Hospital worker and wife latest to travel for Jihad

Media reports say a former cleric of Malé’s Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and his wife have become the latest Maldivians to travel to Syria for jihad.

Police have told media it is investigating reports that Zameer Farooq, from Gaafu Alifu Kanduhulhudhoo, and his wife have travelled to Turkey via Dubai in order to enter ISIS-held territory.

With Haveeru reporting a group of six having departed last week, as well as a dozen more said to have gone at the start of January, the exact numbers of Maldivians abroad for jihad is unclear.

Police Commissioner Hussein Waheed last month estimated that around 50 Maldivians were working with foreign rebel groups.

Media reports today say that Farooq had been investigated by police in relation to a robbery just days before travelling to Turkey on January 29, though police media officials were not responding to calls at the time of publication.

The group said to have left in early January included Azlif Rauf – a suspect in the murder of MP and moderate Islamic scholar Dr Afrasheem Ali, an individual arrested over the disappearance of Minivan News journalist Ahmed Rilwan, a man arrested for issuing a death threat, a man classified by the police as a dangerous criminal, and three men with criminal records.

Waheed has acknowledged the difficulty in tracking individuals intending to travel for jihad, though it was recently reported that four would-be jihadis were apprehended in Malaysia in January, while three were apprehended in Sri Lanka in November.

Haveeru reported that those returned last month were released after their passports had been seized by authorities.

Commissioner Waheed has said that police are working with the Islamic ministry and relevant government departments to prevent radicalisation , though he said the variety of people travelling for jihad made it hard to target the most vulnerable groups.

Those leaving the country for Islamic State-held territories have included couples and even entire families since the first Maldivian jihadis were reported early last year.

“We know who the foreign militants are,” Waheed told media last month. “We are monitoring their activities. My hope is, I believe we will be able to monitor them to the extent they are unable to [present a threat] in the Maldives.”

A UN report obtained by the UK’s Guardian has noted foreign jihadists are travelling to Syria and Iraq on “an unprecedented scale”, with 15,000 people reported to have travelled to the region from more than 80 countries.

In November, a jihadist group called Bilad Al Sham Media (BASM) – which describes itself as ‘Maldivians in Syria’ – revealed that a fifth Maldivian had died in Syria.

Two months earlier, a protest march took place in the capital, Malé, with around 200 participants bearing the IS flag and calling for the implementation of Islamic Shariah in the Maldives.

The march followed a statement from foreign minister Dunya Maumoon condemning “the crimes committed against innocent civilians” by ISIS.

Defending the government’s stance on extremism and ISIS, Islamic minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed told the Majlis late last year that “Maldives will not allow Maldivians to go and fight in foreign wars”.

“We do not support their [ISIS] extremist policies. We have repeatedly appealed to our beloved youth to refrain from falling prey to these ideologies,” he said.

*Original headline changed from ‘IGMH Cleric’ after concern about potentially misleading issues regarding translation of the word ‘Mudhimu’ – meaning an official who gives out the call to prayer.

(PHOTO: March for Shariah, Malé, September 2014)

Related to this story

Islamic Minister advises Maldivians against participating in foreign wars

Maldives a “land of sin”, says jihadist after departing with family for ISIS territory

Two immigration officers and Afrasheem murder suspect among group of twelve jihadis


19 thoughts on “Hospital worker and wife latest to travel for Jihad”

  1. If truth is not observed in the fight against extremism, they will make their case.

    There is no date, place or caption of the above photos. This is misleading and media abuse. There has to be fairness even in reporting about extremism..

  2. How can "mudhimu" be translated into "cleric". I have seen in some foreign newspapers they have used the word cleric, but it can be said based on the type of work they do. In this hospital in the Maldives (in this local context, the mudhim's role in most mosque are call to prayer and lead the prayer. This is the same in most islands also. They are not scholars or something. We are allowed to pray behind a child also. In such situations the child is the mudhimu. I dont think any Maldivian writer would have used that word. Please look into the local context in future.

  3. The end result of this political score pointing using the islam card will result in Maldivians classified the same way as Bangladeshis and Sri Lankans in most countries. We Maldivians are lucky that our passports have some value in most countries. But as things go we are using our media and our politicians to discredit ourselves and its our next generations who will suffer the consequence if not us. As for Jihad its not a crime and a the highest point of piety. Not everyone can do jihad and not everyone has the guts. When Israel bombs Gaza fighters from several countries including US flock to Gaza to fight on IDF side. Its not secret and there is nothing wrong with that when its done by them. But here we the supposed 100% muslims are crying foul when our brothers and sisters make hijra for jihad started by the mass murderer Bashar and the Shabiha gangs of Rafida. We seriously needs eye opening and its not going to start with our 'sheikhs' most of whose knowledge doesn't reach beyond what negates wuloo... Not sure this comment will pass ....

  4. Thieves will not go for Jihad! They may be finding a way to escape to another country to avoid the punishment for the theft. It may be more appropriate to go to Palestine if they are genuinely go for Jihad.

  5. every maldivian know that mudhimu (the one who call for prayer) and the word cleric has a different meaning. how come that word is used here?

  6. The appropriate translation of midimu is Muezzin. The word probably comes from the Arabic word mu’aḏḏin.

    In pre Islamic days Ha'Mudduru and Fandithaveriyaa were high on the religious totem pole.

    Obviously Mudduru and Muddim are quite similar words no doubt.

  7. May Allah keep our children away from all sort of extremism and protect them from brain wash.

  8. @Daniel Bosley

    So? Is this a I'll fart if they fart situation? You couldn't do some editing work when reprinting a story? What's the point of being editor then? Might as well say this a blog.

    1. @Z

      You make a good point. Unfortunately, as you can see from the story, we were unable to obtain comment from police and so had to source from elsewhere.

      This type of issue is unavoidable with English to dhivehi (I think both Haveeru and ourselves have struggled to find a direct translation of Mudhimu).

      As a trained and licensed employee of the Mosque, the word cleric is as close as we could find. I assure you that there was no attempt to misrepresentat the man's occupation.

      With that in mind, the headline has now been altered.

      Your comments are greatly appreciated, however. Thank you for keeping us on our toes.

  9. Thanks to editor for positively responding to the concerns of the readers.

    The fight against extremism can be won and has to be won by truth. Otherwise, you play into their hands.... those guys are not dumb. To assume so would be a mistake.

    They just have different set of beliefs and world view.

  10. My sincere commiserations to the poor Syrians. The last thing they need is a bunch of short, fat, low IQ Maldivians turning up uninvited for jihad.

  11. @MissIndia

    Don't feel so bad. I'm making good profit selling this information to the Iraqi and Syrian resistance.

    Their names, mugshots, pictures, and personal data are of great value to the Iraqi special forces who conduct near-daily pest-exterminations on these ruthless foreign invaders.

    Once this war ends, I'll go to Iraq, buy some land there and live out my last days in a truly muslim country.

  12. No more rants in poor madressa English from Hero, Kashim or Habibib.
    Have they been locked up for chopping down palm trees? Have they gone to liberate Syria from a despot? Have they joined ISIL to establish this Islamic Caliphate we cow worshippers hear so much about?
    I do hope your water treatment plant is functioning normally and you guys are having regular showers.

  13. MissIndia my comments are censures. If youu want peace then resolve Israel first then Kashmir there is no need for jihad.

  14. Lets start a fund box, raise enough money to book as many charter flights to Syria to send as many of them as possible.

  15. @Kashim

    Israel can't be resolved, because arab dictators openly fund them. They need Palestine as a war zone to incite morons like you to serve their dirty wars.

    And Kashmir was resolved a long time ago. Keep up with the times, you backward sub-ape!

  16. kickstarter fund for one way tickets to syria is the best idea I've heard so far! problem solved


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