“Waves of secularism”: President warns of undue foreign influence

Foreign parties are attempting to exert undue influence over the Maldives, secularise the country and exercise power over its people, President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has warned.

Dr Waheed made the remarks in his address to the nation (Dhivehi) at a ceremony on Friday night, following the unveiling of a memorial monument for ‘Victory Day’  – when an attempted coup on November 3, 1988 was thwarted by Indian military intervention.

The former vice president said that “foreign parties are attempting to exert influence over us in different ways, under different names and capacities, to exercise power over us.”

These foreign parties were “saying that we must turn to their ideologies and sending waves of secularism [or secular ideologies]  to the country,” the President claimed.

The country has undergone drastic changes in a changing world, Dr Waheed said, while Maldivians’ “traditions, lifestyle and behaviour” has seen major changes.

Dr Waheed contended that Islam was the principal reason “behind the Maldives surviving to the present day.”

“We would not be here marking this day if not for the light of that religion,” he said. “Therefore, we should not give any opportunity for [anyone] to take undue advantage of the turmoil in our environment. I call upon all political parties not to compromise the peace and security of our nation.”

In his first major speech since assuming the presidency on February 7, Dr Waheed told supporters of the ruling coalition that this was “no longer the age of colonialism” and that “no foreign country can influence the Maldives.”

“Today we will maintain our sovereignty with bravery. Be courageous. We will not back down an inch. Today, the change [in power] in the Maldives is what Allah has willed. This did not happen because of one or two people coming out into the streets. Nobody had been waiting for this. Nobody even saw this day. This change came because Allah willed to protect Islam and the decent Maldivian norms,” Dr Waheed had said on February 24.

“Be courageous. Today you are all mujaheddin [those who wage jihad or holy war] who love the nation. We will overcome all dangers faced by the nation with steadfastness.”

Indian investment

Meanwhile, speaking at a ceremony to mark 46 years of diplomatic relations between the Maldives and India on Thursday night, President Dr Waheed said business that have done well in the country were “built on mutual trust and respect.”

While the Maldives would “always welcome Indian investments” it was important to ensure that “national interests are fully protected” when inviting multi-national corporations (MNCs) to invest in the country, President Waheed said in a speech delivered in English.

“Small countries like Maldives are like small businesses, vulnerable to external shocks, always self-conscious about security and easily manipulated by bigger partners. In addition as a nation state small countries are very conscious of their national pride and sovereignty. It is important that, we small countries invite large Multi-national Corporation’s we need to assure that our national interests are fully protected,” Dr Waheed said.

“Similarly the MNC’s must understand as small countries we are vulnerable, we have little bargaining power and especially as a country in transition, we are on a steep learning curve, it is when we become sensitive to each other’s concerns that we build a trusting and lasting friendship. It is not a secret that we are currently facing some difficulty with some Indian companies, we must overcome these difficulties and adamantly resist such difficulties from effecting our very close and brotherly relationship between our two countries.”

He added that Maldivians should “never question the relationship with India” and “must always appreciate and remain grateful to India.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Abdulla Jihad last week warned that the government was unprepared to meet its recurrent expenditure – including salaries – for the final months of 2012 without US$25 million promised by the Indian government.

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14 thoughts on ““Waves of secularism”: President warns of undue foreign influence”

  1. True Colours of the current president are showing, Maldives and all its sunni brothers should all be locked up in guantanamo bay,

    Mohamed Nasheed should come back as president, and wipe islam AND sunni muslims off the face of Maldives, thats the only way us indians will care about you,

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  2. So you do anything and say that was the will of Allah! I urge Baaghee Waheed to repent to Allah (SWA). People do bad things and this is bit too much associating this to Allah (SWA). Waheed the big fat liar!

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  3. Who exactly, is trying to implement secularism over a country of 400,000, which contributes pretty much nothing to the rest of the world?

    ...

    I am a harsh critic of religion, especially Islam, but even I don't really care whether the Maldives embraces secularism or not. So why should a world super power like India or China care? However, what I do not want to see is Maldives being turned into another Afghanistan, which unfortunately, is happened very fast. I highly doubt India wants to see this country as a hub for terrorist activities either.

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  4. Look Mr Waheed, "foreigners" do not give a rats arse as to what Maldivians practice (or not) in terms of religion. What they care deeply about is, ANY threat to their way of life from Maldives or any other nation.

    The world is a totally different place post-11/9 and Osama. Other nations will no longer sit and watch the sort of saga that went on in Afghanistan; they will interfere and interfere with force, if necessary! There is nought you can do about it.

    Secondly, the hypocrisy of this guy is just unbelievable. I do wonder how much this guy actually knows about Islam. He's practically lived most of his life abroad (in great comfort), and members of his family do so even now.

    Thirdly, how much of a Muslim country is the Maldives today? Just take a look around. Murder in broad daylight is not even worthy of news any more; most of the country's youth are high on narcotics; child abuse from strangers and own family etc, and the list goes on. That's hardly a model of an Islamic country, now is it Mr Waheed?

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  5. "foreign influence" is a stale excuse used by dictatorships to silence dissent.

    Waheed and his gang may hide behind Islam if they want - but not even Saudi Arabia can save them from a total uprising.

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  6. Waheed said the truth. Weather the secular zombies believe it or not, its the truth.

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  7. Hey Waheed where is your Haabee beard. Have you not come to age to grow a beard?

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  8. Ask the question, why you are a Muslim? Was it by choice or was it something imposed on you? The answer of 99.99% of the people would be that it is something imposed on them by their parents. Had our parents been, either a Christian, Jew, Budhist, Zorastrian or Parsi etc, today we would most likely belong one of those religions. Actually, it is an accident of birth. None of us had a choice. And on top of it, we are bound by this so called first class democratic constitution which requires the Maldivian to be a Sunni Muslim. This is against Islamic tenets and principles. Sura Baqara verse 256 categorically stipulates that there is NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION.

    this verse is acknowledged to belong to the period of Quranic revelation corresponding to the political and military ascendance of the young Muslim community. ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ was not a command to Muslims to remain steadfast in the face of the desire of their oppressors to force them to renounce their faith, but was a reminder to Muslims themselves, once they had attained power, that they could not force another's heart to believe. There is no compulsion in religion addresses those in a position of strength, not weakness. The earliest commentaries on the Qur'an (such as that of Al-Tabari) make it clear that some Muslims of Medina wanted to force their children to convert from Judaism or Christianity to Islam, and this verse was precisely an answer to them not to try to force their children to convert to Islam.

    As such, it is totally and utterly, un-Islamic to coerce a populace to follow a particular faith. While I agree that there is no harm in proselytizing a religion one wants to proliferate, people should have a healthy atmosphere to question and engage in intellectual debate public in what is considered by some as taboo.

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  9. "Victory Loavalhu"
    "Sagarey Bina"
    "Salute Luthfy"
    "Thamalha Fahaali"
    "Moosa Jaleel Dhorukolhu"
    "Two Two Kanmathi"
    "MNDF Back door"
    "Ilyas Habeys"

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  10. @Tick Tock,

    You're the first person here who has actually understood and studied the Quran in order to give a wise comment. Others just rant on nonsense!!

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  11. Tsk..tisk..Dr.Waheed, Former President Nasheed, former president Gayoom, trained and awarded thugs like Mariya are simply bulls to do clean the field for a greater master plan!! Dr.Waheed is one such pimp like Nasheed and Gayoom. And many more in Maldives and rest of the world.

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  12. what the [email protected]!k has religion to do with business,business has only one motif profits,take the example of mecca,if the saudis want they can easily built lots more accommodation to benefit pilgrims,but its profitability is holding them back,maldives has to decide whether they want to be a religious state or increase
    the living standards of it people by earning more $

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  13. Dec13Tom Billy Phillips, I commend you for your grdunobreaking research that reveals without a doubt that the Catholic Church (even popes and cardinals) was, for a time, very welcoming to the study and teaching of Kabbalah.

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