Comment: Heaven and hell

My husband sits next to me on the steps outside the Imperial Gates of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. The sky is overcast and there is no breeze. It is as if the world itself is hushed by the breath-taking splendour of our surroundings.

‘Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar…’ Suddenly, the melodic call for Asr prayer spills from the imposing minarets of Aya Sofya. The sound reverberates with a lyrical beauty that silences the crowds streaming in and out of the buildings around us.

There are occasions in one’s life, when, what has been, what is, and what might be, unite in total harmony and the moment is enough; a rare privilege in these changing times. I feel the pull of this moment as the call for prayer is echoed by several minarets that repeat these centuries-old words. “It’s harmonised,’ says my husband quietly.

Such occasions demand reflection. Recent travel around Turkey has rekindled powerful childhood memories which were the gifts of an Islamic upbringing. My sister and I, the designated readers to a family devoted to the written word… the long hours of Ramadan… the heat of the sun and the warm breezes conspiring to lengthen the day-light hours… taking refuge in the shade of the trees… an enchanted world where imagination and spirituality reigned.

The biography of Prophet Mohamed. The Thousand and One Nights. The legendary exploits of Amir Hamza. It was a realm of jinni and giants, dragons and dancers, invincible heroes and indestructible holy men. As much as our lessons in Islam and the daily reading of the Quran, these stories developed our connection to the community of Islam and the understanding that our collective heritage was something of which to be proud.

And it is an undeniably proud heritage. At the peak of its culture, its artistic and intellectual accomplishments influenced the entire world. What is most striking about the spread of this culture is that it was open and inclusive; its horizons were wide and flexible. Muslim philosophers helped the spread of Greek philosophy into Europe; Baghdad became the medical centre of the world having translated into Arabic works from several non-Islamic cultures. Huge progress was made in chemistry, physics, astronomy and mathematics.

It is sufficient to remember that the decimal system of numbers which allowed the scientific explosion of the later centuries was passed on to Europeans by this rich culture. Islam’s was the quintessential knowledge-based civilisation.

But these were not the only signs of its positive engagement with the wider world. Muslims were well known seamen and travellers. Improved methods of map making and geographical nomenclature were passed on to Europe by Islamic geographers such as al Idrisi and Abdallah Yaqut. Almost a century before Columbus and De Gama ventured on their explorations, Ibn Battuta documented his travels which were to become some of the best ethnologies in the world.

In a week of frenzied sight-seeing in Turkey, I have seen how the Ottoman Empire, at a much later date, continued this sense of inclusiveness and tolerance. Aya Sofya itself was once Emperor Justinian’s great Christian symbol of temporal and spiritual power in Constantinople. When Mehmet the Conqueror came to power, he simply had the church converted into a mosque. He did not feel the need to vandalise the building or smash it to the ground. Its beautiful mosaic work is testimony to the fact that religions can co-exist in proclaiming the bounty of God. But more than that, it was a statement of confidence and maturity; that Islamic culture – its teaching, its art and its literature – is powerful enough to withstand other ways of thinking and behaving.

My generation of Maldivians grew up confident and strong, nurtured by the greatness of this culture combined with our own Maldivian heritage. But we were the lucky generation. Less than half a century later, the religion, that was the basic building blocks of our childhood, is struggling to find its place in the Maldives. It would seem to be suffering from an extreme loss of confidence.

Although the answers are complex, we need to ask ourselves why such a profound change has taken place. Perhaps the most important reason for this is the cynical pact that the Saudi royal family made with the politically troublesome Wahhabis. The result of this is that a primitive, isolated, desert-based, and distorted version of Islam came to be the state religion of Saudi Arabia. This of course would not have been important if Saudi Arabia did not become the dominant, oil-rich American ally of the Middle East. This meant, what should have been a minor piece of political wheeling and dealing in a poor, uneducated Arab backwater, instead became the dominant evangelising force of Islam in the late 20th century.

But the reason is merely academic now. In recent years, the Maldives has been ‘gifted’ with mosques and madrassas funded by Saudi money under various guises. Groups of Maldivians have been converted to radical Islam. They have shown very little interest in the broad, all-encompassing values of the religion or how a religion and a culture interact over centuries, as it did in the Maldives, to produce a way of life that is unique and worthy of our respect. Just as fear and intimidation are the weapons of their choice, their focus is on selected dogma that suits their inward looking version of Islam.

They would have us believe that to save the faith, Muslims should ignore change rather than learn to live with it. Their romantic hankering to return to a time when women were dependent and servile is dangerous and unrealistic in the 21st century. Islamic dogma was never intended to be exercised in a vacuum; in the Quran, Allah is consistently and forcefully associated with terms of compassion and mercy, both of which should work closely in the interpretation of religious dogma.

I am not an expert in Islamic Law but I have no trouble claiming that for generations of Maldivians, Islam was, and still is, a call to live a good life. But this concept of living a good life has been high- jacked by a group of self-appointed people who have selected isolated facets of the religion and reassembled them to achieve their own bizarre social and political agenda. What has a good Islamic life to do with a preoccupation with facial hair or a propensity to drape one’s entire body in metres of black cloth?

In the absence of any strong, open objection to this new version of Islam in our midst, or any healthy debate by more moderate Islamic scholars in our country, the radical elements have prospered. They have organised themselves to a degree where many Maldivians, with different points of view, are afraid to speak out. There are shades of Pakistan and Afghanistan here. In Afghanistan the Taliban killed over 10,000 moderate Muslims so that they alone could claim to represent Islam and thus dominate their society. In the Maldives, they have infiltrated the political arena by shamelessly changing allegiances as they see fit. Disproportionate to their electoral success as a political group, their voices are the loudest in condemning people who do not fit into their narrow version of Islam.

I would like to believe that MP Dr Afrasheem’s shocking assassination was not related to his moderate Islamic views. But it would not surprise me if it was. Unfortunately violence is often a way of life for those who can only see things in black and white. So, unless their intense motivation to take the country back into the Dark Ages is contained, the fate of the Maldives will become synonymous with countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan- arid landscapes of abject poverty, punctuated by mindless violence. It will become a hell on earth except for a joyless few who see that hell as their exclusive way to heaven.

If Islam is to stay relevant to the new generations of Maldivians, it has to go back to its Maldivian roots. Here, Islam has always been moderate, caring, sharing and inclusive – a combination of cultural and Islamic values that served us well in the past. In a world literally drowning due to the greed of its inhabitants, the values of our Maldivian ancestors who managed to live more cooperative and less selfish lives are hugely relevant to our 21st century society.

As I leave the steps outside the Topkapi Palace, I remember my own maternal grandfather – Kudahuthu Mohomaidhi. This beauty would have moved him, just as it does me. He was a devoted Muslim who spent much time in prayer and the reading of the Quran. However, this was not all he did. What he earned, he gave away to others. When neighbours, friends and family members needed support, he was their first port of call. He accepted change with a readiness that surprised me. In his youth he was a great sportsman; as he aged he became fascinated by wood turning, jewellery making and gardening. His mind remained open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. He celebrated life. But, he died on his prayer mat. He was an exemplary Muslim Maldivian; a combination of what is best in both.

Such role models are not limited to the past. There are thousands of Maldivians living good, generous, tolerant and positive lives today. I am privileged to know several such people. These people do not need to live claustrophobic, intolerant, self-centred lives to be good Muslims.

Heaven can be achieved without making a hell of this world.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]


50 thoughts on “Comment: Heaven and hell”

  1. Saudis want the world dumb, muted, intimidated and bowing to their whims. No questions asked.

    Under the guise of divine source, they have managedto run the longest and the greatest deception on Earth.

    What do they get in return? Power, money, women,young boys, slaves, concubines, etc.

    Mordis, unfortunately is on the cross hairs and we cannot do anything about it. Very sad situation!

  2. " exemplary Muslim Maldivian . .." perhaps better stated as " an exemplary Maldivian Muslim " . This country is so very different to the vast arid lands of Arabia.Things are very different when we live on tiny specks of land in the enormous expanse of the Indian Ocean,in an insular,yet ever-evolving ,island culture.

  3. ..."what has been, what is, and what might be, unite in total harmony...'

    Mrs. Verrall, sublime.

    Mystics from all Religious backgrounds have spoken of moments when - enraptured in the ecstasy of LOVE, which they experience as the essence of being, the boundaries of space and time become as though they were but an illusion. The past, the future, the world outside is realized as being within. It is a moment of Oneness.

    This is the true meaning of Eternity.

  4. Came onto this article expecting something nasty about Islam to be written, or some underhanded insult at muslims but this is a very well written article,

    And its not Islam per say that is to blame, its "Salafism" re writing what Islam was in the 19th centuary, and the british giving the Ibn Wahhab aligned saudi's power. Hence giving them ridiculous power over the minds of the muslims, warping a complex and beautiful religion into something cold, hard, ruthless, unforgiving, self righteous, Glorifying oppression etc

    Some of the greatest scholars and warriors in Islam were women and the Prophet (peace be upon him) had given praise and words of admiration as well towards these women. But now these "Scholars" demand women to stay indoors and treat them like cattle.

    What these certain idiots raving in Maldives, pakistan, afganistan and saudi is really not what Islam is and its a disgrace.

    "There is no compulsion in religion"

  5. A great viewpoint..The moderates are not vocal so the radicals have moved in..its v dangerous status quo

  6. A good attempt at trying to gloss over Islamic barbarism of past centuries. It is biased commentary like this that keep Dhivehistani sheep from seeing the evil side of Islam. Sure Islam had its good points, but don't forget Islamic imperialism, misogyny, homophobia, slave trade, child marriage, iconoclasm and holy war, just to mention a few. All of which of course, justified by the Quran, hadith and Seerah, which is a contradictory mess of morals that abrogate any tolerant traditions in exchange for the intolerant ones.

    As for Dhivehistani tolerance: when Islam came here in 1153 the monks who refused to convert were beheaded, the monasteries were destroyed and later on even the Dhives akuru was abolished. The Sultans were obsessed with Arabs and it was only the difficulty of communication and transport which kept Arabophilia from spreading to the islands. All that changed with Mullah Maumoon. The Constitution declared Islam as the state religion and apostates lost citizenship. It's like Mohammad's last dying wish: No two religions can coexist in Arabia. Same for Dhivehistan. Maumoon sent kids to study in Pakistan and Saudi who came back mullarised and Arabised - but he suppressed which only made things worse. Then Nasheed came and gave them a Ministry so that they can ban discos and block blogs. The monster Nasheed created helped Waheed to overthrow him in a coup. But this Dhivehistani intolerance will not be seen by those who look at history with rose-tinted glasses.

  7. While Latheefa Verral's view that Islam has be in line with its local roots is correct to 1000 %), the way she attributed the blame is misleading.

    Lets see who is really corrupting moderate Islam, the beautiful version that Latheefa grandfather practiced.

    1. Saudi wahabis/salafits would never have been a force if a country called USA did not make a deal with the Saudi regime in return for a guaranteed supply of crude at a low rate.

    2. The first moderate islamist government in Egypt is thrown out by the military in alliance with the salafists Al Nour party.

    3. In Maldives Maldives, the Salafists/ Wahhbis were given the first political voice in history, when a party called Adaalath was chosen as a coalition partner by a party called MDP.

    Conclusion: Salafists / Wahhabis are a cheap pawn of politicians use to PLAY AGAINT moderate Islamists.

    Its amazing how Minivan News spends time bashing a relatively powerless pawn and muddling the debate.

    So who is the real enemy? Truth is its good old Machiavellian politics and Islam is NOT the issue here.

    Good night.

  8. You're absolutely right that it should not be this way. But it is, and it's hopeless. As long as our society continues to be governed by religion the pockets of intolerance will grow strong. What we see today is a society that's slowly falling into religious extremism. We have in recent history never been as intolerant as we are today.

  9. @ Andrew Andreas

    The Saudis want a good life and they get it by selling cheap oil to US. That requires oppression of democratic forces and some help from the Salafists.

    They are not dumb. They are a G20 nation and knows exactly the world is full of dumb people like your thinking.

  10. "‘Allah Akbar. Allah Akbar…’ Suddenly, the melodic call for Asr prayer spills from the imposing minarets of Aya Sofya."

    Alright, let's clear some facts. Unless you wrote this article in the Middle Ages, there's NO way you'd hear "Allah Akbar" or anything of that sort from Aya Sofia or Hagia Sophia. This has been a museum since 1935, under Kemal Ataturk.

    Hence, Hagia Sophia's minarets have been quiet for nearly 80 years! So, how did you hear those prayer calls?

    Topkapi is a very beautiful Palace but romantic notions of great Muslims living there doesn't really carry much weight. The Ottoman sultans after Suleiman the Magnificent were pretty much like other dictators; interested in their own self importance. The decline of the Ottoman Empire is another story which we cannot get into now, as that's just too long.

    Modern Turkey is a good example of what Muslims could achieve.

  11. "Suddenly, the melodic call for Asr prayer spills from the imposing minarets of Aya Sofya."

    Really? The writer of this article must have been teleported back in time! Aya Sofia is not a mosque anymore. In fact, it's neither a Church nor a mosque but a museum.

    If you were sitting in the grounds of the Topkapi Palace, there are numerous mosques from which you could have heard the prayer calls from. Did you perform your prayers or were you more interested in sight seeing?

  12. "In a week of frenzied sight-seeing in Turkey, I have seen how the Ottoman Empire, at a much later date, continued this sense of inclusiveness and tolerance."

    Uh oh, do not say that to the Armenians. Heard of the Armenian Genocide?

  13. Thank you Lathee for this beautiful expression of how Islam defined us as Maldivians and as human bei8ngs.

    I cried reading this as I cry for the nation of my birth which has lost its way so painfully.

    Let us hope that the people of the Maldives will reflect deeply in the days ahead on a way forward to creating heaven in this world.

  14. "Heaven can be achieved without making a hell of this world."!

    Very true!

    In my opinion, in a society where the buck is passed, chances are very remote for a people (who by nature are too innocent and too lazy to understand reality), to know what is right and wrong!

    In this country the bare reality is that apart of the very few rea, unbiased and pious Sheikhs that we have, many are half cooked ones, who hypocritically are preaching a version of Islam which had been implanted from the time they set foot on foreign soil for their Islamic studies!

    These unethical and unauthentic Sheikhs by way of mass preaching or otherwise, are ruining and destroying our society and the nation, along with the culture we observed.

    The ways of life, adopted by the likes of your late maternal grandfather (real Maldivians, may Allah (SWA) shower upon him and his likes, with His blessings and rest them in peace), have been sold out on the auction block to the unreal world!

    Our society have had an unnatural change, I would say.
    Unaware of the masses, a hypocritical exploitation had been meticulously carried out such that a majority of the youth that emerged within the past thirty or so years have been let to go waste to beg, borrow or steel!

    Any new wave will have a hard time overcoming the unreal things that have led to this society failing such miserably!

    Insha Allah! Maldives can still achieve livable status, without having to turn it in to a hell that Allah (SWA) forbids!

  15. @Alla Beyyaa & Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb. Not my usual habit to reply to people who comment on my articles. You may both be right. I was sitting there and it appeared to us both it was coming from Aya Sofya. There were several repetitions from around us. I probably assumed the sound came from there.

  16. @Alla Beyyaa & Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb. Have done some research thinking that I should be able to trust my own ears! Two You Tube versions of the prayer seem to suggest to me that I was hearing it right. Then I also found on the internet,'Since 2013 from the minerats of the museum the mezzin call to prayer twice per day in the afternoon." Perhaps my facts were right!

  17. Will our fathers and grandfathers suffer in the after life because they practised
    the simple tolerant Islam of our forefather?
    The religion preached by Muslim scholars in this country at the moment is very different.

  18. @Homosexual on Fri, 2nd Aug 2013 1:53 PM

    "A good attempt at trying to gloss over Islamic barbarism of past centuries. It is biased commentary like this that keep Dhivehistani sheep from seeing the evil side of Islam."

    Your sickening view of Islam is disturbing to say the least. Islam is no worse or better than most of the other religions of the world. A religion is only as good as its followers.

    I wonder whether the writer on her visit to Topkapi saw the spot where Prophet Mohammed's Standard used to fly before being taken to battle by the Ottomans. It is highly symbolic of the nature of Muslims and their world view.

    Muslims, for the first time (or for a very long time) demonstrated the power that comes by working together for a common cause. It's not some rivers of wine or virgins in heaven that elevated Islam to the point where it was THE best thing in the world during the Golden Era. It was just collective human effort.

    Let's have less Islamophobia!

  19. Alla Beyyaa,

    Correct on the first point, it is indeed a museum. Wrong on the second point, beginning this year the call of prayer is made from the minarets twice a day.

  20. @Ahmed bin suv
    True. Let’s have less Islamophobia!
    A good place to start wd be to stop apeasing the subtle attacks from Minivannews

  21. And why any Islamphobia at all. Why only less

    Salafists are only tools of politicians. Look at Egypt

  22. Turkey has a very deep underbelly that the casual tourist would get. Inclusiveness lets see the non Turking speaking Kurds, they are inclusive as long as they dont speak Kurdish and dont have any pride in being Kurdish.

    What about the there are no official Jew in Turkey, from Ottoman times they have been living the shadows as crypto jews, today people are aware of it and even those Jews prefer to have there mashup Jewish Muslim identity for ease.
    If you think about it, its to be expected
    Turkey is inherited from the much older ottoman empire who inherited their civilization from older Byzantines, despite negative shortcomings Turkey is the most tolerant majority Muslim country in the world.

    Recently I've heard that they are uncovering and restoring the christian stained glasses which was painted over or covered during the Ottoman era.

  23. @Addu Let's also stop pretending that the Islamic Golden Age was the pinnacle of tolerance and pluralism. You can't pretend that Amr bin al Aas, Mahmud Ghazni and Khalid bin Al Waleed didn't conquer lands. Nor can you pretend that slavery, child marriage, homophoboia and misogyny was justified under Islamic rule. I conceded that Islam had good points. I simply wanted to highlight the bad that the writer forgot so conveniently. More honesty!

  24. The version of 'heaven'(jannath) preached by Ilyas, Imran and their wahhabi/salafi gangs are an affront to Islamic values of piety, humbleness and good manners.

    "sex slaves"? "rivers of wine"? "markets of ever-virgin women to be used as you see fit"? "young boys to please you"?

    Is THAT what I want after a lifetime of good deeds? That's like paying a laborer his salary in feces. If this is heaven, I'd rather go to hell.

  25. It will not be possible to return to the
    societal and cultural norms we knew 40 years ago. That has been dismantled, destroyed.
    For many Maldivians life now is a rat-race, survive or just give up. There is still time to make a beginning to return to a more caring,sharing society. Beginning with heyoverikan.

  26. I'm glad to hear that Aya Sofia's minarets are at least active now. When I was there last, it was very silent. I guess that's a sign of the current political leanings of Turkey.

    I agree that Turkey is a very complicated country (well, it's a rather old country, so it has a lot of history). For example, Kemal Ataturk, is renowned for having given the longest speech ever to a Parliament; took him 6 days to complete it.

    A big thing that Ataturk did was to remove Arabic influence from the Turkish language. If you visit Istanbul, for example, you'll see signs of Old Ottoman Turkish everywhere, but there are hardly any Turks today who can understand that. Moreover, apparently Ataturk's original speech in which he took a despise to Arabic, contains so much Arabic derived words, that modern Turks cannot make much of that speech! I find that quite ironic.

    Back to the topic of mosques. There is another great mosque (also built on the top an ancient Christian Chapel) that I'd like to hear prayer calls from. That's the great mosque of Cordoba. Simply one of the most elegant of buildings. However, I don't think that will happen for a very long time, since it's officially a consecrated Christian Cathedral.

    The juxtaposed Cathedral inside Cordoba mosque is so ugly compared to its surroundings, you'll wonder what they were thinking when they built it. But, of course, at that time, there was a lot of bitterness and the Christian conquerors wanted to show their power.

    As we know, history repeats over and over again. Who knows what the future may bring. Allah knows best.

  27. Well, on the topic of this article, I still am unclear as to what women get in Heaven. We all know that lads have an unlimited supply of virgin girls. What about the ladies? Do they get virgin boys? Surely not, since that's not a fair deal!

    Any "scholars" who can enlighten us on that one?

  28. Minivan didn't publish my comment because I wrote about it's violent history.

    Sam Harris:‘The idea that Islam is a “peaceful religion hijacked by extremists” is a dangerous fantasy—and it is now a particularly dangerous fantasy for Muslims to indulge.’

  29. @Maldivian Man on Sat, 3rd Aug 2013 4:19 AM

    For you may be. But when the you need to appease and control the ignorant goat herders of the God-forsaken wastelands of Arabian deserts, that's pretty much what is needed, to brain wash them!

    Too bad, that old story is what we bend backwards to believe in.

  30. @Truth please
    You should get the facts right especially when you write in the name of Truth Please//

    MDP did not sign an agreement in 2008 with Adhalath Party. The agreement was with Jumhoory Party Leader Gasim. Gasim brought the Adhalath Party to the administration of President Nasheed. When Gasmim left his administration Adhalath Party terminated their agreement with Gasim and requested to stay in the administration of President Nasheed.

  31. Thank you Mrs Latheefa for a well represented thoughtful well written Comment. These are turbulent times for Maldives, there those for whom living a good life means to be soft spoken, respectful, kind, humble, pious and to live with dignity, Instead, loud mouthing, sharp bullying, changing allegiances for money treating wives as subjects, seems to be the approved order of the day. Hope you would keep writing on these difficult topics so that younger generation of Maldivians today will think. Thank you

  32. @Wives, a sanitized history and a biased reading of Islam is the only way for the liberal elite to sell this drug to the masses. Amphetmanines cause violent behavior while cannabis leads to a mellow personality. So cannabinoid Islam is preferred instead of meth-Islam. Weaning them off the addiction is not an option, it seems. All because the truth is a hard pill to swallow.

  33. @ Mohamed

    You are saying that Adaalath requested to stay in MDP administration as if MDP is free from all blame.
    Truth is that its a marriage of political expediency that MDP accepted, even with the destructive Adaalath. And Majeed was a Minister all along !!.

    Lets not unashamedly lie during Ramazan on well know facts.

    MDP has its share of blame for appeasing with radicals when it is convenient. Not that there is any thing wrong, after all its politics.

    If Adaalath is a prostitute, MDP was the fist customer.

  34. Gasim will bring adhaalath with him again when he joins the mdp this time to form the KOOORLISUN. What's the poor mdp to do ? Turn them away ? Sounds better as COLLUSION than Co-alisition

  35. Latheefa:

    Lovely writing! and true. Just one very minor mistake:
    The decimal system of counting (as well as the zero) originated in India, from where came to Arabia, and from Arabia to Europe.

  36. Latheefa:

    Lovely writing! and true. Just one very minor mistake:
    The decimal system of counting (as well as the zero) originated in India, from where it came to Arabia, and from Arabia to Europe.

  37. It is very ironic that when you raise the question 'Where are Muslims living in peace?'

    The answer is never within a Islamic countries. Think about it , Iraq, Iran, Afghan, Egypt, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi and we can add the Maldives to the list. The reason is that all these countries use religion to with hold basic human rights and in the case of most of these countries they are fighting amongst the various sects of Islam.

    On the other hand Muslim communities who live within secular countries thrive and live on the whole in peace with people of other religions. The UK, USA, Europe and Australia. I admit there are a small percentage of hate related incidents within these countries, but nothing on the scale of what Muslims do to their fellow believers in the name of religion.

    To prove a point, just this week media news programmes all over the world played a video of anti-Syrian forces attacking a government building in Homs, with the words 'Allah Akbar' being chanted during the recording.

    No religion or God accepts death and destruction as a form of prayer, yet as a collective body the Islamic faith does not stand up against those who do this in the name of Islam. Like the 2 headed snake, Islam is slowly eating itself because its worst enemy is itself denial to accept others have the right to choose.

  38. Hagia Sofiya was made a museum by Musthafa Kemal Ataturk in mid 30s, since there were qualms going between the Christians and Muslims. A gorgeous piece of architecture. I had been to the place and spent almost half day in and around it. But, never heard Muslim prayer calls emanating from any of the minarets in this lovely building!!

  39. The Byzantine Haiga Sofia in Trabzon was converted to a mosque on July 5th (2013) for Friday prayers. Complaints by Christians were overruled by Erdogan, as was the case for the Byzantine Haiga Sofia in Iznik (= Nicaea - a holy place for Christians). The only church in the Maldives (of no architectural significance), on Gan Island, Addu, was converted to a mosque in 2008.

  40. Nils on Sat, 3rd Aug 2013 4:39 PM

    "The only church in the Maldives (of no architectural significance), on Gan Island, Addu, was converted to a mosque in 2008."

    Was it as recent as that? I thought it was a mosque from the day the RAF left Gan in March 1976. You see, the people of Addu are more tolerant and less xenophorbic than the average Maldivian (if there is such a thing) due to our long association with foreigners.

    The MDP policy of guest house tourism can only further that throughout the whole country. May be some non-Muslims may even learn some good things about Muslims that way. It's a two way relationship.

  41. So you guys going to tell Waheed or yamin or Maumoon who's commenting under what name ? They already know. Gasim might like to know.

  42. For all those secular anti Islam writers and commenters;

    Our version of Salafis or Haabees or Muslim Brotherhood is just Adhaalath which barely has 10k members. Compare this to the irreligious MDP and royalists PPM. You see these parties dwarf Adhaalath by four folds. So why is this paranoia about Salafi's dominating Maldives? Are they not the minority here? Why do the secular's amplify a non existent threat?

    Physical attacks happen daily here in Maldives against people and property and rarely does it get committed by a wahaabee. Chances are 99% of crimes are committed by paateys who are staunch opponents of Islam.

    What is understood from the seculars ravings is that they are just predictably boring and manifestly dishonest.

  43. "human being" (and I use the term loosely. No offense to real humans), secularism is the way of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh).

    Before you shoot your mouth off, I recommend you pray for forgiveness.

    All done? Good. Now let me explain why your adhaalath party holds a lot of power.

    Because they're political prostitutes, sleeping with anyone that gives them what they want(unchecked control).

    We've seen what horrors you so-called 'religious wannabe' types can do. Why should we stand by and stay silent when you 'religious wannabes' punish the rape victim, and let the rapist go free?

    No. You 'religious wannabes' are the real threat here.

  44. @ human being
    You said it well. Yours is the most level headed comment

  45. @wives

    Sam harris? really? The guy who recommends nuking the muslims?

    Kill 1.3 billion people to bring peace and tolerance in the world?
    If thats who you are exemplifying then no point arguing with you. Even dawkins and hitchens would have been way better people to refer to than that nut, atleast they arent advocating mass murder, they are just pointing out things which they see as problems

  46. President Gayoom knows, more than anybody else, the truth about Islam. Dr Hassan knows about it too. The reason as to why they don't want to come of the closet is because of power. These fellas need to have guts like Mustafa Kemal Ataturk of Turkey to transform Maldives into a modern liberal democracy.

  47. Have a look at this debate. youtube channel.

  48. Latheefa

    True that the Muslim Ummah is in a lot of chaos and destruction but which Islamic country follows true teachings of the prophet and the Quran now! NIL, not even Saudi Arabia with the two holy mosques!!

    Which Islamic country is above the influential West?? None!

    Which Islamic country wasn't manipulated by the West????None

    Look at the History of Algeria, Morroco, Mali, Afghanistan, Egypt etc. What kind of powers play the better half in these countries now??

    Most importantly who gave the power hungry British the authority to divide up the Arab world???why did they do it??

    Do think about what Lord Cuzron said

    Lord Curzon said, "We must put an end to anything which brings about any Islamic unity between the sons of the Muslims. As we have already succeeded in finishing off the Caliphate, so we must ensure that there will never arise again unity for the Muslims, whether it be intellectual or cultural unity."

    Ever wonder about the current situation???


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