Comment: The Intolerant Constitution

In 1959, an expedition of historians unearthed an exquisitely carved ancient statue of Gautama Buddha from the island of Thoddoo.

Buried under slabs of stones, possibly to protect it from being demolished along with the the temples following the Islamization of the Maldives in 1153 AD, the statue was a priceless archaeological find.

Before long, however, the island was gripped with controversy. ‘The religion of worshipping statues has begun!’, some islanders were described as saying, according to the book ‘A New Light on the History of Maldives’.

One early dawn soon after its discovery, the ancient statue was found decapitated by vandals.

The statue was then taken to Male’ and displayed at Mulee’aage, the current Presidential residence. Before the week had ended, another mob barged in and smashed it to pieces leaving behind just the serenely smiling head, which is now displayed in the National Museum in Male’.

The Prime Minister at the time, strong-man Ibrahim Nasir, who didn’t hesitate to personally lead gunboats to forcefully depopulate the island of Thinadhoo following the southern rebellion, knew better than to investigate the vandalism.

It was simply pointless, because half a century later, unidentified vandals would proceed to smash, burn and destroy the SAARC-gifted monuments in Addu, for allegedly being ‘idols of worship’.

The State vs. the Tolerant

Just like Nasir, the modern Maldivian politician knows better than to challenge the deep-rooted fear of ‘other religions’ that is so firmly ingrained in the Maldivian psyche.

On the other hand, it makes for a great political gimmick.

Quite tellingly, the ruling party, seven opposition parties and a network of 127 NGOs are all planning to protest on December 23 in order to renew their vows against allowing ‘other religions’ in the Maldives.

It seems a rather redundant cause, considering the 2008 Maldivian constitution already forbids non-Muslims from becoming citizens, and mandates that the nation remain 100% Sunni Muslim.

This status quo, however, was recently challenged by a group of Maldivians who gathered in Male’ on December 10, on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, in silent protest against the lack of religious freedom in the Maldives.

The sit-down protest was disrupted within minutes by a violent gang, leaving one man with serious injuries to the head.

Joining the chorus of local politicians eagerly latching onto the controversy, “Reeko” Moosa, the former MDP Parliamentary Group leader, demanded the prosecution of those who called for ‘religious tolerance’ – otherwise considered a positive phrase elsewhere in the world.

Independent journalist and blogger, Ismail Hilath Rasheed, who was among the freedom advocates, has been taken into police custody.

Meanwhile, the National Security Committee in parliament has decided to summon participants of the protest, citing their duty to defend Islam and uphold the country’s constitutionally imposed religious unity.

It is abundantly clear that there’ll be no debate on the subject, and that at the heart of it lies the holy writ of country’s unchallengeable Constitution.

The immutable constitution

Thomas Jefferson, one of the great founding fathers of America, once proposed that the American constitution should be rewritten every 20 years, lest the dead end up ruling over the living.

There are, of course, excellent reasons to deliberately make it difficult to modify a country’s constitution, not the least of which is to protect it from whimsical rulers.

In this regard, however, the Maldives goes one step further than the rest.

Speaking about the incarceration of Hilath Rasheed, Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said “Calling for anything against the constitution is illegal”.

There appears to be a general consensus among lawmakers and the public alike that the constitution is beyond all criticism, and any dissenting word spoken against it should be considered a grievous crime.

This would perhaps imply that the entire Chapter 12 of the constitution is now utterly redundant, for what good is a chapter on amending the constitution when apparently it is illegal to find any fault with the existing one?

One presumes that President Nasheed himself must now be put in chains and dragged before the courts for blasphemously uttering in July 2010 that he was in favour of a Parliamentary democracy, whereas the holy constitution explicitly decrees a Presidential system.

Thankfully, other democracies of the world recognize that obeying the constitution doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with it.

In neighboring democracies like India, writer activists such as Booker Prize winning author Arundhati Roy write fiery articles openly defying the State, and major political parties publicly campaign to remove specific Constitutional clauses they have philosophical differences with.

In a true representative democracy, the public is generally free to advocate and lobby their representatives for causes they believe in.

In the past few weeks, it has emerged that Maldivian public apparently doesn’t have this freedom.

The other sacred text

Perhaps, then, it is not the Constitution, but Islam that imposes certain limits on the debate?

Unfortunately, in the Maldives, there is no way to tell apart the limits imposed by Islam from the ones imposed on it.

It appears that many Maldivians are convinced that the ultra-conservative Adhaalath Party and their Salafi cousins are the foremost authorities on the subject of Islam in the known universe.

But for that to be true, one must argue that every other Islamic nation in history has been wrong.

While one Maldivian blogger has been languishing in a prison cell for the past week for advocating religious tolerance, there is an abundance of Imams, caliphs and even a certain Prophet from history who seem to be in agreement with that blogger’s opinion that Islam does indeed have room for religious tolerance.

Didn’t the Prophet himself say, “Whosoever does injustice to a protected non- Muslim, then I will be his enemy (on the Day of Judgement)”?

The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, drafted by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference as a Shari’ah compliant alternative to the UDHR, declares the right of people to a dignified life free of discrimination on the grounds of religious belief, among other things.

Maldivian scholar Dr Abdulla Saeed of Melbourne University, argues in his book ‘Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam’ that there is “a vast amount of clear Qur’anic texts in favour of freedom of religion”.

Needless to say, his book was banned in the Maldives.

The burden of defining ‘true Islam’, instead, fell on a small group of short-sighted conservative political Mullahs working out of a Ministry building in Male’. And in their opinion, Islam forbids the mere mention of ‘other religions’ – despite what the Qur’an says.

‘Because we’re special’

12th century copper plate grants found in the Maldives reveal the blood-soaked, painful process of conversion of the Maldives to Islam. The Sultans of the day went through the trouble of bringing in Buddhist monks and beheading them in the capital.

The modern day Maldives takes a much simpler route. The 2008 Constitution unilaterally declares all Maldivians to be Sunni Muslim without the courtesy of so much as an opinion poll.

Maldivians in general are quite proud of the ‘100% Muslim’ statistic that is frequently bandied about.

But it raises a few fundamental questions that are nevertheless extremely taboo in the Maldivian society.

At what point of Maldivian history has there ever been a public census on religion?

Does the Maldivian state even have the right to unilaterally declare a citizen’s beliefs? Which other Islamic State or Empire in Islam’s 1400 year old history has taken this liberty – and under whose authority?

Those We Do Not Speak Of

A cursory look at online Social networks easily proves the existence of several non-Muslim Maldivians, and Dhivehin who appear to not subscribe to a religion at all.

If we were to do the unthinkable and disregard the holy constitution for just a minute, how morally justified is it really to make their mere existence a crime potentially punishable by death?

Consider the fact that our very economic survival depends on treating other non-Muslims – those who are non-related by blood, culture or language – with generous hospitality.

Does this radical notion of unilaterally enforced Islam only apply to those born of Dhivehi parents? Could the Parliament conceivably declare tourists and other visitors also to be Sunni Muslims while within Maldivian territory?

At what point does the whole affair begin to sound absurd?

Chaos theory

Politicians of both major parties argue that introducing the freedom of conscience to minorities would result in chaos and disorder in society, much like introduction of democracy did with the introduction of political rights. But are any of these politicians sincerely willing to return to the non-chaotic days of the past when they were jailed for simply expressing an opinion? If not, why not?

The Maldives has been “100% Muslim” since at least the Gayoom days. So why do we not see the utopian fantasy of a prosperous, peaceful, gentle society of fellow Muslims treating each other with kindness?

Instead, it appears that Maldivian lawmakers and government no longer have to talk about roads or health or food or development, for they now have the one dead horse of religion to flog for all eternity.

Is it really that hard to see there’s something wrong with the picture when eight political parties – both the ruling and the opposition – plan to rally in order to “defend Islam” against each other?

Which Islamic principle was being followed by the MPs who tried to force their way to the International airport in an effort to remove a banner depicting the region’s cultural diversity?

Presumably, it takes a tremendous amount of will power for these lawmakers to restrain themselves from forcing their way past security into the National Museum to destroy the still intact head of the ancient coral-stone idol of the Thoddoo Buddha that our ancestors had failed to destroy.

What Islamic value lies behind the sort of blood lust that drives an ordinary Maldivian to go and violently attack a fellow Maldivian simply for being a non-Sunni Muslim?

Based on what Islamic criteria do we religiously uphold certain parts of the Shari’ah penal code such as flogging, while completely disregarding others such as amputating limbs, or stoning half-buried humans to death?

These are all important, crucial questions. But until there’s room for an honest debate, how would we ever find out?

End of Reason

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, wrote S.G. Tallentyre in 1906, in a quote widely misattributed to French philosopher Voltaire.
Over a century later, we Maldivians have yet to appreciate the sentiment behind this powerful phrase.

While jihadist literature with fiery, cataclysmic titles are openly sold in Salafi bookshops around the capital, the slightest spark of reason is immediately stamped out by an unthinking brigade of conservative clerics and opportunistic politicians.

The broken, still smiling Buddha in the National Museum bears witness to our long history of stubbornly refusing to accept reason.

But today, more than ever, it is necessary to ask difficult questions and face hard facts, because the line that marks where the debate stops also marks the point where, as Thomas Jefferson feared, we become enslaved to the past.

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]


37 thoughts on “Comment: The Intolerant Constitution”

  1. A good article. There is little difference between a state which insists that citizens can only belong to one faith, and a state which forbids the practice of any religion whatsoever. An officially secular state is the ideal, leaving citizens free to follow whatever bizarre God they wish to, (or none at all)in private.

  2. i have never felt in my life that there will be a day when any maldivian will be forced out of his country out of fear from his own fellow countrymen. that day is not very far and a bleak future awaits our country..... all because someone thought he will not go to 'jannah' if someone else does not grow a beard.....

  3. This is madness! We shall never allow the Jewish ideology of 'freedom of religion' in this country! Fear Allah my dear Maldivian muslim brothers and sisters! For He, in the Quran, has mentioned how evil the Jews are! The Maldivian state is very merciful to let all the Maldivian Jews live, for once Adhaalath Party comes into power Inshallah, we will make sure that Maldives is 100% muslim, both on paper, and in practice.

    We will never EVER submit to Jews.

  4. The lines drawn between supporters of political parties at opposite ends of the spectrum are dug deeper and deeper by every divisive statement by the opposition parties and the extremists.

  5. I see I have gained enough notoriety for some individual or individuals to use my name and comments on this forum for as yet unknown reasons.

    However, why lash out. Publicity is always a good thing whether negative or positive.

    Young Yaamyn is not a bad writer and has a great future as a columnist or novelist. He should hone his writing skills more. However, political analyst he is not.

    As I have said elsewhere, religion, human rights, nationalism or any other normative discourse is merely used as a language and a rallying call in popular movements.

    Those movements are always, and I repeat young Yaamyn, always, driven by other more real factors. In the Maldives case, it is driven by economic hardship and loss of spending power among the common man, lack of leisure activities and higher education opportunities among the youth, the worsening dollar shortage and foreign investment threatening local enterprise for Maldivian businesses, confrontational politics and retributive actions from the ruling party and a lack of support for the President.

    When Human Rights was used as the language of the 2008 revolution it had little chance of continuing its reverberations down the line because it was merely expedient at the time. Religion has risen to the fore this time around mainly because it articulates the anger and revolutionary spirit of the people for this round. I sincerely do not believe that the effects of it will be as devastating as romanticists and young whippersnappers like Yaamyn write.

  6. Sheikh Imran

    Who is talking about Jews here?

    Leave aside other religions, it appears that we are not even allowed to be any kind of muslim except Sunni.Or the kind of islam that these Saudhi educated mullahs want to follow. Who gives them the right to decide how we want to practise our religion? What i see is a bunch of men hell bent on converting us to the Cult of Wahhabism. I would think therefore that these mullahs forcing us to embrace the Wahhabi Cult should be arrested for their actions to convert Maldivians to another religion.Wahhabism is wahhabism Not Islam

  7. Sheikh, why, for every little thing that is said, for every great evil that takes place, its always the jews. we are not talking about jews here. jews may have been condemned for all eternity but are they not humans. just like you are a muslim by birth, so are the jews. before anything we are humans first, so respect humans before you respect anything else because in most cases we are what we are not by choice. if so, can we blame someone for what he is? why, is it so hard to be a human being? or, after all you are not human!!

  8. I understand the seriousness of this issue or is it? but one can't just help but laugh your butt out, when you hear how full grown humans attacking stones, violently in anger to protect Islam,

    when in reality, first thing true believers should know is that these things can neither harm us or help us, very basic, right?

    We can write our constitution with very fancy words to show that we are one hundred per cent Muslims on paper but the issue is can you really make all Maldivians believe in it deep within and I genuinely wonder how Adaalath Party is going to do that either, for the laugh sake lets say if they come to power.

    What are we really going to do on the 23 December, I want to know because I am coming out as well, without knowing, but I know very well I cannot force anyone to believe by force, I just don't know how you can hammer it in, if I can't do that what else can I do them, kill them as in the web site of there's suggests or kick them out of Maldives, not very practical is it.

    If not now, sometime pretty soon we have to face these issues, do we really think we can settle this on the streets, I don't think so, this is not sultans time, that people to change their faith with a order or decree from Kings Palace.

    I am all for tolerance but I seriously can't tolerate violence or blood shed in the name of Islam or in the name of Maldivian national purity.

    From the day MP' Hon. Gasim Ibrahim called everyone to join the protest on the 23 December 2011, some fishy smell appear in the air. I no longer believe this is a religious protest but a rebellious thing and who ever who is instigating this, are mischief makers, I am sure there is a way to deal with this kind of people in Islam, what do you Adaalath Party.

  9. good, moderate, educated Maldivians there are a many who so fervantly hold on to 100%islam Maldives statement.
    any thinking being would know that statement is a political one and does not does not reflect anything but a lie. We all know that, but we fool outselves.
    Most Maldivians think, if freedom of religion were allowed they will see churches and temples built in this country. Oh the fear of temples and churches are so strong in maldivian psych. they have no issues seeing them on TV, or while visiting or living for extended periods in neighbouring countries like India, Srilanka where you see them a lot.
    I spoke to many maldivians who really had no idea what they were talking about, but defended the notion to remain 100% sunni muslim state (written) at any cost.

    very well written article BTW. but like tsk tsk says, it takes socio-economic changes to be able to bring out any fruitful development on human rights and liberty in this country.

  10. the writer yaamyn is an extremist like hilath and he does not represent the majority in any way

  11. I have been in Maldives many times, I have given plenty of money to your country by paying my hotel and flights but as well by taking a Dhoni to my resourt as I prefer Dhonis to speed boats. I have been in the market and I paid what it was requested from me. Maldives has been up to now a country of open respect diversity. If you want to close your mind, than we, tourists will look for other places to go. If you turn to be inflexible and racists, disregarding other believes, we will go to other countris that will respect freedom and diversity of thinking and religion. Up to you Maldivians to decide what you want in your country. We tourists that have made yor country a real paradise, that give millions every year of euros and usd, if needed will look for places where foolish believes will not stand.

  12. Tsk Tsk,

    you argument is just lame. Do you not see how oil rich saudi arabia is suffering under religious conservatives? what do you think, mr.political analyst, is the problem over there?

    its not that. its 50+ years of brainwashing and a fracked up education system. you dont have to follow the text books written by political analysts to understand whats happening here. you should live among these people for long and have commonsense. i think you have the latter, but i doubt you live like any normal maldivian. i think you are one of the self-proclaimed intellectuals of the capitalist class. you dont feel the pain of ordinary citizens. you just see numbers.

    im not saying economic conditions is NOT a factor. im saying it is just one factor, but the more important factors are national values and a national identity. and then political stability, social justice and upholding the rule of law. again, all these are tied with the rope of mullah's shariah. even amending the penal code is tied with this. without abolishing the wahhabi church, the authority they have over shariah and faith...there wont be an end to this.

  13. If anybody is intorlerant in Maldives, I think they are a few vocal group of athiests and agnosts who have been given a platform by Minivan to air their frustrations. By far most maldivians including the religious conservatives are simple kind hearted people. All this talk of intolerance and hatred are uttered by a few anti-religious group of people most of whom do not even live in Maldives according to my knowledge . The author of this article Yameen is also one such person who lives miles away in india and is far removed from reality in maldives.

  14. Jane Austin-
    Don’t be so hash on some mentally retards. They are harmless backward society. Do you stop helping retards when they bark at you, you should feel sympathy for such a people and do best to help them. The Maldivian case is same. They are all retards.

  15. @me

    I never said a national identity or concepts of social justice are not factors leading to our current situation.

    However abstract concepts are always pinned on real everyday issues.

    I do not pretend to understand everything however to my knowledge Saudi Arabis situation is perpetuated by the international community because it is expedient for the great powers to allow Saudi Arabia to continue as such. Of course another assessment would be impossible for me as I have never set foot in that country.

    However I have grown up in the Maldives and seen a lot of this country. Trust me on this. Grand ideals and narratives are only articulations of deeper-seated ambitions and hopes. What is social justice but a call for better income redistribution. How does this call originate? What makes us feel cheated and poorly administrated?

    What is religion but a rallying call and a gathering point for a people who are bound by similar ties? Qayyoom made the same mistake that Nasheed is now making. We cannot address some of the issues in our country in the short-term. They require politico-economic stability and consistent effort at the national and subnational levels.

    You attack my logic with accusations of elitism but I feel my concerns about housing, food prices and social dynamics are less capitalist and abstract than composite concepts such as human rights, social justice and national identity.

  16. We should see this article as influencing intolerance against Islam as obviously the writer is trying to imply the same thing that Anni has been saying to the people of Maldives: "We should be open minded and debate about freedom of religion, etc".

    Someone should file a police report against the writer specifically for this. In Maldives we do not care if Parliament changes laws for development, health and education. I am sure the writer knows this fact, but is trying to not acknowledge this in order for it to fit the article written here.

    The writer knows that Maldivians will not allow any part of the constitution which deals with Islam to be questioned or debated by anyone. This is one part of Maldives which each one of us are truly proud of. Your western fantasies has given the world something, but brought death or sorrow to people where ever it touched.

    So get it to your thick skull, Maldives will be a 100% Muslim country and it will stay this way for us, for our children and for our grandchildren with the will of Allah (swt). We will teach our children to be careful of people like you who try to question the protection of Islam from any direction they can. I am sure if you went to request for funding from Israel, you would get a big fat cheque.

    In many western countries, they have banned minaret, hijab and face veil eventhough only a minority which sometimes is less that 5% of the Muslim population that practice covering. It is laws made by these anti-Islamic governments in the West, so Muslims when we visit those countries we have to respect those decisions or get arrested of fined according to their strict law which they have passed in their Parliament. In some European countries it is a crime to deny the so called Jewish holocaust. Now France is trying to make it a crime to deny massacres which is recorded in Western history books or point of view on history. So every country has its laws which others do not like. So why not go and correct your beloved Western countries first so that you can show a better example to us to follow.

    Until than, try to stay out of encouraging others to question Islam as our only religion. We are a small nation with a small population which loves Islam. Islam should not be touched by any politician to make way for any type of freedom of religion in our country. We Maldivians will simply not allow it with the will of Allah (swt).

    We know how politics will work. First there will be ecouragement for debate when it comes to religious issues. Than once enough number of our children are brainwashed by the huge numbers of money Christian churches use to bring many people to their religion, the Goverment will take this from a freedom to practise religion for all individuals. That would mean they would need a place of worship obviously. Than you will see churches and temples being built.

    Western and Israeli think tanks have had years to think about war strategy from a military point of view to a hearts and mind aimed strategy to gain support for any cause which strengthens Israeli interest in any part of the world. It can take years or decades, but they will keep trying through weak faith Muslims in our country. So as Maldivians, we see the first steps being taken and we are warning the Government to stop now and do not take another step more as the people are against any move which is against Islam.

  17. two very intelligent and highly educated gentlemen. both arguments are well placed and highly refined. i would give “tsk tsk” 60% and “me” 40%. appreciate your efforts and thank you gentlemen.

  18. @Mrs. Jane Austin - Belgium

    Fear not, Mrs Austin! You can rest well assured that the Maldives today is the same Maldivies you visited earlier and the people are still the same.

    As John P. Murugesh pointed out, there's a small vocal minority of extremists on both sides who are trying to score political points. This doesn't reflect the reality of Maldivians view of people of other faiths!

    Maldivians throughout history, welcomed people of ALL faiths to these shores and gave them shelter and shared whatever they had with them. This hasn't changed much over the years. Our view is that we respect your way of life and we expect the same from you.

    To conclude, there's a completely disproportionate amount of articles and "news" pieces written on Minivan that target religious issues in the Maldives. This creates a totally false image that Maldivians are suddenly becoming intolerant of others. This is NOT TRUE!

  19. Wonderful article. Wish that this was hear d in loudspeakers all over Maldives, and people actually listened.

  20. So, Yameen, after this article was published you could not wait without posting a response, could you? But why do you have to be Sheikh Imran, I don't know. Why didn't you post as John as you did sometime ago?

  21. This article illustrates the lack of democracy in your country thanks to your countries lack of education and open mindedness. I feel truly sorry for the nice people I met in the Maldives. They don't feel free in their own country, due to your ridiculous belief in flat earth promoting books. You should work and be kind to others, instead of worrying if the trousers are the right length, if a woman wears a bikini or if a child is effeminate and gay. Start reading and educating yourselves. I did not meet a single Maldivian who new the history of his/her own country. Everything is islam islam islam for you. You should get a life and let your own people live.

  22. Great article Yameen! The great debate has already begun and it will go until the constitution is amended to give freedom of religion. it may take a decade or 2 but it is inevitable.

    Our President's tactics in combating extremism are quite effective. The more they talk and the more people know how ridiculous the whole concept of their ideology is. Consequently a tendency to deviate from Islam is on the rise among the intellectuals and youth.
    Let me also thank President for openly and courageously saying on our behalf that we don't want to practice extremist wahhabi Islam in this country.

  23. @Muad MZ

    "This is one part of Maldives which each one of us are truly proud of. " . No I am not and I am a Maldivian too. No matter which book and article you would show me, that you can't change. Sorry to disappoint you and alike.

    I think when I say this, I am not the only one too. So what do you have to say to that?. Maldives only belongs to people like you? How about the minority ?

    The voice won't be heard or nothing will change now. Maybe most of us accept that (I do). This won't remain so forever. Never was. Maldives only been a Muslim nation for around 800 years maybe, before that also we were Maldivians and we will continue to be. I know its hard to accept this but this is reality.

    I too wish for many things, but does not mean it will remain so or get it. I am sure Mr. Hilath's parents never wanted him to be openly gay too but he is. Somethings you can't change (no matter how hard you pray or who you kill). Sorry. Next you will tell me "not in my life time". Maybe you are right, if not yours, after yours then (god willing a natural death). So be it.

  24. Kareemuddin you paranoid basterd!

    Mr.Muad MZ you could have said all that in a few words.. "arrest the writer". but on what grounds? it is not illegal to question religious viewpoints of certain people. And even if it is, the courts have to decide whether that is unislamic to demand freedom of religion. then again, we all know that wont happen. there is still a case against alcohol sale in resorts pending in civil court. it has been an year now. so dont dream too big, big guy.

    and tsk tsk,

    i dont disagree with you point. im just saying it is not that simple. the most dangerous islamist terrorists are not from disadvantaged groups or lower classes. like Qutb, Osama and Zawahiri. then there are the western fundies born and brought up in middle class American and European families, got themselves a good education and all. but still... the religious fundies plant their chip.

    besides, another factor is that we are a small community and we tend to convert to whatever it is together. you have seen the burugaa phenomenon. you have seen how traditional religious beliefs were denounced as heresy and apostasy. and you see how much we "advanced" in hating nonmuslims and especially jews. misinformation and propaganda through all media for decades is to be blamed. the fact that almost all islamic "scholars" are "educated" in Saudi or their Jamias in Pakistan or from the sunni ikhwani influences egypt...etc is also a factor.

    I know, better economic conditions will affect the growth of extremism. but that is just one factor, we cant just depend and put all our hope on that.

    your concerns about housing, food prices and social dynamics covered in human rights, social justice and national identity. and they have much more to it. one of the key factors that i blieve is a driving force for fundamentalism is lack of trust for the system. that is why everytime there is a crime people cry out "shariah shariah..kill them, stone them". i think we are almost on the same track. im just saying economic conditions is only part of it. you are saying its the most important part. right? without national values and an identity we may turn out to be like saudis. depending on migrant workers (read slaves) for our work. lazy and spending our tourist dollars like pigs. rich barbarians will still be barbarians. that is where morals and values come in to place. if you are a muslim you would have read a lot about rich and unjust nations who lived before us.

  25. A reasonable article to everyone in the world but to the typical Maldivian to whom this is pure madness and utter disregard to their only sense of pride - 100% Muslim country.

    Tells you how little Dhivehin knows about what they don't know.

    Thank you Yameen for this DECENTLY (and well) presented voice of reason...

  26. @Muad MZ.... I share your sentiments that Maldives can have laws which others might not like but that should be a purely legal issue not of a religious one. Nobody has to-date shown a thing in Islam that says non-muslims should not be allowed to be a part of the muslim society. But I do agree there is room for this purely on legal grounds so lets not say this is a religious requirement.

    The other diabolical difference between the Maldives and the mineret-banning Swiss and the hijab-banning French is that people are free to debate and discuss this issue in public. It is not a crime to call for their right to try to change the laws and even constitution in all those countries you have mentioned. But in Maldives it is.

    Something must be wrong if it is a crime to voice your opinion which is actually in line with the way by far the majority of the muslims live on this earth.

  27. I identify myself as a Maldivian a Muslim and an Asian and feel no shame for it.

    I also think we are in full agreement. Like I said economic conditions do not allow us to redefine the character and identity of this country altogether. Such a redefinition would take time and a coordinated effort at the level of primary and secondary schooling.

    This is the issue my friend. President Nasheed and his main party financiers the British Conservative Party wish to redefine this nation for their foreign policy goals. If that sounds too much of a conspiracy theory for you let me put it in MDP-speak. President Nasheed has a vision for another Maldives. Religious freedom is one of the new "moral values" that the current government wishes to introduce.

    My point is that the pace and intensity of these changes are too fast and too furious. It is turning out to be counterproductive in fact. Hence the conservative backlash we see now. The destruction of trust in systems was one of the main tactics employed by the MDP in its early days. Dhivehi Observer scratched off the gloss from most State institutions. This mistrust and hate continues to this day and is employed by the current opposition and newly freed media with a vengeance.

    As detestable as this must sound to you we need a near-Maoist reassertion of our moral values at the educational level. We need a leader whom the masses respect and whom the elite of this country can accept. Nasheed is sadly not that person. Hence the violence, hence the madness and hence the ultimate end to his rule.

  28. @ me

    But why?

    PS. me, I suggest you learn your spelling before you spill out your filth.

  29. Dhohokko in one of his best lyrics said the following:
    " edheynama lobi vaan veeves hithah kulhadhana min varakun,
    adhavai theri viyas vaan vee hithah kulhadhaana min varakun,
    Rangalhu Geri Bakari ves dhaneyey e ah kaan dhee ulhey meehun,
    Rangalhu hama komme kamakah eyge heyo badhaleh othun vaajibu,
    Rangalhu maaiy muslimun ney isnaganvee khulqu heyo hithakun".

  30. We must block Wikipedia forthwith if it says Maldives is 99.41% Muslim. It may only be unblocked when it corrects the figure to 100% Muslim. If they refuse we may consider a fatwa against the author/editor of the article.

  31. The current state the Maldives is

    The citizenry is squeezed by economic factors

    The competent among them less 50% possibly 40 or less. (based on olevel pass stats which is 25%)

    The citizenry is therefore gullible and follow the propaganda spewed out of political factions

    Political faction vie on for power, not necessarily in the interest of people, but to protect established business interest, and nepotistic and cronyism influenced

    Religion becomes a easy subject to play with the hearts of people, (economics hardship, plus the psychology of faith)

    The truth of the matter is this regime will never allow religious freedom and, and even the opposition knows it, but the real reasons is to disposed the current government, ruling party.

    In my opinion at the current state Maldives is we should not give freedom of worship to citizens of other creeds. The country will disintegrate into violent chaos, fueled mainly not by religions zeal, but hysterical stupidity that the masses will take up. (of course what I mean is most Maldiveians are hypocrites when it comes to Islam, wear the buruga/truncated trouser with long beard and then go and drink use drugs fornicate rape


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