Controversial blogger and “prisoner of conscience” released from custody

Ismail ‘Khilath’ Rasheed was released from police custody last night, where he had been held since December 14 without charges while police investigated his role in a peacefully-intended protest held on December 10.

Police confirmed that Rasheed was released on a court order, and said that the investigation into his involvement in a silent peaceful protest on December 10 had been concluded with no findings against him.

Rasheed was arrested on December 14 for his involvement in a protest for religious tolerance held at Male’s Artificial Beach on International Human Rights Day. The group of approximately 30 protestors were attacked with stones, and Rasheed was taken to the hospital with head injuries.

Rasheed’s detention was twice extended by the court, which subsequently launched an investigation into the contents of his controversial blog which was previously blocked by the Islamic Ministry on the grounds that it contained anti-Islamic content.

After Rasheed’s detention was extended a second time on December 27, Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari requested parliament’s National Security Committee to include a clear, strong punishment for those advocating religious freedom within the Maldives in the new Penal Code currently at committee stage.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International declared Rasheed a prisoner of conscience, and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) challenged Bari’s argument that calling for freedom of religious was unconstitutional within a democratic Muslim society.

“The Maldivian constitution bans the promotion of any religion other than Islam but guarantees freedom of assembly and expression as long as it does not contravene Islam. Rasheed professes to be an adherent of Sufism, which emphasises the inner, spiritual dimension of Islam,” read the statement by RSF.

Minivan News was unable to reach Rasheed at time of press.


34 thoughts on “Controversial blogger and “prisoner of conscience” released from custody”

  1. he should put away for life... we do not want extremists like him in our society

  2. O Fathers! Discipline your daughters and keep them modest, so that they shalt make suitable mothers, and shalt raise sons more pious and God-fearing than Ismail "khilath" Rasheed!

    From virtuous wombs shalt virtuous offspring spring forth!

  3. El, you should celebrate his freedom with a champagne party with him.

  4. "From virtuous wombs shalt virtuous offspring spring forth!"

    Thanks for the laugh Dhivehi Hangover!

  5. the heading would have been more appropriate if it read: "controversial islamophobic blogger and so called prisoner of conscience released from custody"

  6. "Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari requested parliament’s National Security Committee to include a clear, strong punishment for those advocating religious freedom within the Maldives"

    Under what tenet of Islam?

    I thought the parliament couldn't make any laws contrary to Islam?

    Unless it serves the purposes of our wahhabi overlords?

  7. Eleanor, please note that the Criminal Court does not investigate crimes.

    However, I am sure you meant to say the Police. If the investigation and detention is court-sanctioned then of course the Police must have requested such sanction. Please do not stoop so low to make the courts appear exclusively culpable in a civil matter being investigated by the government.

    Hillath is merely guilty of being foolish, precipitous and unconscionable.

    - He knew full well that a call for religious freedom (not religious tolerance as is claimed in the article) would invite the response that it did.

    - He claims to be a Sufi Muslim while I am sure all he would know about Sufism would be the tidbits any google-scholar would have gained on the internet.

    - This is a political stunt and one that threatens to increase conflict in our society.

    - Hillath and his relatives have the means to attain their objectives through dialogue, education, awareness and understanding. Rather he chose to instigate violence and invite conflict. I do not know a better definition of a terrorist if there was one.

    Case in point: If a sane adult sinks both his hands into a hornet's nest and then complains about being stung then is he truly a victim?

  8. @ Tsk Tsk

    There is no universally agreed definition of terrorism. However, there are about 300 suggested definitions, and about 13 international conventions which describe acts generally accepted as terrorism.

    Hilath's actions do not fit into any one of them

    Perhaps it is time to for you to read a bit wider than "the normative this" and "the normative that" beyond which neither your education nor your general knowledge seem to stretch.

  9. "I do not know a better definition of a terrorist if there was one."

    Terrorist-noun; A victim of violence, while in pursuit of political aims.

  10. Deecay wrote on Sat, 7th Jan 2012 8:18 PM:

    From virtuous wombs shalt virtuous offspring spring forth!”

    Thanks for the laugh Dhivehi Hangover!"


    You may mock us now, but to build a moral society, all it takes is to fix the deficiencies of its women - so that they do not become promiscuous and without faith; that they may give birth to sons who shalt be ill bred and weak in their faith!

    Yet if motherhood occurs only within the bounds of marriage – the whole of society shalt benefit from the fruits thereof!

    Stalwart and valiant warriors fighting for the one true faith, bursting in multitudes from the wombs of their God fearing mothers; sword in hand, ripe to do battle with the cancerous minions of the secularist shaytans!

    So away with cumbersome restrictions on marriage I say!

    Inshah’allah, if our women shalt be married young, then they shalt be well disciplined and shalt be clothed modestly; under which conditions they shalt be moulded into suitable mothers, that shalt breed the most pious and excellent of men.

    And your kind shalt perish under the force of their strength!

    You fool! Who shalt be laughing then?

  11. @Ironies:

    How ironic indeed, someone who tires of normative "this and thats" referred to international conventions as a source of definition.

  12. @ Tsk Tsk

    It is your incessant references to the normative that is tedious, not the normative itself. But of course your ego would lead you to the opposite conclusion.

    What is funnier is that you are now completely ignoring what I said - Hilath's acts do not fit into any definition of terrorism. Did you know this? Do you care? Or did you just grab the first pejorative term that came to mind to denigrate Hilath with?

    Lazy for someone with such grandiose pretensions to intellect.

  13. A society the gags people,and restricts freedom of expression and individual choice is repressed and barbaric. Arrested for what.....??? Having his own point of view? Beyond belief!!

  14. Prophet Mohammed (SAW) himself was a champion of religious freedom. Does this make Hilath a better muslim than Dr. Bari?

  15. This recurring theme will go on forever. Let's see what the religion says about this:

    "The Qur'an repeats in many verses the right of free belief."

    "... The Qur'an states clearly, {There is no compulsion in religion} and that compulsion is unnecessary because {Truth stands out clearly from Error}."


  16. Islam is entrenched in the culture and tradition of our peoples. Who are you, o upstart, and your ilk, to challenge the will of the ages?

    These secular fools wish for us to emulate a decadent civilization, that values "freedom" more than they value social cohesion; more than they value virtue itself!

    As I have written elsewhere, at the rate America/Sweden/France are going - what with their legalizing of same sex marriage - within the next twenty years women will be “aborting” premature infants, that are a hybrid species; part goat, part human, to hide the evidence of their shameful conduct.

    In the twenty years after that, when even Bestiality won’t be frowned upon, they will lose even that slight modicum of shame and they shalt demand the right to enter into marriage contracts and raise the unfortunate resulting offspring with their pet Cats/Dogs/Toads/Goats.

    There is no need to emulate these centres of decadence. I say no to religious freedom - for it shalt lead us towards Bestiality! It shalt lead us towards hellfire! It shalt lead us into the arms of Shaitan, and we would perish under his fiery embrace!

  17. @ Dhivehi Hanguraama:

    Pretty sure that swords went out of style when guns were introduced. It was probably the unquestionable technological superiority of the gun over the sword, and the fact that you would get shot in the face if you tried to charge towards a gun with a sword.

    It is good that you recognize Maldives needs to build a moral society.
    Kindly explain how you would be going along dealing with problems of housing shortage, rising food prices and medical problems of the common Maldivian man?

    Is it by running around, "preparing virtuous wombs", "garroting people on the spot", and other exalted enlightened behaviour?

    Sir you do not need to be mocked, given a stage you do all the entertainment yourself.

    I welcome a practical solution from you for practical problems of the people. It is surprising how obssessed you are with fornicating and underage breeding to bring up "the most pious of men".

    Please be a bit polite on the public forum. People read your comments, from the world over. It helps them form an idea of Maldives. For a country that is so heavily dependent on tourism and foreign aid, you have some pretty vocal protestors.

    Its ok, we respect your right to a different opinion. However while on one hand you take foreign money, drink alcohol,have a major drug problem and on the other hand, you try to preach to the world what is the "pious" way of living?

    Please cut the bullcrap. Solve your problems and then talk. We are ever ready to learn and listen, as long as you talk sense.

  18. ah tsk tsk, you should keep your halfbaked habermasian language games to yourself.

  19. Subhanallah! Why has the government released Jew Hilath, who is responsible for spreading the most horrible of acts, homosexuality! That is madness.

    Oh my dear Maldivian Muslim brothers and non-fornicating sisters, do you not remember the way the people of Lot perished? For they, during the night, left their wives sleeping, to have sex with men! And now, Hilath Rasheed, claims that he cannot get rid of this disease called homosexuality, because he was 'born gay'! What a disgusting excuse! And they want US to actually give them the right to participate in homosexual activities, and lead our small children to also do the same!

    Surely, we do not want this to happen, nor would we let it happen. Homosexuals like Hilath Rasheed are an abomination! They are not really human! They are simply sick, and mad. They are also Jews since homosexuality is nothing but an act of the Jew!

    [7:80] And We sent Lot as a Messenger: Remember that he said to his people, "Have you become so shameless that you commit such indecent acts as no one has committed before you in the world? [81] You gratify your lust with men instead of women: indeed you are a people who transgress the limits!" . . . [84] And We rained upon his people; then behold what happened in the end to the guilty ones!"

  20. @Dhivehi Hangover

    "to build a moral society, all it takes is to fix the deficiencies of its women"

    You legend you! Dave Chappelle's got nothing on you, you're truly hilarious.

    As for that hybrid species of half goat half human you mumble on about: if I remember correctly it was your bunch who gave it a try. How did that one go? Given your impressive knowledge on the subject of bestiality one can only wonder and assume you were involved. Had fun?

    Keep em coming please! Me, the fool, is truly entertained by you.

    P.S.: "cumbersome restrictions on marriage"? I presume you meant to say cucumbersome, which I am certain your pious wife would enjoy as compensation for your shortcomings (pun intended).

  21. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Fri, 28th Oct 2011 12:48 AM (and on Sat, 7th Jan 2012 10:48 PM)wrote “….offspring with their pet Cats/Dogs/Toads/Goats…” (and I replied) It sounds like you are writing from personal experience. Have you been successful at fertilising a goat the last time you inseminated one?

  22. @ Khilath
    I am so pleased to hear of your release from illegal detention.
    You have more intelligence and courage than all the morons in the Islamic Ministry put together.

  23. Science holds the superior moral premise. No wonder Religion failed. However religion was where God was hiding after-all.

  24. people will lose trust on our democracy if we keep on releasing terrorists and child molesters like Hilath

  25. Most of the Sunnis don't know much about the order, so a Sufist cannot be blamed of this any more than can be a Sunni.

    The Constitution guarantees the freedom of expression as long as Islam is not violated in doing so. Freedom of religion is assured in Islam in that it says there is no force in Islam; one's religion is to oneself.

    No force in Islam means the belief in Islam is a choice without compulsion. One's religion is to oneself implies that no one should interfere with a person's religion. Both these principles reflect the fact that Islam allows freedom of the choice of religion and wants it not to be interfered.

  26. @tsk tsk

    You seem to be taking Orwell's 1984 as a how-to guide rather than a warning.

    Your efforts in redefining words to mean the exact opposite, wherein the person who was terrorised has become the terrorist, shows that having access to a thesaurus does not make one an intellectual.

  27. @hassan ahmed. as if you don't know about the sheik child molesters. specially the recent quran teacher. Aint you happy enough that hes realized and roaming around in Male'. infact there are too many of them proven over many times with evidence. Sometimes i wonder how much of evidence would you need to prove these idiots something as simple as that.

    don't be such an idiot.

  28. Sheikh Imran Abdullah! Your words are full of hatred and disdain. Who are you to judge another human? Remember that when YOUR day comes, you will be judged with the same measurement that YOU judge the others!!!

  29. Well, why do you label the man "controversial"?! This is a very negative label on a man that is calling for a just cause. Please mind what you say and write. This is not an innocent mistake, it is a label that is intended to discredit Khilath.
    Be carefull dear and learm more about the country before practicing your hobby of writing.


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