Comment: The right to remain silent

When a non-Muslim man publicly declared his disbelief in religion at a well-attended public lecture by Dr Zakir Naik in May 2010, the preacher on stage reacted with wide-eyed surprise and told his audience he was told the Maldives was a ‘100% Muslim’ society.

Now that he knew better, he corrected the statistic to “100% minus 1”.

The new statistic did not sit well with certain local Islamist NGOs and by day break there was already a press release demanding the man’s death, failing immediate repentance.

After a couple of days of national pandemonium, with multiple online groups demanding the apostate’s murder, order was finally restored when the man publicly declared his faith in Islam and apologised for the “agony” he had caused.

However, this delicate balance would be upset again less than two months later when another non-Muslim Maldivian, 25 year old Ismail Mohamed Didi, was discovered hanging from the ATC tower of Male’ International airport.

There was a swell of outrage – not because a young man was driven to suicide – but because news websites had published emails he’d sent to aid agencies shortly before his death.

Other reactions were even more confounding, with some even suggesting that the whole thing was a devious plot by “enemies of Islam” to undermine National Security – what other motive could possibly have led him to choose to so publicly hang himself from an airport tower?

Maybe it was because he had worked there for seven years? Maybe he was unable to handle the combined stigma of an internal workplace investigation, and ostracism by friends and family after he – in his own words – ‘foolishly admitted’ his non-religious views to his friends? Perhaps he thought his life in the Maldives was worthless and devoid of any value if he did not keep paying lip service to a belief he did not feel?

Perhaps he should have just exercised his right to remain silent. But he didn’t, and the sacred statistic tragically changed to ‘100% Muslim minus one dead man’.

Then in August 2011, reports emerged of a Maldivian girl in a southern atoll who professed to be non-Muslim, once again changing the statistic to ‘100% Muslim minus one dead man, and one deviant girl’.

“Unique country” – “Special case”

Research conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life estimates the number of Maldivian Muslims at 98.4% of the population.

The report was met with derision by then State Minister of Islamic Affairs, Adhalaath party leader Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, who claimed the researchers did not have ‘appropriate information’ and reiterated the familiar assertion that the Maldives continued to be 100% Muslim.

The Maldives holds an unenviable 6th position on a global index of severe government restrictions on religious beliefs. In comparison, the State of Israel – often accused of by many Maldivians of curbing minority rights – comes in at the 41st position.

Even in the aftermath of the democracy movement, the Maldives has continued to lodge a reservation on Article 18 of the UDHR and ICCPR, which proclaims the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as an inherent right of all humans.

The Maldives, which sits on the UN Human Rights Council, pleads that we should be treated as a ‘special case’ – a unique country where an entire population, barring one dead man and one aberrant girl, has always held exactly the same beliefs for centuries.

A US State Department report made public last week observed that religious freedom continued to be ‘severely restricted’ in the Maldives. The report added that there were “limited reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.”

While there has been no papal style inquisition to systematically weed out minorities, this hasn’t been for the lack of trying. In November 2009, MP Muttalib proposed that non-Muslim foreigners should be barred from practicing their religion even in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

The first draft of the Religious Unity Regulations produced by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs criminalised the act of depicting or describing any other religion in a positive manner, while also arming itself with the power to deport foreigners at will.

A brotherhood of intolerance

The comments in the media following news reports about the US State Department’s observations were marked with familiar hostility – with many responders questioning the United States’ right to even comment on Maldivian law.

In heaping scorn on the audacity of America to comment on our constitution, however, the commentators seek to avoid facing the hard question – does the repeated assertion that the Maldives is ‘unique’ and ‘special’ also allow it to claim exemption from explicit declarations of the Qur’an as well?

Decades of carefully exercised political control over religious narrative in the Maldives has left in its wake a culture of intolerance among the general public that is not only unsympathetic to wider views on non-Islamic religions, but is also hostile to Islamic academics and Muslim religious scholars who espouse a more humane form of Islam.

In other words, our society is not only hostile to other religions, but also to the myriad other available interpretations of Islam as well.

When Dr Abdulla Saeed of Melbourne University and his brother, former Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed, published a book titled ‘Freedom of Religion and Apostasy in Islam’ arguing that the law of apostasy and capital punishment was out of sync with modern times, there was a massive uproar leading ultimately to a ban on the book.

In early 2008, Dr Afrasheem Ali, generally regarded as a “liberal” religious scholar, came under fire after he argued that singing was not un-Islamic – thus contradicting the position of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs. The man reportedly had stones thrown at him outside a mosque.

Secular Muslim Maldivians as well as anonymous, non-Muslim Dhivehi bloggers who dare to demand a more pluralistic society often find themselves facing undisguised contempt, harassment and violent threats.

Islam says what?

Muslims scholars around the world repeatedly affirm that Islam does not permit compulsion in religion.

Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, uses explicit Qur’anic verses such as “To you is your religion and to me is mine” to arrive at the ruling that “the Qur’an permits freedom of belief for all of mankind.”

Quoting further from the Qur’an, he says “God does not prevent you from being kind to those who have not fought you on account of your religion or expelled you from your homes, nor from dealing justly with them, indeed God loves the just.”

And yet, self appointed guardians of Islam in the audience rushed to physically attack Mohamed Nazim immediately after he proclaimed his disbelief, and one also remembers the swift press release demanding his murder the next morning.

Regarding such intolerance, the Grand Mufti Ali asserted in an article that “none of these extremists have been educated in genuine centres of Islamic learning. They are, rather, products of troubled environments and their aim is purely political and has no religious foundation.”

Syrian Imam Mohamed Bashar Arafat, who recently visited the Maldives, said in an interview to Minivan News that “We cannot deny the basic human right to life in the name of culture.”

The Imam also said “The Quran… gives people the freedom to worship, the freedom to choose their own religion, right or wrong”.

Political suicide

Many Maldivian MPs and senior government officials privately admit their hands are tied when it comes to the issue of freedom of religion. Simply put, to advocate universal human rights is the easiest way of committing political suicide in the Maldives.

The problem of religious discrimination had already been identified by the visiting UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, in a 2006 report that expressed concerns about lack of religious freedom in the Maldives. It noted that while the old constitution did not technically demand all citizens to be Muslim, it presumed this was the case.

While any thoughtful person would readily see the absurdity of a state unilaterally declaring a citizen’s beliefs, the average Maldivian voter continues to justify this position by clinging to the “we’re special” argument.

The new Maldivian constitution, drawn up during the highly polarised and unstable political climate of the Maldivian democracy movement, where everyone and their grandma was being accused of attempting to import “other religions” to the Maldives, went one step further and made it explicitly unlawful for a Maldivian to profess any faith other than Islam.

Many interpret this to mean that a Maldivian Muslim who chooses to abandon the faith would automatically be stripped of citizenship and become a stateless refugee (In direct contravention of Article 15 of the UDHR, which states that no citizen can be arbitrarily deprived of nationhood but – why not? – the Maldives could presumably plead a “special” exemption in this case too).

However, a Maldivian government delegation, answering questions from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, denied this saying the constitution was clear that no citizen could be deprived of citizenship under any circumstance, and that the Muslim-only clause applied only to foreigners seeking Maldivian citizenship.

In the absence of a legal precedent or court ruling, the provision remains ambiguous.

Yet, the refusal of mainstream media and politicians to touch this human interest issue and a severely outrage-prone public sentiment has made one thing astoundingly clear: non-Muslims in the Maldives may exist as physical flesh-and-bones entities, but if they value their lives, liberty and security, then they must adhere to the strict code of conformity and total silence.

Surely, then, the statistic must in this case be updated to read ‘100% Muslim minus one dead man, one impious girl, and thousands forever condemned to silence.’

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]


59 thoughts on “Comment: The right to remain silent”

  1. "non-Muslims in the Maldives may exist as physical flesh-and-bones entities, but if they value their lives, liberty and security, then they must adhere to the strict code of conformity and total silence."

    Koba massala akee?

  2. Well, Maldivians are Muslims by inheritance. That is all about the belief.
    To my knowledge in Male’ you have many atheists in all walks of life. People do criticize Islam very openly and most of us don’t bother about it.
    Why they are no conversion of Maldivians to other faith is simply because there is constraint of missionary to spread the word god here. Suppose if Jesuits, Protestants and Methodists missionaries are allowed to preach their religion here within few years the majority of the population will be converted.

  3. Yameen, You seem to enjoying the joke!! Where is religious freedom? France (where hijab is banned)?? USA (where sworning to official post with Quran is banned)? Israel (where every muslim is a terrorist)?? DOnt joke pls!!
    Religions have always been "used" coniviently by Politicials and power cirles!! And thus in Maldives. And your articles are echos of these elites and YOU ARE A PUPPET!!

  4. Whats happening to our society. People like Yameen and Hilath are fighting for religious freedom and gay & lesbian rights. Simple fact is that we are a democracy now (atleast going towards it). Does the majority wants religious freedom and gay rights in our society?

  5. Woha... that's scary ...

    So much for the postcard "picture perfect" of paradise... a "muslim only" paradise, then !!

  6. Hail Nasheed! Hail to the new Nazi regime in the Maldives! The faster you intolerant idiots sink and get wiped off the face of the Earth, the better. Global warming? Bring it on! Amen.

  7. Minority rights is a concept not well understood in our society.

    It would need a lot more time and sensitive handling of the information gap to introduce concepts such as non-discrimination towards minority groups and respect for differences of opinion.

    Lord knows the political poster boys who want to sell these ideas for foreign funding are not handling the issues that well either.

  8. “Muslims in X may exist as physical flesh-and-bones entities, but if they value their lives, liberty and security, then they must adhere to the strict code of conformity and total silence.”

    Koba massala akee?

  9. This is yet another sponsored piece by Yameen Rasheed, of which we are rapidly getting tired of, carries so much bull shit, it even smells whilst reading the bits and bytes.

    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there are Maldivians who do not adhere to Islam. They are living here now and they have lived here for thousands of years.

    Freedom of anything must be weighed against the costs and national security! This country is teetering on the edge with its new found democratic freedoms. Citizens have yet to get accustomed to reasoned debate and the right to disagree. No one yet knows how to intelligently behave in a democratic society.

    If "freedom of religion" is introduced into this society, it will go up in flame within days.

    And for those who prefer a "religion" other than Islam, they ought to examine their heads and psychological health carefully! If they haven't yet figured out that all of these religions are flawed, then they deserve what they get.

    If they prefer NOT to believe in any religion, then they can carry on with their lives without any hinderence. After all, they do not erect churches, temples or anything of that sort. The most they will "suffer" is the occasional exuberence of "believers" around them.

    In summary, this is such a non-issue, that's being made into one by people with an agenda and we know what that agenda is!

  10. What is all this nonsense that muslims try to put about that there is no compulsion in religion? "Allah" apparently has a different and more sinister view.

  11. we will never allow the freedoms to go to hell, which you devils advocates wants so much, here in maldives. so you better shut up or move out of here.

  12. @Marc: a “muslim only” paradise, then !!

    No it isn't! In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's a paradise to anyone BUT a Muslim!

    As I've said before, this is a toal non-issue. Mr Rasheed and his sponsors would like to make this into a big issue and will manufacture truth out of horse shit if they have to.

    A Maldivian cares about religion as much as a French, German or British person does. As someone else has pointed out, most of these countries only allow religious freedom as long as you don't "disturb" their way of life. Most of these countries have Christianity as their official religion, in any case. Anything else is "tolerated".

    A good example is what happened recently in Switzerland, and I quote a news source:

    "In a vote that displayed a widespread anxiety about Islam and undermined the country’s reputation for religious tolerance, the Swiss on Sunday overwhelmingly imposed a national ban on the construction of minarets....

    "The Swiss government said ... that the minaret ban was not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture."

    Well, there you go, freedom until they see you as a threat.

  13. Fantastic article.

    I doubt the Maldives was ever 100% Islamic. I don't see the point of lying, we might as well admit it and get along with it. What's the point of being proud of a made up statistic? A statistic that people will promote murder to protect?

    It's sad how we're letting these radical preachers gain such a strong foothold. Why must it always be that the more extreme version is the right version? There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely we're all intelligent enough to coexist?

    Even if we do allow other religions, this doesn't mean Islam will die out. Rather it's likely that it will grow stronger. The preachings of hellfire do nothing but turn people away.

    Also why is it that the moment someone criticizes Islam, that person is instantly given the label of being unislamic, insane, sent from the devil, etc and should be put to death?

    What happened to compassion and love for your fellow human?

    If people have strayed from the path it is not upto you personally to extinguish their existence just to protect a statistic. Do you think god cares more about some mortal protecting his name or more about how you treat others? Why the anger? Why the hate? If they have strayed, maybe they will return. No one can tell the future.

    Meanwhile there are so many Islamist websites preaching hate against apostates, free thinkers and homosexuals. Don't deny this, because it is true. Here is an article calling for the wide scale slaughter of homosexuals and calling specifically for the beheading of a blogger as well:

    This kind of blatant promotion of violence and hate cannot be tolerated.

  14. "Common sense is not so common"

    He was talking about Maldives even though he didn't know it.

  15. Most Maldivians are Muslims because they inherited Islam from their parents. At one time Maldivians were very secular in their thinking even though they were Muslims. That was the time when women were not afraid to show their beauty and when men did not have to have a beard. We were friendly with anyone be it a Christian, Jew, Hindu etc. Things have changed now. Maldivians are fed almost daily with extremist version of Islam. After all we have the freedom of speech now. So Maldivian Talibans are having a great time converting our people to their version of Islam. Unfortunately their version is the correct version. Most Maldivians pride themselves as being so called moderate Muslims. In other words we are moderate because we do not know our religion Islam at all. Those who know real and true Islam are the Talibans. That is why our government is powerless to take actions against the extremists among us. Intolerance and hatred of non muslims will increase in the years to come.

  16. "And for those who prefer a “religion” other than Islam, they ought to examine their heads and psychological health carefully!"

    Dude to each his own. What does it matter to you if a guy worships the sun? It's his arse in hellfire not yours. Sure you can mock, that reflects more on your maturity than the sun worshipper, but why take it as far as to ban expression of beliefs?

    If this is such a non-issue can we count on your vote for a secular govt and get rid of this ridiculousness?

    Didn't think so.

  17. Even though Islam has the absolute monopoly of religion, the number of people leaving Islam is on the rise. Intensive religious activities carried out by Mullahs has brought about a wrong perception of religion. Intolerant, violent, backward and primitive ideology of Mullahs will continue to damage the religion of Islam and more people will leave Islam!

  18. I wonder why a 'true religion' needs such draconian measures to protect.


    Perhaps it is just a hoax? Ah well. No 'rule' that needs such oppressive measures can't last long.

    Remember Maumoon? Just 10 years of his absolute idiocy, and the people gave him a solid boot to the tenders.

    I'll just gear up for the eventual uprising.

  19. I feel like taking apart Mr. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb's comment for some reason.

    "As I’ve said before, this is a toal non-issue. Mr Rasheed and his sponsors would like to make this into a big issue and will manufacture truth out of horse shit if they have to."

    Islam being used as a tool of oppression
    should be a big issue to any muslim - are you sure you're a muslim?

    And why must you insinuate slander when someone speaks the truth? Is it the 'islamic way of life'?

    "A Maldivian cares about religion as much as a French, German or British person does. As someone else has pointed out, most of these countries only allow religious freedom as long as you don’t “disturb” their way of life."

    Right, if Maldives was 100% islamic, we wouldn't be awash in scandal, hard drugs and crime like we were today... oh wait.

    "Most of these countries have Christianity as their official religion, in any case. Anything else is “tolerated”.

    A good example is what happened recently in Switzerland, and I quote a news source:

    “In a vote that displayed a widespread anxiety about Islam and undermined the country’s reputation for religious tolerance, the Swiss on Sunday overwhelmingly imposed a national ban on the construction of minarets….

    That's because muslims there don't know how to behave themselves and behave like human beings - heck I doubt those 'muslism' know how to control their primal sex instincts. Their actions just give the right wingers more fuel to burn.

    And busily, they offer to burn the fuel of hatred, fueling an everlasting cycle of war.

  20. I wont come out saying I know more about this than any of you, but really, you need to give it a rest Yameen Rasheed. I am not saying that your views are incorrect. But if this country was some other, you would have been spot on. People should know how to coordinate with others; know how to coordinate with non-muslims. You should first make people aware of what is it in store for them if you plan to have a freedom for the regilions here in Maldives. Even if we are 100% muslim or not, some Maldivians do not give a s***, they drink, they abuse drugs, they are having their own freedom of religion even though they are not putting it out on the open. So I guess you should too. Keep the things you think about to yourself. When you accomplish what you need to accomplish the whole harmony of the country will die, which is already on the verge of dying. You are not a schmuck are you, Yameen Rasheed? You know? I think you are going about this all wrong.

  21. the reason Yaameen writes about this over and over and over and over again is simple. He just want to impose his wish on everyone of us. If there is a poll in this country today and now, I can guarantee that 99% ppl will favor to keep the statusquo. That is let Maldives be as it is. We don't want religious pluralism yet. Our country is too small to start a fight on religion yet.

    Our kaafir bloggers write about this issue for some time in their blogs and Minivan and then they will seek asylum shortly in some western country saying their life is in peril in Maldives for calling for democratic norms. This is what happens! They want to emigrate to some western country and they don't have any other way to do this than to provoke simple ppl to harass them and then to seek asylum. If they ploy doesn't work they will attempt suicide and again blame the western civilization for not helping them out. recently even Hillath attempted to do a real life episode of Tarzan in some small uninhibited island because he is fed up with us muslims because of our prayers.. but he also got fedup with the uninhibited island because he had difficulty charging his laptop and updating his blog.. so he quit the attempt. I have a theory that Yameen will also do something similar soon. It could be suicide or seeking political asylum in EU, dunno where, but if it fails the West will surely be blamed for not rescuing him from the tyranny of Islamic fundamentalism of maldives!

  22. Brilliant article. Kudos. 🙂

    Also it is really sad to see extremist views being expressed in the comments section.

  23. Although Maldives commonly has been described as a 100% Muslim country, it will be very hard, almost impossible, to statistically prove it. As in any society that may be described as 100% this or 100% that, there will almost certainly be some who would not prescribe to the majority view. Thus it would not be incorrect to say that there would always have been irreligious and areliogious Maldivians as well as those who, albeit, secretly professed religions other than Islam even after Maldives became Muslim at the turn of the first millenium. This is further strenghtened by the fact that Maldivians accepted Islam, at least initially, not out of conviction, but on the order of Maha Kalaminja (King Abdullah). And as such, certain core Islamic values such as egalitariansm did not permeate Maldivian society whcih continued to be influenced by its pre-Islamic culture, as manifested in the cast system and the preferential justice system. This does not mean that Maldives attachment to Islam was superficial. With preaching and dissemination of basic Islamic information, Maldivians gradually became very strongly attached-perhaps emotionally rather than intellectually - to Islam.
    Perhaps the issue now is not just to debate whether Maldives is 100% Muslim or not in the remote corners of Minivan News, whose Maldivian audience in general are committed atheists or non-conformists or of a different religious persuation other tnan Islam, but to take it to the general Maldivian public. Let this be published in the local media and make the common Maldivian know that faith is individual and personal. And that it would be a service to Islam to allow religious tolerance and to be make the necessary constitutional adjustment to accomodate this. If this were to happen, it seems unlikely that there would be a mass conversion of Maldivians to atheism or other religions. If non-Muslim Maldivians are committed to bring change, they will have to take their case to the general public; if this is not done, and the tone of the debate does not change, then, pieces like this would tend to be nothing more than Islam-bashing and would become fodder for the parties on the opposite side of the fence - Maldivian Muslims and non-Muslims - to incite hatred and intolerance against each other.

  24. The maldives is in itself a minority!.. wot yegads r u people asking for?.. multitudinous minority rights within an already minoritous state?.. ru all fkn nuts?.... yes enemies of islam behind all these attempts to destabilise maldives; drawing to take over/reconvert/ etc maldives began when evan naseem dies.. but it was not only the zionists and chrsitians- who are the culprits which arm gays n pedos, plus secularists( again evangelical bs, which pre-empts attack). who drew up plans, we did too 🙂

    run. run and hide, butt where...


  25. Yameen rasheed if u have a problem with Islam u can get the hell out of this country infidel!

  26. The 1% must seek refugee status in Isreal and that include Yamin and hassan Ahmed. Maldives will be 100% for as long as I live. I will not allow anyone to openly declare it. It is in our constitution and UN is not the god to change it.
    US still have capital punishment they day they stop it. All others have to..It will become human right.

  27. The problem in Maldives is the lack of proper education and knowledge about Islam. Following something blindly without any understanding has lead to all these people declaring their disbelief. I would just say one thing for all those who argue and disbelief in Islam: Quran challenges you to find faults in it. It challenges you to verify the scientefic facts in it with the top researchers/ academics in the field. I advice all those who have "doubts" to study why they have doubts. Otherwise you guys are not one notch better in your intelligence those fire and idol worshippers in Mecca 1400 years ago (who thought earth was flat and sun was on top of a mountain).

    There are many enemies of Islam like Dr Gary Miller or Preacher Estes who discovered the truth through knowledge and understanding. Not from gossip and imaginary thinking. Gary Miller story.

    Hope that people would learn the truth before believing or disbelieving so that at least you would know the truth before disregarding information due to rumor or tall tales.

  28. I wonder if those calling the author 'infidel' have even read the article.

    The article clearly argues that the koran also demands freedom of religion.

    This is not about the UN or America, you fools. It is about human rights guaranteed in Islam, but how can our so called Islamic country be so "special case" as to deny them rights that Allah has given them?

    Whether you look from a democracy or Islamic viewpoint, it is clear that denying non-Muslims their right is wrong. It cannot be defended.

  29. people of democracy but not obeying constitution ..(d) Despite the provisions of article (a) a non-
    Muslim may not become a citizen of the
    State Religion 10. (a) The religion of the State of the Maldives is Islam.
    Islam shall be the one of the basis of all the laws
    of the Maldives
    (b) No law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be
    enacted in the Maldives

  30. Ahmed Bin Addu, this is an issue on which I wholeheartedly agree with you on.

    It is hard to articulate the outrage you feel to the public on this issue.

    There is an element of monkey-see-monkey-do, organized soft power influence via various types of media, feelings of social inferiority and identification with an ideological other at work here.

    Common sense is hard to preach to those who would incite others on a fool's errand simply for glory or a pat on the back from our Aryan idols.

  31. @ Richard, Please remember that Maldives is not your only country and now you are expressing like a Bedouin. Also keep in your camel dung fill brain that Maldives is Yameen Rasheed and my country too. We have equal rights as you to be here and express our views as wish and please.

  32. Everywhere I look, the other side, the Muslims, seem to be always engrossed in logical fallacies.

    Their Arguments are not logical, they want special treatment.

    It is time we Atheists fight back, against tyranny and oppression by the Maldivian people. Technically, being an Atheist makes them Stateless according to the law.

    It will be difficult as it is almost impossible to herd Atheists like sheep like they herd Religious people, especially Muslims. But it is time we once and for all, unite to fight for a common cause. That is freedom from religion.

    We Atheists respect all people, some of us view religion to be negative, but we are not militants or terrorists, I assure you.

  33. @Athiest

    If you respect all people as you claim, then let us be in our small islands. If you have a problem with us being muslims then go to non-muslim countries. you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Let us be in our ignorance and go to some enlightened atheist country of your choice by all means...! respect the views of the majority if you think you have democratic genes inside. WE simple muslims, we do not have any of those! But pls let us be.. will you?

  34. Declaring war always has repercussions. Sure, you might be a 'global superpower' - but even global superpowers are vulnerable.

    It is time muslims realize that.

    I mean, look at Israel. Sure it's got bigass guns and stuff, but do they have a moment of peace? Some Palestinian wiseguy's always wrecking their stuff.

    And so, like Israel, muslims must learn to stop trampling over other people's rights, lest they too be stung in the foot.

  35. Also, lol'd at some of the comments. "Give up! Go to Israel!"

    Little do they know, that there is no difference between the modus operandi of the adhaalath parteys and the right wing government of Israel.

  36. Maldivian the lives of non-muslims...they marry christians,hindhus,atheists,buddhists,their women bear children out of wedlock,raise children as single mothers,they drink alcohol,they do drugs,they indulge in adultery,they freely live in with the members of the opposite sex,they have sexual relations with their partners before marriage,there are thousand open gay relationships in maldives(all things prohibited for a true muslim),they openly declare that they are non muslims and they live as merry as any other citizen in a non-muslim country..Maldives is the most non-suppressed so called muslim country where Islam the religion is not followed to a cheers and don't feel or create a sense of suppression that does not exist at all..It's one of the most open gay(no pun intended) country in the world..

  37. What nonsense....!?
    We have the majority dude...These articles dose not help. There is noway that you could bring the freedom of religion to Maldives. NOWAY.... Believe me NOWAY
    Yameen world is changing. Muslims are dominating Europe. Open your mind. Except the truth.

  38. paid Adhaalath troll.

    Let me tell you one thing, there should not be anything called, "Atheist country", Muslim country or Christian country.

    I myself don't personally believe in those imaginary lines man has drawn to satisfy his greed. We are one, regardless of race, culture or religion.

  39. ahmed ali ass ed kaley angamadun laigen hunnanveenu kaleyah koafaa aumuge kurin? kaley islamdheenakee israeley kiyaafa kon bahanaaehtha thi dhakkanee? americaah gosfa thigothah thelibala! rajjeyga muslimun noon bayakah haggeh onnakah nujeheyne! gaanoonee gothun kaleyakee kaafareh kamah beleynee, kaleyaa yameen aai adhi hilathuge boakendiima dhen ulhey aneh aahgandun madujeheeyne

    aharen govaalanee dhivehi sarukaaru e thin firihenkulhi balhun (yameen, hilath and ahmed ali ass ed) boakendumah - eyrun emeehunge rattehin angamadun laane

  40. In the name of freedom of religion what do you want? Churches and temples,empty buildings&idols kept in them,to which people would hardly visit?how many people practice religion anymore..the fancy churches,mosques and temples remain empty with just a bunch of occasional visitors..Who are you trying to fool in the name of religion..the mosques in Male' are mostly filled by some bangladeshi will find most maldivians roaming on the roads & standing nearby mosques,chatting at outside living thier lives at the time of the call for the build ur temples&churches and see how many visit many people strictly follow the rituals and rites..What right are you talking about and trying to create a non existent issue?What a hypocritical article!! You missionaries will be sorely disappointed in the lack of faith of the Maldivians...All they need is some drugs,not faith..write your sob stories elsewhere!

  41. Most of the comments here show that Yameen is right. I do agree that Maldivians are intolerable and have a vague understanding of Islam and have no idea what happens in other countries most of the time.
    France is a secular county where no religion has anything to do with the State. This means religion and State are two separate issues. The Swiss case was the loud speakers from The Minaret was waking people up even early morning and no non Muslim would tolerate a man wailing at odd hours. For us, it is the calling of the prayers but to others it is a man wailing out of key.
    The Holy Quran says that there is no compulsion in religion and I would prefer that all Maldivians are Muslims but if someone becomes a non Muslim, I do not agree that he should be persecuted. I do agree that we cannot have other official places of worship in Maldives as it would destroy all fabrics of cohesion in an already volatile situation.
    I say the majority of the religious problems came to Maldives with the regime of Gayoom and his pseudo Arabism as during Nasir's regime we were practising Muslims yet we do not have these divisive religious problems.

  42. Freedom of religion does not mean "Churches, idols and temples"

    It means other things, for examples, the right to advocate a particular belief or idea freely without religious influence. Mind you, freedom of religion also means freedom from religion for us Atheists. Atheism is not a religion. It is the complete lack of religion.

  43. Religion is a wastage of human intellect. and I will be silent forever for the sake of the believers.

  44. Why don't you talk about rights of children and poor citizens who can barely feed themselves ...about the lack of health care and about the lack of social security,about the rights of the elderly people,about the rights of women who get abused,about the rights of murder victims here? Freedom of religion should be further from the mind now in this country..Talk about humanity and the rights to live a decent life!...Let fancy rich countries talk about religion...we poor lot need to talk about other issues...

  45. "we poor lot need to talk about other issue."

    People like you are why Maldives is forcibly stuck like a fly in amber, in the age of colonialism.

    Keep crying if you must. We prefer to move forwards.


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