PPM MP Dr Afrasheem found brutally murdered

Additional reporting by Mariyath Mohamed.

MP of the government-aligned Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), Dr Afrasheem Ali, was brutally stabbed to death outside his home on Monday night.

The member for Ungoofaaru constituency in Raa Atoll was murdered after returning home from appearing on the TVM show “Islamee Dhiriulhun” (Islamic Life) with Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Mohamed Qubad Aboobakuru.

The show finished around 11:00pm, and Afrasheem’s body was discovered by his wife at the bottom of the stairs of their apartment building shortly after midnight.

The MP had been stabbed four times in the back of the head and a chunk of his skull was missing, according to reports on VTV. He also suffered stab wounds to the chest and neck.

The MP was rushed to ADK hospital where he was pronounced dead. The hospital was placed under heavy security.

Others present at the hospital in addition to police officers and citizens included former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, his daughter and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dhunya Maumoon, his half-brother and People’s Alliance (PA) leader Abdulla Yameen, Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid, Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim, Deputy of the PPM Umar Naseer, Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb, Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson Reeko Moosa Manik, and a large number of MPs.

Much of the opposition’s senior contingent left for campaigning in the southern atolls yesterday, however the murder was widely condemned on twitter by its officials including Moosa, MP Sameer and the party’s UK Spokesperson Dr Farah Faizal.

In a live press conference shortly after 3:00am, Police Commissioner Riyaz called for restraint.

“I call on all to show restraint. I further call on all to not blame anyone at this time, and to not incite further acts in relation to this,” Riyaz stated.

Speaker Shahid – a DRP member – spoke from the hospital, announcing that parliament would be postponed until Wednesday.

“This will be observed as a national sorrow. I extend sincere condolences to Afrasheem’s family. I hope we can all act in unity in these sad times. I call on the investigative forces to solve this case and find those responsible for this heinous crime at the earliest possible time,” Shahid said.

“Dr Afrasheem Ali was very sincere in his work at the Majlis, and was honest and assertive. We always received his cooperation in the work of Majlis. We have lost a valuable son of the Maldives. May god bless his soul and grant him paradise.”

In a statement, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs noted Dr Afrasheem’s “valuable services”.

“The Ministry sends condolences to the family and prays the deceased is granted paradise. Minister Sheik Shaheem Mohamed Ali Saeed calls on the authorities to give the harshest possible punishment to those who have committed this brutal crime.”

President of the Human Rights Commission, Mariyam Azra, said she was “in complete shock”.

“I only heard of this when VTV called. I am in complete shock… I condemn this act. This should not at all occur in a society like ours. I pray that God blesses his soul and grants him paradise,” Azra told local media.

President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan has declared that the National Flag be flown at half-mast, from 2 October 2012 till the end of 4 October 2012.

There were unconfirmed reports that police had arrested a suspect in connection with the murder. Minivan News is trying to confirm this.

President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad meanwhile forwarded an SMS to foreign media declaring that “Nasheed’s strongest critic Dr Afrasheem has been brutally murdered.”

Background

Dr Afrasheem was elected to parliament in 2009 as a member of the then-opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP). Following the opposition’s split, Afrasheem sided with the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, and faded into the political background.

Widely considered an Islamic moderate, Dr Afrasheem took outspoken and controversial positions on issues such as the permissibility of playing music, and praying next to the deceased.

Newspaper Haveeru reported on September 10 that Afrasheem had participated in a ‘scholar’s dialogue’ with Islamic Minister Sheikh Shaheem Ali Saeed, who had remarked on his conflicting positions on many issues compared to the majority of Maldivian scholars.

During his final television appearance last night, Dr Afrasheem spoke of there being no other God than Allah, and how he disagreed with some people who he claimed used different objects as a mediator.

Afrasheem insisted that he had never ever spoken of anything regarding religion which was not stated in the Quran or sayings of the Prophet (PBUH). He acknowledged that some people had raised questions about his stands, and said this could be due to misunderstandings.

As an example, he said he had been told recently by a local TV host that people were made kafir (non-believer) through certain acts, saying he had immediately responded that a believing Muslim could not be labelled a kafir just because he would not grow his beard or shorten his trousers, as long as he believed in the one God and the tenets of Islam.

Afrasheem also said that people in the Maldives and abroad who loved Islam sometimes made such statements, but said they did not really possess the knowledge of a scholar and that this position was wrong. Afrasheem stated that he was deeply saddened and asked for forgiveness from citizens if he had created a misconception in their minds due to his inability to express himself in the right manner.

He was attacked several times in 2008, including being hit in the head with a stone on May 27 on his way home from work, and was assaulted after he finished Friday prayers as an Imam in the Ibrahim Mosque in January. His car window was smashed while he was driving through Male’ on March 18, 2012.

The murdered MP was also formerly Parliament’s member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), until he was replaced in mid-2011 by Jumhoree Party (JP) Leader, resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim.

The MDP had campaigned for Afrasheem’s removal from the judicial watchdog, after he dismissed Article 285 of the Constitution – demanding that all judges who do not meet its newly stipulated qualifications be dismissed after two years of it coming into force – as “symbolic”.

Afrasheem is the second member of the JSC to be stabbed in the street, following an attack on former President’s member on the commission, Aishath Velezinee, in early 2011.

Dr Afrasheem is to receive a State funeral and will be buried after Asr Prayers.

Dr Afrasheem’s final TV appearance prior to his murder:

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59 thoughts on “PPM MP Dr Afrasheem found brutally murdered”

  1. he is a wise man and great scholar. He talks sense when explaining Islam.

    He loves peace and he is not violent man . i believe that he was murdered for a political reason and get the attention diverted in the country. Yesterday our beloved president Nasheed declared himself that he is above the law and no Maldivian court should question any actions or any wring doing doing done by himself.

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  2. He was a moderate Islamic scholar who opposed the views of the Islamic extremist, extremists getting a foothold in this country.

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  3. RIP. Afraasheem. Condolences to the family. The killer or killers seem to be at large. Hope the police catch the murderer.

    The question is why and who created a society that is so violent and disrespectful. Is it Maumoon, is it Nasheed or is it the islamic extremists or is it the introduction of party system or is it other social and economic issues.

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  4. As someone who know him personally I am deeply saddened! he was a great scholar! many sheikhs were against his views and wanted him out of sight! I am not blaming anyone.. But speeches by some scholars would have created hatred towards him.. he had a logical and liberal view of Islam...

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  5. Shame on presidential spokesperson Masood for trying to politicise such a tragedy. One just hopes that he was not murdered for his moderate stance on religion. Whatever the reason he did not deserve to die like this. I hope whoever committed the murder rots in hell.

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  6. Very sad to hear this. This is a big loss to our country where extremism and political indifference are getting worse everyday.

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  7. Is Yaameen behind this murder again. This gang leader will do anything to drum up fear against his opponents. This may be the prelude to kill his opponents

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  8. Allah is the only person who can pass judgement. Dr. Afrasheem repeated what was declared in www.ammanmessage.com unwittingly, also marked himself for execution by the Maldivian extremists who've taken a page out of the eastern violence.

    Islam is a religion of peace. It is of the utmost importance that this message is disseminated as strongly as possible.

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  9. We are witnessing today is the emergence of a dangerous trend in which religious sentiment is being used as a cover to victimize moderate. It's time we open our eyes and act against the fanatic evils and the hateful Muslims on the rise, or else who's next.

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  10. @Moshaib
    Totally agree with you - very sad indeed.

    Mariyam Azra: "I am in complete shock… This should not at all occur in a society like ours".

    Wondering why Mariyam is so shock about it? So many people were murdered and injured for the past 2-3 years!

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  11. Mody shame on you for trying to politicise such a tragedy. If you want to talk politics and about people above the law, then please wait for the right article. This is a tragedy for the Dr Afraashim's family and for the society as a whole, that an innocent person can be so brutally murdered and that perpetrators of such violent crimes are at large in our small community. It's scary, disturbing and unacceptable.

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  12. Evading and fingering to one another fades the reality of nature.Power of politics and extremist are joining forces how long do all u think we have ???

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  13. R.I.P
    Very dirty and cowardly act for Political reason /attack from the back on unarmed man just f..in animals who do that/
    many gangsters and drugs addicts in MDP/
    So, any question?

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  14. What Security will Common people have. I think Police should increase the security and search the bylanes in Male' to see what is happening

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  15. You are just unbelievable. Wonder how much you get paid for writing your comments. Shame on you for exploiting this tragic situation. You are despicable.

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  16. Afrasheem promoted Shirk in a hideous way just like the jws. Who so ever dies in spreading shirk will end up in hell no matter he is US president or Naseedh’s cook! Afrasheem was given 3 chances to repent. Whoever leaves the religion of Islam shall be put to death according to Sha’ria. May god help protect us from evil plans to sabotage our country’s faith to create Islamic sects like Shia and grave wishing.
    I can give a little hypothetical insight into job 1-10 but i am not here to expose the good people behind his end. It was a group of about 2 dozen people who funded the murder. From July 2012 to Aug 2012 over MFR 210,000 was collected however only 35,000 was given in cash to the drug-lord through an indirect link who intern hand picked up to 3 gents pre-qualified for job 1-10. Reminder of the cash is to be paid when he completes the mission.

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  17. How low can these PPM people who comment could get. They are accusing MPD for political gain, parading his dead body, vehicle carrying the dead body thought the longest possible route in Male’,PPM MP's having photo sessions with his parents.

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  18. Late Dr. Afraasheem may have been, or could have said anything!

    But, that does not call for this brutality and cowardice!

    It is only a brutal "feral hog" who could have done this!

    Simple condemnation cannot undo, or justify this injustice!

    It is time we open our eyes, think and act wisely before another similar injustice is done!

    It is my sincere hope that the murderer, or murderers, will be found, and that justice is served in the manner it would be served for the murder of a Muslim in a Muslim state!

    May Allah Almighty have mercy on the soul of Late Dr. Afraasheem, and give his family the courage and tolerance to bear this grave loss!

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  19. May Allah Bless this Scholar.

    May his loved ones draw comfort from the fact that even until his last hours he was engaged in striving in the path of Allah. Being the scholar he was he was better placed than most to perceive the grave dangers that Islam faced in the world and these dangers taking root even in our motherland. He perhaps rightly concluded the greatest of all dangers to Islam lay in Muslims being forgetful or ignorant of the beauty in Islam.

    His family can be proud and be thankful to Allah for the heart rendering humility and earnestness he showed while he spoke of His Creator. May Allah Bless him, and may Allah take him under the umbrella of His infinite Mercy and Grant him Eternal Bliss. May Allah Give strength to his family to bear their loss and may Allah make descend on them His Peace & Serenity.

    Lets all take a minute and Pray Allah for His Great Mercy.

    ....

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  20. Only in Maldives, we have the tendency to turn a national tragedy into a spectacle.

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  21. You may be among the few billionaire resort owner who controls large chunk of the economy.

    Chances are, you control the system though paying to MPs, creating dummy institutions, and re-branding the old dictatorship as a democracy, just to please foreigners.

    In the game, you bribe and you kill.

    But do you, your children, your property and business feel safe here?

    Or does bad things only happen to others, not you?

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  22. This is not the time to point fingers.

    Dr. Afrashim was a valuable member of the society. His loss will be felt throughout the nation.

    May god grant him eternal peace. May his murderers be brought to justice and made to bear the consequences of depriving us of a learned man, of depriving his family of the love of a father and a husband, of depriving his constituents of an MP, of depriving his associates of a loving friend and an indispensable ally, of depriving his critics of an an engaging man who always stood ready to debate his views in public.

    Afrashim is truly irreplaceable.

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  23. MDP for this murder too!
    I love this!

    Just wonder who could it be this time?
    A PPM, PA, JP or Adhaalath!!!!!! Or perhaps a SALAF member like the police constable's case at Kaashidhoo!!!!!!

    Late Dr. Afrasheem and family are taken for a sweet ride by the rebel government!

    Live coverage of Late Dr. Afrasheem's departure is totally campaign stuff. Material for twisting in favour of the coalition partners as and when they need!

    Traitor Waheed's VPDeen, out of the text book says' "there will be no stone unturned" to find the culprit!

    And what will he do?

    Follow suite just like the Lawyer's case by making a mountain out of a mole hill?

    The Speaker of Majlis, unashamedly appearing on media and declaring another holiday for the majlis when all pending bills, relative to murders, murders etc., etc., are still in suspension! He is one sadly wasted snob!

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  24. Barberic and cowardly act done in cold blood. It was not the first time he was beign attacked , This was the sixth time he was beign attacked. Every time his brother called for revenge he used to forgive them. We lost a humble good soul. It is time to rise up against political and religious extremisms. May Allah grant paradise to him.

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  25. I agree with ah mad. May Allah Bless Afrasheem's soul and give patience to his family.

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  26. To accuse MDP is being really stupid and ignorant. Dr. Afrasheem was a moderate scholar who probably agreed with MDP a lot on the views of Islam so why would MDP try and get rid of him.

    No this looks like the work of extremists. I think Adaalath is trying to look moderate but they are extremists in nature.

    It is extremely unfortunate for Maldives that all Politicians including, Waheed, Nasheed and Gayoom has to pander to these people. Are they so selfish and power hungry that they would sell the country to the dogs just to get power? If so these people are not fit to lead.
    The blame starts with MDP. They used the arrests of the Islamist Extremists by Gayoom to make and create a scene before 2008.
    When they came to power, they gave them a Ministry to spread their version of Islam and this created hatred in the country and all this violence.
    After that DRP and PPM, got into the act and did the same thing and got in cahoots with these people to try and topple Nasheed. They succeeded earlier this year and now these people seem more powerful.
    All political parties, MDP and PPM should join together now and elect a new person as President(an Independent)for the next 5 years at least so that we, the Maldivians can get rid of this cancer in Maldives and bring back the normal way of life we have been living in the past.
    So long as MDP and PPM, fight these people would take advantage and in the end destroy us.

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  27. Dear Minivan moderators, I would think you would be required to inform the Police of comments such as that posted by 'Hussain Sameer' above. He seems to have quite a bit of info about the perpetrators of this heinous crime. If it is a joke, it's a damn disgusting one and no one has the freedom to crack jokes as such. A crime has been committed for God's sake! A life has been lost! There is a limit to freedom of speech!!!

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  28. The not-so-popular lawyer killed in a similarly brutal attack sent emotions so high that it was felt that the principle of an eye for an eye could be expected of courts as the basis of punishment or justice in cases of attack on person. However, the shiver is calmed down as the lawyer's murderers' are waiting for the life sentence received from the court of first instance to be heard by the appeal court. There is little reason, however, for the sentence to be overturned by this court.

    Depending on the outcome of appeal and the political will to enforce Islamic Law in spite of the pressure from human rights watchdog organisations, the fate of murderers will be decided.

    Before that, however, this murder of a political heavyweight, compared to an ordinary lawyer, is expected to have straightened out the matter of justice or punishment with an eye for an eye for life or bodily harm.

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  29. Agreed with Aisha as well. Afrasheem was one of the few scholars that I, even as a non-muslim, liked because he didn't go around calling for the death of jews everyday like the rest of the extremely intolerant 'scholars' in the Maldives. He was brave enough to stand up against the radical elements inside the country, but I guess this is the sad result of it. This reminds me of Pakistan where anybody who speaks against terror organizations or such are assassinated very quickly. I hope the Maldives won't become such a country. It really upset me to see Afrasheems very young son been given the flag, because he lost his dad at such a young age. I wish all the best to his family.

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  30. We should start a national reconciliation process immediately. There is hatred and division everywhere and as a result, another human being has been brutally murdered leaving behind a grieving family.

    Dr Afrasheem's stance on religion or politics should have no bearing on the comments you are making here. His death is symbolic of the cancer that's growing in Maldivian society at a rate that seems unstoppable and terminal. There is no single person, party or organisation that's responsible for this; we are collectively responsible for this.

    Furthermore, this is not a result of a party system, or the introduction of "democracy". This cancer in our society started well over two decades ago, and some of us have been warning about this for a very long time.

    I am saddened to see politicians taking the opportunity to score points (and gather photo opportunities) for themselves even at a time of such a tragedy, but I'm not totally surprised. We have hypocrites of the highest order, pretending to represent the people and faking their belief in religion.

    Citizens have got to come out to the streets and sit down together in order to find a national solution. Forget the fake leaders, wannabe presidents, parliamentarians and other parasites. Enough is enough.

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  31. it could very well be politically motivated instead of religiously motivated. it wasn't radical islamists or al qaeda hurling abuse at him or throwing stones and gathering at mosques where he ppreaced, it was the mdp thug force. he was a prominent ppm member who is very much a conservative when compared to mdp.

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  32. The Maldivian have a very hash dire dramatic past, they are emerging from extreme poverty, and ignorance. Qayoom’s 30 years of dictatorship has put additional fuel to make such society unredeemable. First they were domesticated with absolute power without any freedom and their brain was conditioned to believe that they are one of the very privileged people on the face of earth. In reality they were living in a hollow world, the reality was imagination and illusions were the reality for them.
    Once the dictator lost his grip on the life of these people a parallel world was created in their minds by false information fed by dictator. Every Maldivian believes they live in the best place on earth and the richness of nature is abundant but all the goodness they have are looted by those who call them their leaders.

    Today’s’ youth were brought up in a chaotic environment by very ignorant generation under extreme inhospitable social and economic condition that was created by the dictator , are mostly psychopaths of some extreme view on every aspects of life.

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  33. Very shockingly and sickeningly sad. There is a complete lack of law and order. This murder has taken place in a politically charged climate. My question is this?: will the real murderers be cought? If caught, will they be given the death penalty or life imprisonment or will they walk away scot free????

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  34. I do not believe this has anything to do with the extremism or any religious issues.

    This is purely on political agenda and get the attention diverted and then use this again usual tools for the people who are talking about extremists in this country with the hope of getting into the power again.

    Yesterday our beloved president Anni once again challenge the constitution which he thinks that he is above the law.

    This is gives a strong message to all criminals not to obey any court order and then do what they wish to do !

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  35. Nobody cares what Mody believes, ignorant partisan that he is.

    I don't know if this was done by Islamic extremists, atheist extremists, MDP extremists, Spaghetti extremists or whatever else extremist.

    Nobody knows who did this. Shut up and stop pointing fingers.

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  36. "I do not believe this has anything to do with the extremism or any religious issues."

    That's okay. They'll kill you if you do. They kill anyone who speaks against their vile doctrine.

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  37. mody on Tue, 2nd Oct 2012 11:35 PM

    "This is gives a strong message to all criminals not to obey any court order and then do what they wish to do !"

    I really did not want comment further on your rants, but nevertheless felt obliged that I should do so.

    I seriously hope that people of your mindset are a tiny minority in this country, or otherwise, it's going to go down fast into oblivion. Fuelling a burning fire with more fuel and ammunition is only going to accelerate the burn.

    I don't know if you are capable of comprehending this, but I doubt you will. By joining the devil and his comrades, Mohammed Waheed thought that he would unite the whole country and all will be well again. How wrong he was has been proven time and time again, not just by the murder of Dr. Afrasheem Ali.

    Neither you, nor I will be able to pin this murder on President Nasheed, Gayyoom, Yameen, Gasim or any other politician. It's not because I believe they are holy men; but because I believe those men are very rational and calculating figures and they know much better than to stoop to this level of criminality to further their aims.

    What we can say is that there are similarities between this murder and the attempted murder of Yameen Rasheed who nearly lost his life when his throat was slit. Is there a religious connection or a political one? Who knows?

    I don't have much faith that the incompetent (either by design or by choice) Maldives Police Service will find the culprit/s in this case either like so many others before it.

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  38. @Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb

    The reality of our nation very well captured, thank you.

    What a mess.

    I wish our leaders will stop being so self absorbed and focussed on being right and making others wrong and start walking their talk of "taking care of the people".
    Your Excellency, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Your Excellency Mohamed Nasheed, Your Excellency Dr Waheed, Dr Hassan Saeed, Honourable Gasim Ibrahim and Yaamin Abdul Gayoom, can you please make an effort and sit down and sort out the phenomenal mess that YOU guys have created in our country.
    Here we are today, mourning the loss of yet another son of our nation, collateral damage of the wars you have been waging on each other in your quest for power and control.
    How many more sons and daughters of our nation have to die before you set aside your personal agendas and took on the responsibilities that come with leadership.
    Please, can you stop your insane speeches and posturing and finger pointing and look at this tragedy and make this a turning point for our nation to walk a different path.
    The path of ownership, forgiveness, reconciliation and partnership.
    Restore the integrity you have lost and restore what we have lost as a nation.
    If you cannot do this why don’t you resign your positions as leaders of your political parties or better still, dissolve your parties. Our people deserve better.
    Enough .

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  39. My apologies, Honourable Thasmeen and Sheikh Shaheem , I left you guys out in my comment . Hope I will be forgiven and not be put in your little black books for this miss.

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  40. his voice still ringing in the ears of IIUM during his time being the Imam of ou Solat, May allah Bless him with Jannah Ameen

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  41. salamun'alaikum...my friends and I are from the same university of Dr.Afrasheem. He was the imam at our masjid in IIUM,Malaysia. We pray Allah will give Hidayah and Tawfiq for those who have planned the murder. Alhamdulillah'ala kulli hal, May ALLAH grant our Muslim Brother, Dr. Afrasheem with Jannah Firdaus al-a'la...ameen...

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  42. May Allah blees him and give him the best place in Jannah. Amin.

    Awaluddin Thoif
    Permata Bina Mandiri Foundation
    Indonesia

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  43. Violence in any form in any society must be shunned.
    we in neighbouring Sri Lanka are in shock to hear Dr Abrasheem happened to be the victim of religious and political intolerance in a small society of beloved Maldives.
    An outspoken and courageous scholar brutally murdered in what is called a 100% muslim community.
    Abdul Rahmaan
    Dehiwela
    Sri Lanka

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  44. When Dr. Afrasheen was Vice president of the Maldives Judicial Services Commission, the appointment and selection of unethical judges and judges under corruption records and judges with criminal records were appointed. These appointments were against the guidelines of the new constitution. If we recall Dr. Afrasheen played a pivotal role in these appointments and he was voted out of the JSC by the parliament in a no confidence vote. The current mess in the judiciary is the result of these appointments and the commission members not respecting the new constitution and the rights of the people.

    Its ironic how soon we forget things. Dr. Afrasheen did some good works as well as bad deeds like the mess in the countrys judiciary

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  45. Dangerous organizations clearly exist and are thriving in our little community. Religious extremists who in the name of protecting their beliefs pay off the drug lords and engage youth to engage in heinous crimes. How do the extremists justify financing drug dealers and abusers? Is that against their beliefs? And why do the security forces let these groups exist and thrive? What's in it for them?How many people must die before the government -be it whoever is in the office- acts on this? Or are we waiting for someone closely related to the powerful to die for that to happen?

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