in Anni's cabinet too. Majeed was deciding on policies on his own.

    It is time Maldivians tell these barbarians to go back where they came from. If they want to live like the Saudis, they are welcome to go back to deserts of Arabia. I personally would pay for Shaheem's ticket back there.
    These guys would destroy Maldives.

  11. It is so sad to see the destruction of traditional Maldivian culture and traditions by the Wahabi Ordinances of your medieval Islamic Ministry. Very soon you will another mind numbingly boring islamic country like Saudi Arabia.....or worse still, like Pakistan.
    When will this Ministry ban your national pastime of smoking brown sugar?.....or is this popular activity now deemed by the bearded ones to be 'islamic' and therefore OK?
    I know you are trying hard to create a peaceful, stable, progressive and prosperous society based on true islamic principles but judging by the civil strife, violence, political instability and coups (Maldives!!) one sees in islamic countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Algeria and Libya, this utopian 'Jannat on earth' exists only in your feeble minds.

  12. I urge Minivann news to please remove the picture accompanying this news article as it is contrary to our D'een and the injunction of Hijaab. At the very least replace it with something more suitable or modest.

    Lascivious and nakedness are the qualities of Westerners and infidels. We must not lose our culture by placing the shameless women who emulate such refuse on a pedestal or by allowing them any visibility at all.

    I would also like to express that I am appalled by the continuous and frequent lack of sensitivity the Minivannews team show toward our cultural and religious values. I am deeply disgusted and outraged.

  13. wow people are so concerned. by not having dances in state events what kinda of difficulty will we face?

    Health Care?
    Really is dancing the only way to amuse a guest?

  14. Is this promoting homosexuality. It is natural for boys to dance with girls and visa versa. Let's go back to the dark ages then with no education

  15. Muslims are some of the biggest hypocrites in the world. I've seen with my very own eyes, how these apparently God fearing crescent moon worshippers behave once they find themselves in "liberal" countries.

    They cannot take their eyes off the flesh of women, lusting after them like hungry lions. They go after alcohol like men dying of thirst in the middle of the desert and the less said of their gyrations in various dance venues, the better!

    I'm quite certain that the larger Maldivian society has more sense than let these hypocrites dictate how we should conduct our lives.

  16. The President is under no legal obligation to abide by a circular released by the Islamic Ministry and nor is any other citizen of this country.

    Shaheem wanted to make a headline and Minivan pounced upon the opportunity to portray the Waheed administration as "Islamist" or "fundamentalist" or whatever other label is popular in the West these days.

  17. The mingling between the sexes in Male is a refreshing exception to the antiquated seghragation of the medieval Wahhabiists. Maldives has no oil, just tuna and tourism, so it better follow the moderate Muslim model of Indonesia rather than the extremist Arab model.

  18. the people who are posting in this Minivan thread is not the majority of the people of this country. But if we go to vote on this issue, its like daylight that most people will back this idea. So what is all the fuss about? if you cannot digest a view, then atleast show some respect to the majority who proposed the view. Be not intolerant of islam if you really sympathize with the cause of MDP

  19. some people are so frustrated only because of a ban on mixed-gender dancing? so when a more severe one is implemented will you flee the country? LOL...anti-islamic extremists...non-muslim maldivian i the only one around here who doesn't believe the maldives is not 100% muslim? why? because i see proof everywhere i look.

  20. boy scouts and girl guides were created by a kaafir - yet its acceptable. double standards all around!

  21. Makes me wonder about what the sheikhs learn in the middle-east. They all come back and try to ban heterosexual interactions. Some of them come back as perverts and child molesters. We surely don't need guidance from this lot.

  22. what is with these people and women! nothing on their mind except women! sick buggers! We Maldivians have been a muslim country for centuries and we have adhered to Islamic values! why are these people trying to ruin it? This is making our young generation with a "mind of their own" hate Islamic values. They need to live in a society where they are not imprisoned and enjoy their life. Songs are haraam, dancing is considered as haraam! just sickening!

  23. This weird move by Shaheem is not legally enforceable under existing regulations. Boys and girls, you just ignore this nutty fatwa and carry on as before. Dancing is not a sin. It is also not a criminal activity. Enjoy! But do not drink BonAqua and make out with your neighbour's wife.

  24. The Mullah’s most priority is women and strict code of conduct that makes human less human. And the funny thing is that no one can question their absurdity, which if we look from scientific angle all the rules and ritual of this perfect religion is what we call some practices that is more like mental cases, like compulsive obsessive disorder, pedophile, and sex mania. Why can’t Mullas change their backward teaching to something that is more modern?

    When Last time I saw the picture of coup leader with white robes my first visual reality was, was this guy in a Buddhist monastery and thought it was edited photo.

    These guys want us to behave like some idiots without any brain and believe all non senses because that’s is what Allah( apparently most idiotic God ever conceived by human) has told. Allah’s logic is, believe what I say even it is garbage because I am your creator; don’t question me otherwise I will teach you a good lesson in my hell fire. Islam’s absurdity proved to me because it is so hardly believed by these Umbula cata fish brain Maldivians.

  25. why cant we have a referendum on whether most Maldivian actually want to be Muslim in the first place.. why are the mullahs afraid of such an exercise instead of saying 'if' we have a vote everyone will say yes to it... I dare say less than 50 % of Maldivian would want to be Muslim now.. in private they may be but they don't want at the beckoning of these crazy mullahs...

  26. This is what it will come to if we have so called learned scholars like Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed .. who is a puppet of some big Wahaabee/Alkaidaa leader. All they want to do is destroy the whole world.. with no respect for human kind. Compel our mothers, sisters to cover them sleves completely so they can abuse them when ever they lust. I do not understand why they want to be in a cabinet of a democratic society..

  27. When I have time I will express what I intended to express above clearly, error free, and more to the point, but you guys allready get the point of this extremely rushed rant as you have expressed the point yourselves. So it is ok for now.

    My intention is to find the time to express this point in English rather than in rushed rant, with proper qoutes and references, so that my point is actually able to be taken seriously by your scholars.

  28. What next: will they now ban mixed gender sex? Oh yes, now I understand why the middle east is strongly populated by XXXXX

  29. I would agree with Shaheem if tried to ban tobacco and drugs, both are injurious to health. Dancing like Yoga is beneficial and music gives comfort and relief to stressful mind.

    Shaheem and his backers' vision for Maldives is well known. But the ideology they believe in will fail miserably. wherever extremists tried to impose their harsh values, the results are for everyone to see, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan. Violence, destruction, anarchy!

  30. What a bunch of hypocrites we have!!!Look around you if you want the truth: young women and men who don't know anything about life get married very early just to satisfy their basic instincts. What happens next? Divorce and remarriage until they are matured enough to have a decent married life. Even then some men leave their wives at home and go and look for young foreign women for easy sex. Even more some drink alcohol and take drugs to get additional pleasure!!!The morale of this society: the more you restrict basic instincts the more evil people do!!!

  31. I always say lets have nightclubs,alcohol and whatever harram thing in our society. The true muslim who respects his islamic religion will know how to avoid these evils but those who like these activities will always find ways to do it. How many Maldivians go to Sri Lanka over the weekend to party and have sex with a partner they don't even know?At the moment my biggest fear is how to know who I can trust to marry my naive and innocent daughter?

  32. No wonder every time I smile at a Maldivian woman she must think I am falling in love with her!!!LOL

  33. Please MINIVAN delete ALL my above comments and replace with this one below. It is a corrected version of the above (spelling, grammar corrections) with a few subtle changes with vast implications.

    The primary concern of anybody interested in creating a truly Islamic society should be the creation of social justice and the realization of a state of equality before the LAW.

    To even think about punishing anybody for these sexually related laws if social justice and equity is not a reality reveals a DEEPLY GRAVE misunderstanding of the overall purpose of the LAWS of ISLAM.

    If only we would consider the depth, meaning and scope of the grand concept of JUSTICE in our Din..

    There are a number of words from the Qur’an which have been translated into English as JUSTICE. An etymological study of each of these words makes it very clear that the inherent dignity of every human being is the conceptual core of each word.

    Adhalaath literally comes from a route word meaning equal halves, for example.

    The word Sadaqah, meaning charity, literally means JUSTICE.

    Charity IS Justice because the rich normally get rich through the exploitation and degradation of the MASAKIN (the poor and oppressed). It is not just kindness that the poor are looked after; it is what they deserve because THEY are of EQUAL VALUE AND IMPORTANCE TO ALLAH AS THE RICH!

    Bukhari, Muslim: A Muslim IS NOT A MUSLIM if he desires for himself that which he does not also desire for the Iqhwan.

    The hunger for the rights and equality of Women, Orphans, Slaves, the Sick and the Poor burned in the heart of our BELOVED Nabi Rasul Allah, Sallalahu Alahi-wa Salam.


    The egalitarian implications which flow from this Declaration have enormous ramifications!

    The MASAKIN are described in Qur’an as MOST loved by ALLAH, and first in Jannah in Bukhari and Muslim.

    Rasul (SAW) ordered the slave owners not to call their slaves SLAVE (ABD.) We should ALL only be slaves to ONE, ALLAH (IBADAH or Worship literally means a slave.) He stopped the slave Masters from being called RUBB (Lord) as there is only ONE LORD.

    Slave masters were ordered to feed their slaves and dress their slaves as the Masters themselves, to treat slaves as Brothers, Sisters.

    On many occasions, releasing a slave was said to be a great expiation for sins.

    Slavery was not totally outlawed by the Prophet, because, to do so would have been to condemn Islam into obscurity. The economy was dependent on slavery.
    But the wheel of progress and the path to the eventual freedom for ALL was started by the Prophet, and, we are to continue to rotate that wheel of progress if we are to be true to the Niyat of the WAHI. Halting the wheel of progress with such measures is against the Sunnah and the intent of Islamic Revelation.

    Equality before the LAW is so important.
    Our Prophet said he would cut his own Daughter’s hand off for theft.
    He said that Jahilya and ZULM have returned when the rich and powerful are above the LAW! Inequality before the LAW is very strongly condemned by our NABI as the cause of social destruction!

    He made a released slave, BILAL, the first caller of the Adhan, such a prestigious position.

    He and the Suhabba, and HIS AL-Bayt near starved so that others could eat.

    They wore rocks in their belts to end the pangs of hunger.

    That even the great earthly lords, Prophets, Kings, aristocrats, tribal chiefs were also SLAVES to ALLAH had a profound impact on the resurrection of the DIGNITY OF ALL in Society!

    The HEART of the UMMAH, the security and STRENGTH of the UMMAH, is social JUSTICE and equality before the LAW. When social justice and equality before the law are lacking, the Ummah is weak.
    Umar bin Khattab did not implemet the Huddud in times of scarcity.

    Leniency was always shown to the poor in matters of justice. A Bedouin with unkempt hair was not even punished for urinating in a Mosque, for example...there are MANY examples.

    If you guys heard the testimonies I have heard about the intense, silent grief of MANY Maldivian Wives, many of whom are deeply religious, and the reason why, you would be wounded if you had even half of an ounce of Islamic JUSTICE inside of you!

    Their rich husbands have sex with MANY YOUNG GIRLS who they are not married to!

    Their Wives, lonely, rejected, suffer in silence, unloved, depressed. They become sick and sometimes literally INSANE with grief.

    JUST imagine. You are a poor girl getting whipped for Zina. You know that many of the rich and powerful deserve to receive fifty billion times harsher punishment than you do, yet YOU are the one who suffers because you are poor!

    IT makes Islam, and ALLAH look UNFAIR!

    It makes Islam look like a cruel, vicious system designed to get the rich high at the expense of the degradation and debasement of the poor.

    If your focus, as a Muslim, is not on the creation of SOCIAL JUSTICE before all of these Huddud LAWS are applied it is far from being an Islamic focus.

    It is an abhorrent misrepresentation and degradation of the truly beautiful, deeply SOCIALLY JUST RELIGION of Islam to create such an UNJUST picture of Islam by using Islam to gratify hunger for control and oppression.

    This inequality is the antithesis of our DEEPLY JUST Religion.

  34. The number of comments for this article shows the general Maldivian's affinity for discussing issues related to religion.

    This is how the masses are kept entertained and distracted by the select few of the society while they loot this place up.

  35. It's a good decision that sheik h shaheem made. i believe that will happen as soon as possible.

  36. Separating these highly intellectual Mullahs from the ignorant public by keeping the Mullahs on a far away island is perhaps a better idea.

  37. While Maldives is facing economic doom and spiraling inflation, why is this a headline news? Did the above 47 commenter's wonder who is pulling the puppet string here?

    The purpose of the Islamic Ministry is to keep people's focus away from economic crimes and corruption that are happening. Did any Ministry issue a fatwa when the resort lease was extended by 50 years without re-bidding.

    Dear Readers. Please understand where the puppet strings come from. Fatwa or no fatwa, people will dance and thats a non-issue.

  38. .. please save Maldives from useless news items and Ben Playwrights lengthy comments. Lets hope he get a serious job without excess time.

  39. Hey tsk tsk. You know what happens when Waheed ignores the screaming beardies?

    They will drop his support for him - and with no support from the heroin peddlers, his regime will fall faster than a house of cards in a typhoon.

    So yeah, think a bit before you go off making ridiculous claims.


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