American to be deported for alleged missionary activity

Maldives police have said they are seeking the deportation of a foreigner who allegedly sought to spread Christianity on the island of Kinbidhoo in Thaa Atoll.

Missionary activities are illegal under Maldivian law, as is the possession of non-Islamic religious materials beyond those ascribed for ‘personal use’.

Police sergeant Ahmed Shiyam said while no charges had yet been laid, it was normal practice “to send a person suspected of this to their country of origin while the case is under investigation.”

Shiyam declined to reveal specific details of the allegations “as the case is still under investigation”, but noted that “the whole community is very concerned about this.”

Kinbidhoo islanders identified the man as David Balk, and said he had been living on the island for the past several years with his wife and three children, aged 10-13 years old.

“They all speak fluent Dhivehi and generally keep to themselves, but are very helpful and involved in social activities like beach cleaning,” said Island Councillor Mohamed Naseem, adding that media reports describing the man as English “are wrong because he has an American passport.”

Naseem said the islanders believed he was the managing director of a travel agency in Male, and that “whatever they were doing must have been secret because nobody here has complained about him [spreading religion].”

He added that the police investigation had been going on for some time “and only now have the media picked it up.”

Another resident of the island, Ahmed Rasheed, said Balk’s neighbours had seen inside his house and claimed he had never spoken to them about religion. “I’ve mostly seen him out fishing,” Rasheed said. “He always helps out islanders and at times has even given financial help to people.”

Rasheed said he doubted many of the Kinbidhoo islanders “would even know what a bible looks like.”

“The day the police came David’s wife went to the neighbours house to ask them to take care of a plant. She told them police were there ‘saying we are spreading Christianity’, and that while they had a bible, it was for their personal use,” he said.

“The islanders’ attitude is that while [the Balks] never talked to them about religion, they are suspicious of why the family have lived on island for a couple of years without an ulterior motive. But they say the feeling is not enough reason to throw somebody off the island.”

Abdullah bin Mohamed Ibrahim, president of Islamic NGO Salaf Jamiyya, told Minivan News “we have been watching these people for a long time. We have known of them since 2003.”

He said Salaf’s investigation was still ongoing, but that the NGO was “certain” Balk was a missionary.

The missionary group has a “rotating membership” that comes to the country and settles, he said.

“They are working under a long-term plan. They have given their children Dhivehi names and some even have tattoos in Dhivehi.”

Ibrahim said Salaf was aware of missionary activity in the Maldives, and of missionaries approaching people to proselytise.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Islamic Affairs, Mohamed Didi, said that so far there had been no involvement in the case by the Ministry and “officially we don’t know anything.”

“If anyone complains we would ask the police to investigate,” he said, and if suspicions were confirmed, “basically the foreigner would be deported.”

Minivan News tried to contact Balk but was only able to speak to him briefly, as he said he was “going to spend time with my kids.”


71 thoughts on “American to be deported for alleged missionary activity”

  1. dear Afiya
    Many respected scholars from As-Salaf As-Saleh differed whether the face must be covered o not. like many other issues continues to be a debate among the scholars. so it is not "being too much" wen they differ. its our duty to follow the best opinion. if u r talkin about azhar go on n check who sheikh bin baz (rahimahulla) was. he was one of the greatest scholars ever seen in the century. he held the opinion that niqab is a fard. he was not an extremist but a well respected scholar. this is a very common problem. for example i want to be a hardcore guitarist n all the scholars say music is haraam. then one day sum1 like afrashim cums n issue a fatwa that music is not haraam. i will b quick to grab this fatwaa n ignore the most respected scholars fatwas by saying that they r all extremists simply bcox i want to b a guitarist so much. i m not sayin this is your case but pls look at the other opinions 2. n dont call scholars extremists. if u meet a real extremist the next minute your head would be gone.
    May Allah guide us all
    n Allah knows best.

  2. Dear Afiya,
    Iam saying that you change your views cause at one point you are saying you follow Quran and on the other occasion you are saying you follow logic and science.Even if you meant that you follow Quran in the light of logic and science that is also totally not correct .First you need to know Arabic and actually study the religion in the light of Quran and Haddeth.
    If you need to study any thing you have to get the expertise of a knowledgeable person in that particular field.It is illogical to ask a Fisherman about a religious issue.Azhar is a prestigious university.That doesn't mean that a Fatwa issued by the grand Imam from Azhar M.S. Tantawi could out rule the opinion of the majority of the renown scholars.What about the other Islamic universities and what about the other scholars.Due this M.S.Tantawi the Muslim children in France cannot wear buruga or headscarf.Just because a single doctor says that you have Cancer will you pointblank agree with him.I think no one will fully agree unless he had consulted few specialist. The grand Mufti of Egypt is Ali Gomaa.Even he had refuted these fatwas issued by him. If we look into other Islamic countries there are so many scholars issuing Fatwas but all the Fatwas doesn't become a part of Islam.Like the democracy majority of the scholars should approve the Fatwas so it can become a part of the religion.Plus there should be evidence from Quran and Hadeeth for this Fatwa.Please explain to me the agenda of the most scholars so i could be aware of it.
    Science do take u turns and it is built on research,and experiment.In the past it had corrected itself many times.This is a writing i took from WIKEPEDIA.Have a look.Iam not saying this.Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is, in its broadest sense, any systematic knowledge-base or prescriptive practice that is capable of resulting in a prediction or predictable type of outcome. In this sense, science may refer to a highly skilled technique or practice.

    In its more restricted contemporary sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on the scientific method, and to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word. Science as discussed in this article is sometimes called experimental science to differentiate it from applied science, which is the application of scientific research to specific human needs—although the two are commonly interconnected.

    Science is a continuing effort to discover and increase human knowledge and understanding through disciplined research. Using controlled methods, scientists collect observable evidence of natural or social phenomena, record measurable data relating to the observations, and analyze this information to construct theoretical explanations of how things work. The methods of scientific research include the generation of hypotheses about how phenomena work, and experimentation that tests these hypotheses under controlled conditions. Scientists are also expected to publish their information so other scientists can do similar experiments to double-check their conclusions. The results of this process enable better understanding of past events, and better ability to predict future events of the same kind as those that have been tested.
    When you read the article on top from WIKEPEDIA you will come across words like: HYPOTHESES,EXPERIMENTATION,THEORETICAL,OBSEVATION and more.So to judge upon science and logic is will misleading like letting your sail boat sail without any maneuvering to the wind.And do forgive me if i have offended you in any of the my comments.
    Thank you.

  3. @ You twist my words. I never said I didnt follow Quran and only science and logic. I said I follow Quran because its Allah's words. I follow science and logic because they are proof of Allah's greatness. I do get knowledge on th experise area by people whom I trust and believe. I would never go to Salaf or anyone who abors freedom or wrongly mislead Muslims in the name of Allah. I have no intention to reply to your comments anymore. Period.

  4. Last word from me. As academias we are told not to refer to Wikepedia because the information in the website is inaccurate. I think its important to verify and validate accurate information.

  5. dear Afiya
    as Muslims we are told not to do things as v like. v r to follow Quran n sunna. then in differed matters follow the opinions of the respected scholars who devoted their whole life studying it.
    may Allah guide us all.
    wassalaam alykum

  6. So anyway, back to topic - was the allegation substantiated? With what proof? And has the deportation happened?

  7. Dear Afiya,
    ALLAH(SWA) knows everything which will happen from the start to the end in this world. ALLAH(SWA)created everything in this world.ALLAH(SWA)set down the law which is to be followed by the Humans,Angels and the jinns.Hence ALLAH(SWA)knows the plots the Humans and the Jinns will plot to relinquish the law set down by ALLAH(SWA).But beware of the plot ALLAH(SWA)will plot against the mischief makers,misguide others and those who follow their own desires..By the will of ALLAH(SWA)falsehood by its nature is bound to perish.Those who make mischief , misguide others and those who follow their own desires will never will be firm in their belief and will never be able to stand firm when they face HAQQ.
    First i tried to prove my point using Quran and Sunnah.Since you denied it, i will prove my point in the light of science.
    Protecting the head is one of the method to prevent heat lost. Results Of medical tests show that 40-60% of body heat is lost through the head, so persons wearing head coverings during cold months are protected about fifty-percent more than those who do not.

    In Chinese medical texts, in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic on Internal Medicine, it was stated that wind can cause sudden changes within the body and will upset the body’s equilibrium thus, creating bad health.

    It was written that common cold are related to wind elements entering the body and causing the typical symptoms of sneezing and a running nose.

    In the traditional Islamic medical texts of Al-Jawziyya, numerous references to the “four elements” of fire, water, air and earth and how these affect the body in adverse ways. In particular, we are advised to stay away from drafts and protect our heads in wind, breezes, drafts and cold weather.

    Also, for health reasons, protecting the head is even more important in warm weather. V.G. Rocine, a prominent brain research specialist, has found that brain Phosphorus melts at 108 degrees; a temperature that can be easily reached if one stays under the hot sun for any length of time without a head covering. When this happens, irreversible brain damage, memory loss and loss of some brain functions can result. Although this example is extreme, Brain damage can still be measured in small degrees from frequent exposure to and overheating of the head.

    Bernard Jensen, a naturopath and chiropractor states that this is because the brain runs on the mineral phosphorus, which is very affected by heat.

    And while discussing about health, if we look at the home economic perspectives, Hijab head-covering are required for those working in the food sectors. This is to ensure that cleanliness are maintain to avoid food poisoning.
    I wont be surprised if you denied this too.Hope you wont say its just a hypothesis. The Infidels of Mecca never believed in MUHAMMAD(SAW)when with the will of ALLAH(SWA)separated the moon into two half.They said its was witchcraft.

  8. I see many people here have different views about the american been accused of spreading christianity in the country. Well some people do know the real truth about him. He lived in my island for about 4 years. He showed himself to be an excellent socialiser and got on well with the local people of the island. He and his family talked excellent Dhivehi and loved our food. But there are few things which are suspicious about him and his family. He said he had a businedd company based in Trivandrum but lived in Maldives because of its true natural beauty. fine I accept it. But there is no sign of his company name when I tred to serch it from google. Next, he says he loves Maldives and its people and wants to be with the Maldivian people, then hoe how come his children dont go to the same school as ours, They are given american home schooling at their home. He has a Maldivian work permit sponsored by one of his maldivian friend, but do not work here or pay any commercial or foreign tax which he is supposed to do. thats wrong. Next, he once walked up to a friend of mine and said that 'You should have a wife who loves Jesus and thats the person who gave light in my life'. My friend was shocked. Next, one day he said to me you muslims dont like jews and want them out of this world which is wrong of him to say that. He invites Maldivians to dinner at his home and do a prayer to Jesus before starting the meal, making the poor Maldivian also be part of his Christian prayer. whatelse you guys want to know more of him. Its surprising to know some of you here call him 'innocent'. Somebody must be mental to believe that such people live in Maldives for years just for the sake of love for Maldives beauty. Its nothing but missionary work. May allah save us from such people. And the Maldivian governemnt should deport him and his family.

  9. oh god, whatz happened here!whose responsible this!?

    afiya and anyone who think they can have an intellectual, civilized argument with fundies...i say, quit it already.

  10. @ Moyameeha, I didnt quit. I am writing on the other article. Here they talk endlessly about evidence of Salaf. He said that, my friend saw this, I saw this. Who is going to believe if people make up stories. Real evidence in any case is supported and presented. If the evidence is acceptable than a sentence is passed. Look at the Salaf, its all made up stories with so called evidence.

  11. @nishan: These "talibans" you are bootlicking so blindly have a record of injustice, arrogance and brutality against women and children. Now that their little "kuda paradise" in Afghanistan is shattered, thanks to American retaliation; they are looking for a place to restart their filthy "paradise".

    They are enemies of the mothers and children of Afghanistan, and any other country they encroach. They are mankind's enemies.

  12. Dear Anon,
    Have you heard of Ivonne Ridley,if not she is a British journalist who was caught in Afghanistan working on story she was covering for her news agency. She was caught by Taliban later set free. The mean lunatic Taliban's treated her so well she converted to a Muslim. If they were so ruthless why did she convert to a Muslim.If you watch,hear and read corrupt media sources like Minivannews,BBC,CNN,SKY,FOX you will never know the truth.
    Thank you.

  13. Fathimath Afiya
    I have gone through the whole debate and believe me you need help. You are ignorant and you follow your own desires.

  14. Personal attacks is what people resort to when they cannot get their points across. Its a culture in Maldives that women should be submissive. They have to give in to the men.

  15. There was a king who had a lot of wealth, and he had a daughter and no other children. He loved her very much, and he used to let her enjoy all kinds of entertainment. This went on for a long time. Beside the king there lived a devoted worshipper, and whilst he was reciting one night, he raised his voice saying, “O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones “ [al-Tahreem 66:6 – interpretation of the meaning]. The girl heard his recitation and said to her servants, “Stop!” But they did not stop. The worshipper started to repeat the verse, and the girl kept telling them to stop, but they did not stop. She put her hands to her collar and tore her garment, and they went to her father and told him the story. He went to her and said, “My dear, what happened to you tonight? What made you weep?” and he hugged her. She said, “I ask you by Allaah, O my father, to tell me, does have Allaah have a Fire the fuel of which is men and stones?” He said, “Yes.” She asked him, “Why did you not tell me? By Allaah I will not eat any good food or sleep on any soft bed until I know whether my abode is in Paradise or Hell.”

  16. i did not belive this to happened to Maldivian people. those kind of people need to be deport immediatly without any questions.
    Goverment need to take action without promptly....! not waiting to spreat the news across to the country.

  17. Please could someone tell me why missionary activity is illegal in the Maldives, especially when the country has signed up to the UN International Covenant of Human Rights and Muslims are allowed to do missionary activity in most countries?

  18. Its doesnt matter in what way you look at this situation, its just sad and pathetic!! This is just cruelity practised in the name of Islam by Salaf..I am a Maldivian living abroad, married to a foreigner and we have children together..I cannot imagine what i would go through if i was to be in the same situation as David..I have friends here, all religions, i do talk to them abt islam and sometimes even invite my non muslim friends for eid celebs..if they were accusing me of missionary activity and then trying to get me deported for talking abt my faith!!!!! this is ABSURD!!!! i feel very sorry for this family and shame on you Salaf for trying to break up a happy can do whatever you want now, but dont forget that there is a day of judgement too...

  19. If Islam is perfect you have no worries. You could send in thousands of missionaries and no one would convert...cause why would anyone want to convert from perfection right? Seems like people in the Maldives have very little confidence in Islam.

  20. While reading the different posts above i see an array of people just wanting to live. I see people wanting the opportunity for freedom. People seek to live in the US every day for many reasons and yes there are missionaries from all religions here. I don't understand how it is harmful to have complete freedom. If an adult is one religion and learns of another why cant that person not only have the right to hear about it but choose it if they want to? That is complete freedom right? If you tell someone what they must believe, where is freedom in that? Humans should have the right to choose their religion like they choose the type of nourishment for their body. they chose whats best for them and their health as well as their soul. I am Christian and Jesus "Isa" never forced anyone to believe in Him. He made His stance and you could make your choice. That is freedom. So while the religious wars continue in our world i feel so sad to the innocent who die at the hands of others due to religion, weather it be in the name of God, (God of Israel) or Alla God od Mohamed or any on else. I just listed those because they seem to be the most in the news. As a Jesus follower I believe the Mohamed follower should be just as free to live and practice his or her religion, just without violence( Which so many of them do). It is the violence that we should all stand against as in the post above if we all stand together against that then and only then will freedom and peace fill the earth. Am I nieve to think it could happen? I would love to live in another country some where I am facinated by other cultures and ways of life, while yes I am a Christian and will share about my Jesus with any one who asked, my motive would be to experience a different life for a while. This life regardless of religion is short....maybe 80to 100 years if you are lucky, so life is short to say the least. What is after this life is to each individual to determine for themselves but while here I wished i could go to a another and live with my blond hair and blue eyed kids without having to worry about being executed. 🙂 sad but true for the most part.


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