Israeli flag burnings and ‘sit-together’ marks tale of two protests on International Human Rights Day

Protests erupted across Male’ over the weekend that saw the burning of Israeli flags and calls to “ban all Israeli medical teams” from practicing in the Maldives, alongside a “silent-sit together” against so-called “religious extremism”.

Protesters burned several Israeli flags in Republican Square and demanded the deportation of seven visiting Israeli eye surgeons, who are holding free eye camps in Male’ and the island hospitals.

Protesters gathered near the tsunami monument on International Human Rights Day, claiming that “Jews would not provide any form of assistance, unless there is a hidden agenda”, according to the website of the Islamic Foundation of the Maldives.

The religious NGO has previously called on the government to “shun all medical aid from the Zionist regime”, alleging the Israeli surgeons “have become notorious for illegally harvesting organs from non-Jews around the world.”

Religious NGO Jamiyyathusalaf has also called on the government to provide citizens with military training “before Jews take over the country”.

President Mohamed Nasheed today met with the doctors the Israeli ‘Eye from Zion’ NGO and said “a vast majority of Maldivians” appreciated the humanitarian work of the doctors.

The doctors “expressed their appreciation for the warm hospitality they received in the Maldives”, according to a statement from the President’s Office, and “also noted that there was a great demand for their services in the Maldives.”

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Mohamed Didi, said there had been “no discussions” in the Ministry regarding the anti-Israel protests.

“We are not saying anything for or against the protest action taken this week,” he said.

Didi added that the Foreign Ministry was “more involved in state humanitarian projects and inter-faith charity work than the Islamic Ministry.”

“The major roles of the ministry are to raise Islamic awareness and bring scholars from different countries to visit,” he said.

Coinciding with protests opposing the visit of Israeli doctors, the Islamic Foundation published allegations on its website that only two of the seven visiting surgeons from Eye from Zion had at the time been granted licenses by the Maldives Medical Council (MMC).

An MMC spokesperson was reported as claiming that certificates produced by the seven-member Eye from Zion medical staff were not carrying official stamps. However, the spokesperson added that all the surgeons would be able to receive licenses to operate upon clarification of their legitimacy by the Israeli government.

Meanwhile,  a group of 30 Maldivians gathered near the artificial beach on Friday, up the road from the anti-Israel protest occurring at the tsunami monument, holding what they called a “silent sit-together” on International Human Rights Day.

Members at the gathering said they were attempting to oppose wider concerns over growing “religious extremism” in the country.

“Displaying a stark contrast to the loud truck and motorcycle cavalcade of religious conservatives who were protesting against Israeli doctors around the same time by announcing anti-Semitic messages through loud speakers, the youth that participated in the sit-down took a decidedly fresh approach towards protest,” a press release from the sit-together’s members claimed.

“The silent sit-together, conspicuous by the absence of any banners, megaphones, or sloganeering, aimed to send the message that youth are against religious extremism and supported Human Rights, Tolerance and Dignity for all humans.”

People participating in the protest said they were trying to start a “grassroots” movement against religious extremism, but did not wish to give their identities.


204 thoughts on “Israeli flag burnings and ‘sit-together’ marks tale of two protests on International Human Rights Day”

  1. Guli falu .. the eye of Male'... well well things are getting heated up..

  2. Maldivians need to get a healthier hobby, than getting riled up about things that is taking place elsewhere and that they fully don't understand. I am sure not even 2% of the population have met a Jew or know what they believe. Instead of fighting over the problems of the world elsewhere (that you just see on Television), first try fixing the issues at home.

    Instruction Manual for Life =

  3. @SJF I think Heck has answered all your questions. However I want to add few things. Saving Kosovo is just PR. Hidden agenda is to weaken the Russia's influence in that region, where Yugoslavia was the only supporter of Russia. Did you ever heard the name of NATO. Have you seen the region Map now and then. Cmon understand the true motive of the west. Whatever the motive I support the NATO attack on Yugoslavia that saved millions of people life.

    "I may read a novel and enjoy it, that doesn’t mean I should believe everything written in it." up to you.

    Why do revelations by God always come through an illiterate stone age peasant in the desert, rather than in China". The people that you are seeing today is the yesterday's desert peasant.

    I recommend you to visit You will find your answers. Please have a look.

  4. I find it incredibly funny that the 'religion of truth' would need a desperate, foulmouthed thug like heck to defend it.


Comments are closed.