Male’s day of protests: Islam and women key themes

Hundreds of women marched across the Maldives’ capital Male’ in support of deposed President Mohamed Nasheed, before joining the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally near the tsunami monument in its call for early elections.

Meanwhile just several hundred metres up the road at the artificial beach, thousands more pro-government supporters showed up to demonstrate their support for President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik.

Artificial Beach and Tsunami monument – both key venues for political gatherings – are situated on Boduthakurufaanu Magu [eastern coast of Male’].

Both rallies began at 4:00pm on Male’s and proceeded peacefully with speeches from key members, while the MDP women’s march, “Women’s rally for justice” kicked off from the Social Centre of the other side of the city at 4.30pm.

Minivan News observed many people walking between both rallies and taking pictures, as the sounds of both crowds overlapped. Only a few policemen were seen maintaining the traffic and security.

Though specific numbers on each side were difficult to ascertain, at its beginning the pro-government crowd waving national flags and banners seemed larger with around 5000 supporters – while the MDP rally slowly grew and eventually dominated as more marchers in yellow joined the rally, raising the numbers to perhaps 8,000 at the peak of the demonstrations.

At the time of press, both rallies continued.

“Maldivian women will bring down Tyrant Waheed”

Women's ready for march at Social Center

Maldivian women of all ages, dressed mostly in yellow and waved yellow flags and banners bearing slogans including – “Where is my vote?”, “We demand Justice”, “Say no to Waheed”, “We demand a date for election” and “Let Democracy rule” – marched from main road, Majeedhee Magu and took couple of careful turns to reach the MDP rally without a confrontation with pro-government supporters near Artificial Beach.

In the front row, former MDP Chairperson Mariya Ahmed Didi, former Education Minister Shifa Mohamed and former Tourism Minister Mariyam Zulfa led the female Marchers that stretched nearly 20 meters.

Dozens of men also joined the march, while several others followed the march on motor bikes and cars, as eager onlookers watched and took pictures from the buildings.

Throughout the walk, the women chanted: “Tyrant Waheed, Resign” – a reference to the accusations that Waheed, then- Vice President was complicit in what MDP calls a bloodless coup to force his predecessor, Nasheed out of office.

Speaking to Minivan News, a 34 year old mother of three who came to Male’ from Addu to join the march said that “I did not vote for Waheed, I voted for Anni [Nasheed].”

“We, the women, will show Waheed that he can’t play with our country. Tyrant Waheed has no right to depose the president we voted for,” the woman added, holding a banner that said “We want an elected leader”.

As the female marchers arrived at the tsunami monument they were welcomed fervently by Nasheed and his supporters.

MDP rally near Tsunami monument

Addressing the crowd on the mounted podium, Mariya called out emphatically that “Maldivian women will bring down Tyrant Waheed”.

“The only woman who will stand with Waheed is Ilham [Waheed’s wife and first lady],” she further claimed.

Referring to the brutal crackdown of MDP’s peaceful March on February 8, where women and old were seen beaten by the police, Mariya warned : “Now come with your shields to beat us. But, remember, if you hit even one woman, that is represents a strike on all Maldivian women.”

Nasheed also made a brief speech in which he praised the strength of the women who joined the rally and called out, “Congratulations, Maldivian Women!”

Nasheed further stressed, “Maldivian people want an elected leader, people want early elections”.

Allah’s will”

Aerial shot of the pro government rally

At the protest at the artificial beach up the road, men and women were segregated and gathered to hear Dr Waheed give his first open air speech at a political demonstration as President.

Dr Waheed made an emphatic speech in which he claimed the “people inflicting chaos are real traitors and enemies of the nation”.

“We will not let anyone inflict unrest and violence. Anyone who loves this nation will not torch public property. We will defend this nation with the last drop of our blood. We are not scared to die for this cause,” Waheed said. “Be strong. We will not back down an inch.”

Reiterating that the change of power was not a coup, Waheed claimed, “Today this change has happened because it is the will of Allah to protect Islam and peace of this nation”.

He added that it was every government’s responsibility to provide education and housing for its people, and said he would fulfill those responsibilities.

Surprised observers noted that Dr Waheed, normally of a calm and softly spoken demeanor, spoke loudly and emphatically with a touch of anger.

Meanwhile,in an audio recording broadcast at the rally, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom pledged that the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) would cooperate with Waheed, and congratulated the MDP for joining the all party talks.

“The day the Maldives embraced Islam is the most important day in the history of our country. History proves the introduction of any other religion in this nation could endanger our sovereignty,” Gayoom added.

Further, several speakers from various religious and political parties in Dr Waheed’s national unity government exhibited their support for coalition government and refusal to hold early elections. The crowds waving national flags and banners bearing  slogans including “Maldivians in defense of Islam”, “Maldivians united against corruption”, “Support Dr Waheed for peace and Islam” and “No early elections” hailed “Long live Waheed”.

MDP women’s march:


75 thoughts on “Male’s day of protests: Islam and women key themes”

  1. @ Sheikh Imran Abdullah ,
    we will not listen anything from you, our ears and eyes are deaf for you. Don’t even open your mouth saying Islam. You don’t need to teach us Islam. We know what Islam is and what’s halaal and Haraam! But you do not have clue about Islam.
    Have you seen crowed gathered on our side. Did you compare it with your crowed? We will bring the crowed you had yesterday to our side by tomorrow and we know how to do it. Your ending will be bitter and painful.
    There are few people like you in this country who thinks like kings. But you are nothing but just true disbelievers! Do you think we will bow you and support you. Do you know that you need to change your behavior and attitude? It will be very challenging for any human being to change coz you have to fight against just yourself. It is the first thing you need to do!!!!If you act like the way you do no one will accept you in this society.
    Islam is all about the family, which is the basic unit of civilization, is now disintegrating. Islam’s family system brings the rights of the husband, wife, children, and relatives into a fine equilibrium. It nourishes unselfish behavior, generosity, and love in the framework of a well-organized family system. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and it is seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families and by treasuring children.
    Be a role model first but all what your doing is opposite!!! You do not have any good habits and you not matured.You only know how create jelousy and hatred between people.It leads division within the Islamic family.Just shut yourself and be quiet!!! For the good of nation and our Islamic family!!!

  2. Gayoom has advised MDP to join the unity Government.

    That is good advice and as good muslims MDP must appreciate and use such wisdom. Why not thank Maumoon as a good will gesture..

  3. we are forgetting the laws of Quran. if we are pure Muslims , Allah will help us. Pakistan. " united we fall, says" where Muslims are killed by can we expect the kindness of Allah? surely Allah will help her true friends. thnx editor for nice article.

  4. I dont know why Minivan news is reporting that MDP protest had 8000 participants and Pro-government had 5000. Based on the Pictures in Sun and in Haveeru, clearly the numbers of supporters outnumbered the MDP protest participants.

    You be the judge.


    MDP Protest

  5. @ Sheikh Imran Abdullah ,

    Sura 41 - Fussilat (MAKKA) : Verse 33
    Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says "I am of those who bow in Islam"?

  6. the maldives is again thirsty 4 democracy,we lost our independence. let all of us make another change. let us all travel to good judge of independence.

  7. baaghee waheedh u r not fit for that plx dont harm us.and resign as soon as possible

  8. During the last 3 years, Maldives set a course towards a prosperous liberal democracy, in the direction of the likes of Singapore.

    We've now abruptly changed course towards Kandahar! Just as the Taliban use opium to fund their bigotry, we have our self-righteous defenders of Islam funding their life style with the sale of alcohol and pork to "white" trash as they'd like to call them!

    The new motto is "keep them ignorant and let them beg for money from us".

  9. Political rallies don't resolve anything. I believe that our nation to get out of this crisis is an early election. We find ourselves in a dangerous situation which requires that we take extraordinary measures to resolve our differences peacefully. It may mean amending the constitution. It may mean that current President and his VP resign making way for the election.
    there is no room for any sustained violence in the Maldives. Let's talk peace!

  10. @Shareef

    Thats right, Shareef.The focus by Gayoom Pvt Ltd has never been about the people. Its about madhanee mudhaa. what about the fikree musdha? The heart, mind and soul of our people, victimised, terrorised, our rights violated,and brainwashed so we continue to be the servants of the rich business leaders of our country.

  11. Has Waheed And Gayoum & Co.Ltd; Planned A Hide-Out Once All Of This Is Over? And Done With. Are The Prisons big Enough To accommodate?Who Took Who's Money for This Coup? Who Funded The Army And The Police?Have To Have A "Kangaroo" court. Maldivians, This is Not Right! This Is What They Call Corruption. Those Involved In this were Too Hasty. And Was Blinded By Greed And Gain! What A Joke! Lacking In decency And Humanity!

  12. Minivan news needs veiled muslim girls and bearded muslim boys to vote for Anni get Anni to Muleeaage. You are discrediting your cause by appearing to be liberal and accommodating the atheist camp (symbolized by Yaameen and the like). O Kaafirs of Maldives. You are the downfall of MDP and Anni. You may get the support of international community, but intl community cannot vote for Anni. Remember that. Win the hearts and minds of muslims if you want Anni in Muleeaage soon.

  13. Sick n tired of yellow, a colour I usually like, but can't stand most people who been wearing it past decade or so ...., reminds me of scum, no offense

  14. politics is never about the people even in so called developed big Democarcies....and it is the same in a new democratic Maldives. It is about the Hot Seat...!

  15. We Faresmaathoda people hate with Imraam & Illiyas cox they are selling Islamic words for the benifits of their personal life, they were labled as a product of Qasim. Qasim wants to be president of Maldives. Therefore he paid big amount of money to Mullas of this country saying that Islamic words should be published according to his ideas only. We hate most of Islamic extremists of this country. We want democracy.

  16. Faresmaathoda People hate ExMinister Aslam due to his proudness and his playboy style. Nasheed's fall was due to his weakness on women!

  17. @ Sheikh(self appointed)Imran Abdullah
    I am so glad Minivan has finaly started to censor your sick hate filled tirades.
    It is retarded mad mullahs like you and Dhivehi Hangyourself that are taking islamic countries back to the stone age.
    Did your mother drop you on your head whilst you were a baby or have you always been stupid and mentally challenged since birth?
    For your information I am not jewish............even though I do admire jewish people............and I am also fortunate not to be born a sunni weren't so lucky were you?

  18. Finland has had a lively campaign and two rounds of presidential elections. The new president will take office on the first of March.

    During the long campaign, religion and women and sex were never discussed at all.

    Finland has had no monarchy and aristocracy of its own ever.

    Finnish language in its written form is only two hundred years old.

    It has a very short written history.

    It has been a completely independent country for less than a hundred years.

    But still, it is a great country. Great universities. World class scholars. Independent judiciary. Member of the EU. High standard of living. Welfare state. Democracy and freedom.

    Glad to be here. Not in the wretched Maldives.


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