MDP condemns use of Islam as “political weapon to sow discord”

The former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has strongly condemned “irresponsible and misleading” political rhetoric against former President Mohamed Nasheed over his remarks on Islamic radicalism during an address to the Danish parliament.

“Misleading” statements were made in the media by political parties and “those wearing the hat of sheikhs to use religion as a weapon,” the MDP said in a press release yesterday (April 30).

“The party believes that this is done to sow discord, unrest and chaos in this peaceful Maldivian land,” the opposition party said.

The condemnation follows a statement by the religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) earlier this week accusing the MDP presidential candidate of labeling Muslims as “extremists,” insulting Islam and allegedly portraying himself as “a warrior engaged in a mighty effort against Islam, to please the people of false religions.”

The government-aligned religious party had reiterated its claim that former President Nasheed was pursuing “a secular agenda” with support and encouragement from “missionaries of false religions.”

The self-titled ‘National Movement’ led by the Adhaalath Party meanwhile protested on the streets of Male’ on Monday night (April 29) calling for Nasheed to be “hanged” for apostasy.

The movement was born out of the unofficial December 23, 2011 coalition of eight political parties – now part of the coalition government of President Dr Mohamed Waheed –  and an alliance of NGOs that rallied at a mass gathering to “defend Islam” from Nasheed’s allegedly liberal policies.

On the same night as the national movement’s protest, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom contended that Maldivians faced a choice between a secular, anti-national ideology and an Islamic-nationalistic ideology best represented by his Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

In a thinly-veiled reference to the MDP, Gayoom accused the former ruling party of trying to impose Western secularism on the Maldives to “put the country in control of an anti-Islamic organisation.”

The government-aligned PPM also claimed that Nasheed “shamed the nation” with his allegedly anti-Islamic remarks.

“A former president of a 100 percent Islamic nation speaking in such a fashion, insulting the religion of Islam and mocking Prophet Muhammed is a derogatory act that brings disgrace to the country in front of other Islamic nations,” the largest party in the ruling coalition said in a statement.


At a question and answer session following his lecture at the Denmark parliament last month, former President Nasheed said that the spread of radical Islam or Wahhabism throughout the Middle East and East Asia was “very worrying.”

“This is not Islam necessarily but more a Hejaz or Saudi thinking – their culture. And it is an idea to impose that culture upon all Islamic societies. And I’m afraid that the spread of that thinking is very, very rapid, partly because we haven’t stood up and given an alternative narrative,” Nasheed explained in response to a question asking for his viewpoint on the struggle between “progressives and reactionaries” within Islam.

Nasheed added that moderates have not offered “a proper narrative that can counter the radical Islamic viewpoint.”

“Now, what the radicals are doing, they have an answer for everything, anything. You can ring up in the middle of the night and say, ‘Sheikh, I’m not able to sleep.’ And then the Sheikh would give you a hadith (Prophet’s sayings) and a revelation on what the Prophet did and what God has prescribed on sleeping in the middle of the night and then you go back to sleep,” Nasheed had said, prompting the allegations this week that the remarks constituted a mockery of Islam or the Prophet Mohamed (pbuh).

“We don’t a helpline. We don’t have an alternative narrative,” he said, adding that moderate Muslims should propagate “the actual version of Islam.”

Nasheed suggested that Islam needed “a reformation” similar to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

“Because Maldives is a very Islamic country, apparently, it is able to play a very important role in the spread of these religious ideas. And similarly, I believe that with proper democracy in the Maldives we can play a very important role as a counter to the reformation, or rather the Jesuits have to come up quickly,” he said.

Pro-government broadcaster DhiTV however reported the remarks as Nasheed calling for “a Christian missionary-like organisation to come out against the Islamic extremist ideology spreading fast in the Maldives.”


The MDP meanwhile said in its statement that it was “regrettable” that local sheikhs were “providing misleading and false information” to the public for “short-term” political purposes, which was leading to loss of respect for religious scholars in Maldivian society.

Former President Nasheed called on moderate Muslims to stand up against extremism, the press release stressed.

The MDP noted that accusing a fellow Muslim of apostasy was forbidden in Islam.

Former President of the Adhaalath Party Sheikh Hussain Rasheed Ahmed, who recently joined the MDP, was quoted in the party’s statement as saying that the sheikhs were more deserving of the “laadheenee” (irreligious or secular) label as the alleged coup d’etat they orchestrated was also haram (prohibited) in Islam.

The MDP statement called on all parties to be more “responsible” while making statements concerning religion.

As Islam was a “moderate” religion based on peace and fraternity, the party appealed for politics to be kept out of religious debates.

Meanwhile, speaking at a campaign rally on the island of Meedhoo in Dhaalu Atoll on Monday night, Nasheed said that the laadheenee (secular) label was used by the then-opposition as a false pretext to topple the government.

The allegation was “saddening” and “worrying” as the members of MDP were also brought up as Muslims and taught Islam just as any other Maldivian, Nasheed said.

The belief that the “only path for salvation in this life” was following the principles of Islam was deeply-rooted “in the bottom of our hearts,” he added.

“God willing, we will remain upon that belief and no policy will be formulated or implemented in the Maldives any other way,” he said.

In a speech the previous night in Faafu Bilehdhoo, Nasheed said Adhaalath Party scholars “sold out Islam” to bring about a coup d’etat on Febraury 7, 2012.

Islamist-backed coup

In his lecture in Denmark, Nasheed argued that “the Islamists were never a credible electoral threat.”

“The Islamic extremists also didn’t like the Maldives’ new democracy because they were unpopular. They failed to win the Presidential elections in 2008, they failed to win local government elections – in 2011 they won less that four percent of the vote. But now, after the coup, extremists have been rewarded with three cabinet positions in government, and in many ways set the tone of government communications. They are busy trying to indoctrinate people with a misguided version of Islam,” Nasheed said.

In its statement, the Adhaalath Party objected to Nasheed implying that the party had “no influence or power,” insisting that the former president “feared” the religious conservative party.

The party accused Nasheed of “placing idols” in Maldivian lands – a reference to the SAARC monuments gifted to the country by other South Asian nations during the 2011 SAARC Summit hosted in Addu Atoll – and of “giving our assets to foreigners” – a reference to the concession agreement to manage and upgrade the international airport granted to Indian firm GMR.

Nasheed meanwhile pledged to “remove the Islamist rhetoric from the official discourse” for the Maldives to become a more tolerant, liberal society.

He went on to accuse the former dictatorship of organising the alleged coup d’etat on February 7, 2012 “because they could see the edifice of their economic and political power crumbling.”

“It was crumbling because Maldivians had rejected authoritarianism, rejected feudalism and largely rejected Islamic extremism,” Nasheed said.


28 thoughts on “MDP condemns use of Islam as “political weapon to sow discord””

  1. MDP propagenda as usual by Ahmed Naish and minivan news. Nasheed didnt say:
    "A democratic Maldives could play a very important role to COUNTER the Jesuits or the spread of Islamic extremism"

    What he uttered was "I believe, with proper democracy in the Maldives we can play a very important role as a counter to the reformation or rather THE JESUITS SHOULD HAVE TO COME UP QUIKLY".

    Dhi tv translation of "Christian missionary-like organisation to come out against the Islamic ideology spreading fast in the Maldives" Is correct.

  2. The utter nonsense these politicians are wielding just amazes one.Are these really grown up people with level headed minds?The whole solution to the problem the country is facing can be summed up in one paragraph just through the teachings of Mohammed(peace be upon)i.e if you forget the unnecessary detail the milk sheikhs will bring into it.

    The Maldives is an islamic country as the people of maldives are muslims.All these polticians claim to be guardians of islam but in truth they are hypocrites.Y? cox they know in today's world there is no great Islamic khilafa as at the time of Omar(r.a), and the western civilization is ruling the world.(precisley cox Allah gives them blessings as they have more compassion(rahmah) for humanity than the islamic ummath of TODAY).These times are the same as when the prophet and his disciples were driven out of Mecca and they had to find refuge elsewhere but they kept their faith and when the mushrikin of mecca wanted to fight and bloodshed and civil war broke out the solution was TREATIES.Although the muslims were not allowed into the house of Allah and their rights were restricted the prophet was never the person to break a treaty entered into and when islam stared spreadiing like wild fire it was the quraish who broke the treaties.Mohammed kept his word,he was no Hypocrite like our politicians!.Now we live in a world with U.N. and other organizations to whome we ARE subject to whether we like it or not and we have signed treaties and we have to accept it.That doesnt mean we have to give up our faith.The full shariah can be incorporated into the legal system and when the judge has to make a decision he has to rule with the exact prescription in the shariah but just add that as we have signed such and such treaty the punsihment shall be converted into jail term or bansihment or fine or wateva!Problem solved.
    And regarding the tourism industry it is the culture of Maldivains to be hospitable to all travelers(tourists) that came to our shores since time immemorial...and what good they have brought us! but the constitution forbids any rules and regulations that conflict sharia-just add the words that no law regulating MALDIVAINS shall conflict the shariah!simple!.We can be labled anything but one thing we should never be is HYPOCRITES....and to enter or not to enter a treaty can be decided by our own parliament who are supposed to represent the public and they have to start taking responsibilty as well if they r enjoying the benefits of the position.The religion and life of the prophet of islam was all about compassion and protecting the 'words' of Allah and nothing else.It is the people who devulge into unnecessary details who corrupt our minds.

  3. Mohamed Nasheed my patience with you is really running thin. You and your little charade may fool the handful of foreign viewers to this news content website, yet we both know the rat-hole you came out of, your leanings etc. The people have rights granted, but certainly you the rabble-rouser in the crowd doesn't have sole sake over this country. Either you chart very carefully how you intend to carry this discourse over the next few weeks (following your Jesuit folly in Denmark)- or we will chart it for 'you'. People power (mob superhuman strength) is absolute gunk when it comes to the real heavy-duty power hustlers out there, who are eager to make rat-soup out of you and your 'ilk'.. Yours truly. Yours anxiously..

  4. MDP has lost the last islamic scholar to Adhaalath with the departure of Sheikh Naseem. This shall be an important message to the common members. Every religious person is not a fool. They leave and join parties for a reason. And the reason is not selfish always. Life is not black and white.
    The problem with MDP is that they put down any dissent most viciously. Remember who they put Tolhat down for saying that Anni's life never was in danger when he abdicated prematurely? That's a most truthful assertion by a person who had nothing to loose.

  5. Hey demon, This is a democracy not a dictatorship. Even if Nasheed get's elected, the parliament will debate any changes he wants to bring.

    It will be changes the people want to bring. Not changes Nasheed wants to bring. So be quiet, learn about the democratic process and participate in it.

  6. @human being

    and now the country is in search of the "pious" sheikhs,be it naseem or ilyas or the most confused man on the entire planet that fake Hussain Rasheed!!Now you guys create another eternal and secure Maumoon with ur loyalty to the piety of one sheikh(ayotullah)!!! learn to accept that it is your heart and your iman that is your religion and if any muslim needs a teacher that is our master our guide Prophet Mohammed(peace be upon him) !!!!!!!!!!

  7. @Ainth...excuse me??? You mean to tell us that we should accept the meaning of "Jesuits" as translated by a tv channel, where half of them can't even understand the use of proper language??? The word itself in the English speaking world and in the English dictionaries' is used to denote someone "given to intrigue or equivocation" or "crafty, intruiguing and equivocative" person!!?? If he had uttered Minister, are you going to say that he meant "one officiating or assisting the officiant in church worship"????? There is a right place and time to use words to give proper meaning to the sentence. Please don't try and fool others with your lack of knowledge on how to use terms correctly! Better still, go to a proper English class rather than learning it through some half-wits at TV station!

  8. 33 years of rule by Sheiks and their dogma has not improved the lives of Maldivains.

    They are not even taking responsibility for the poor state of things. They want to drag us down further into a pit.

    Amazing that they think they have credibility inspite of what they have done.

  9. LOL. Dhiveshistanis do you see the result of mixing religion with politics? Things will get worse if you don't wake up. Your silence will bring about a revolution that will result in a theocracy like the Iran. Now that will be fun. Then blind Dhivehistanis will see the mullah's agenda in full view. Haha. That'll be the day Dhivehistanis rise up and lynch the mullahs. I'll be watching from the sidelines.

  10. First time seen any versus of Quran on Nasheed on his back drop?

    what is he trying to say here? has he become a seik now?

  11. @ poppat
    So no reply about the deliberate misquote by minivan news? Even the MDP statement said nothing about that part of nasheed's ramblings. We now know who is "misleading" who.
    Before I am send to English class, educate yourself about jesuits.

  12. @Ahmed Nasih Minivan News

    Could you clarify for us why you refer to the MDP as "the former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)"??

    The Maldives is being governed by a Presidential system, not a parliamentary system. There is NO ruling party in a Presidential system. And there is NO Opposition Party in a Presidential system.

    The "ruling party" and "opposition party" are structures in a parliamentary system.

    I have commented on this several times in this paper, however MINIVAN NEWS continues to refer to the MDP as "ruling party" or "opposition party".

  13. MDP's leadership ought to stop blaming others. They brought this upon themselves. Nasheed put a spoon in his opponents mouth. He has to deal with the repercussions. There is no point in trying to backtack and weasel his way out of it. Too late.

  14. Nasheed spoke the truth. That is why the servants and peons of the imperialist arabs are so upset.

    Speaking the truth, no matter how unpleasant, is not, and never will be a crime.

  15. I like this talk.

    Its a shame, that Religion was the biggest tool, Anni himself used to topple MAG.

  16. @Do they take responsibility?
    For 33 years religion was repressed by another secular leader called Maumoon. Anni tried to be liberal, but those around him didn't let him, so now he has taken the hook, line, sinker and pole and everything else. He is for the secular camp now 101%. Let's see what

  17. Seyku Anni and minivan will say anything to get their power back!

    Actually Kurimbee is correct!

    How come Nasheed has Quranic verses(or it may seem)on his back drop! Haven't seen that in his presidency! And notice the way he uses Gods name now(after he came out of the embassy etc) to play on the unsuspecting public behind them!

    If he is a true leader he would have said the truth! If he wants religious secularism, just say it without beating the bush and spurting hatred within the public!

    As for Denmark and it's anti Islam campaign , i suppose they would be pretty pissed off because the prominent Islam hater converted after doing his own research.

    Geert Wilders Confidante and Former Far-Right Politician Arnoud Van Doorn Converts to Islam

  18. @Ainth....heheheh....First off, there was no misquote by Nasheed. He has, very clearly in simple English said what he wanted to say. We all understood what he was why should we refer to it as a misquote.... Unless you are a bit thick to hang on to the terrible translation done by DhiTV..we all know how honest, forthcoming and well versed they are now, don't we?
    Secondly, I know very well what the meaning of jesuit well as father, mother, sister, brother, Minister etc. etc. and how to use them in the right place at the right time ..they don't always refer to religious persons do they?..see?..That's why I'm telling you to go to an English class to see if you can understand how to use nouns, verbs and various other terms colloquially...

  19. @"human being" (apologies in advance to all human beings. I do not mean to offend you by placing you in the same name as that maggot over there): Prophet Muhammad had a secular system of governance in Medina/Mecca.

    I don't see why you're so scared of it.

    Unless you're an oppressor in the skin of a muslim.

    And Maumoon was no secularist; he is a brutal tyrant and a ruthless gang boss.

  20. Question: Why is Adalath and the so-called Religious Scholars/Preachers not even bothering to take a serious note on the well publicized Statement made about the Importing of Pork and Alcohol by current Tourism Minister?

  21. this is what Mohamed Nasheed said in Copenhagen. Is that now use of religion in Politics? We are tired of this guy going about abusing us and tearing us.

    And I'm afraid the spirit of that thinking is very very rapid, partly because we haven't stood up and given an alternative narrative. Other more liberal Muslims haven't come out with a proper narrative that can counter the radical Islamic viewpoint.
    Now what the radicals are doing; they have an answer for everything, anything. You can ring up in the middle of the night and say Sheikh, "I'm not able to sleep" and then the Sheikh would give you a Hadhees and a revelation on what the prophet did and what the God has prescribed on sleeping in the middle of the night, and then you go back to sleep.

    We don't have a helpline, we don't have an alternative narrative, and I think it's so important that we come up with an alternative narrative, a liberal version of Islam or actual version of Islam; I wouldn't argue that it's a liberal version. Radical Islam is spreading like wild fire even in Sri Lanka and this is happening all over the world all over East Asia, in Thailand Philippines Malaysia, Singapore even India and Sri Lanka.

    Because Maldives is a very Islamic country apparently it is able to play a very important role in the spread of these religious ideas. And similarly I believe, that with proper democracy in the Maldives it can play a very important role as a counter to the reformation or rather the Jesuits have to come up quickly

  22. At times I get the feeling that we Maldivians have migrated to another country n the country's citizens di not acceptus as their countrymen. So much of hatred n calling each other names slandering character in the trend. It looks like even the Islamic scholars are working hard to divide the people n create unrest. In reality they should advocate peace.what is happening to this country. Everyone wants to be the President. Its ok but be patient promite you manifesto n get the votes. Allow the people of this country to live in peace. Enough is enough.

  23. @poppat
    I didnt say there was a misquote by nasheed.
    What I told was, minivan news has deliberately misquoted that part of nasheed's speech in their report. Do you understand? No? Then you need English classes more than me.
    What nasheed rambled was "I believe, with proper democracy in the Maldives we can play a very important role as a counter to the reformation or rather THE JESUITS SHOULD HAVE TO COME UP QUIKLY”.
    But, Ahmed Naish of minivan news wrote Nasheed uttered “A democratic Maldives could play a very important role to COUNTER the Jesuits or the spread of Islamic extremism”.

  24. Oh, I again got to read the report and now it seems corrected. Hehe.
    When the report was first published, they had that misquote. Seems, once it got exposed, they silently corrected it.
    And its usually the norm in newspapers to put a note at the bottom of a report once a correction is made (with or without an apology).
    Not in this case. Indicating, to me atleast, that it was not a mistake in the first place. Just a deliberate propagenda.

  25. @Poppat, who the hell is seyku anni referring to as Jesuit whom you would like to call a minister? Which minister and from where exactly? Maldives(not sure if anyone would stand up for this clown)? Denmark? USA? you sounds like a retard trying to defend what this muruthadhu has said.

  26. No matter how hard you secularists try, Islam will spread and there will be followers. So suck your thumbs. Don't cry like a baby.


Comments are closed.