Maafushi parents pull students from preschool over playing of nursery rhymes, lack of gender segregation

A preschool on the island of Maafushi in Kaafu Atoll has alleged a number of parents have stopped students from attending school, claiming “differences in religious views.”

Parents have so far pulled six students from the preschool, while two more have been officially expelled on parental request. Parents of two older students attending the Maafushi School have also submitted letters informing the school management that their children will no longer be attending classes.

Maafushi Preschool’s Head Teacher Aminath Shiuna has expressed concern that the new trend is depriving children of their right to education.

“Two children, both from the same family, have been officially taken out of school. There are six more who have stopped coming. Although their parents have not informed us directly, we have heard through other mediums that they will not be sending them to school again,” Shiuna said.

“This is the only preschool on the island. We have 125 students aged between two and six years, some of whom are from other islands while some are non-Maldivians. If the students are taken out from this school, there are no other alternatives available on this island where these children can be sent,” she said.

“Therefore, we as the school management, are very concerned that decisions like this are depriving innocent children from the right to an education. We are doing all we can to hold discussions with these parents and find some sort of a solution where the children can be allowed to study again,” Shiuna stated.

A teacher from the preschool has told local media that although no official explanations had been given to the school, some of the parents had expressed disapproval after the school had held Children’s Day celebrations.

According to the teacher, a number of parents complained that the school had involved their children in Children’s Day activities in which music, in the form of nursery rhymes, had been played.

Parents have also further complained that the preschoolers were not taught in gender-segregated classes.

President of the Maafushi Women’s Development Committee (MWDC), which runs the island’s preschool, Badhurunisa Ibrahim has also expressed concern about the matter.

“They stopped sending their children to school without having discussed it with us at all. Depriving them from an education is an abuse of these children’s rights. This immensely worries us,” she said.

Badhurunisa suggested that parents try to find solutions through discourse rather than preventing children from attending classes. She said that arrangements could be made where parents so inclined can request teachers to not involve their children in activities they find inappropriate, such as the singing of nursery rhymes.

“Even in the other school, which is attended by students age 7 to 16 years, parents have recently prevented two from attending classes. The parents of one of these girls has even submitted a letter informing the school of their decision,” Ibrahim said.

An official from Maafushi School confirmed that the letter requesting dismissal had been submitted by the parent of the current school captain, a girl studying in the tenth grade.

The other student is currently in the second grade, and eight years of age.

“They are no longer being sent to school, and we are very worried that their own parents are taking away a constitutional right from them. There are no other schools in this island, so it’s not like they are just changing them from one place to another. We have heard, unofficially, that the parents intend to educate them at a private Quran class run by a Sheikh instead,” the official said.

Following the Sheikh

Multiple sources from the island of Maafushi have expressed concerns about a “Sheikh” from another atoll who has been preaching in the island for just over an year, which they allege is leading to events such as the increase in children being deprived of standard education.

“Keeping children away from school and blaming it on religious differences is certainly worrying. We are seeing that there is a separate faction that is being formed within the population of Maafushi, a faction that is growing at alarming speed. This factor, or group, adheres to a much more conservative form of Islam that contradicts with our traditional ways. More women are donning the niqab now, and more men are growing their beards longer,” said Ali Shaheen from the Kaafu Atoll Council.

MDWC President Badurunisa Ibrahim alleged the Sheikh was creating a rift among the island’s citizens, alleging he was converting more and more people to join his “more extreme version of religion” and abide by rules he defined.

“He calls himself Sheikh Ibrahim Rasheed, and originally comes from the island of Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll. He stayed in Thulusdhoo before but was sent off for creating problems similar to what we are seeing here on this island now,” Badurunisa explained.

“He has been preaching to those who listen to him that playing nursery rhymes in preschool is the same as playing music, which he claims is haram. He has been advising parents to not let girls and boys mix together in school, saying it is anti-islamic. This is leading to parents taking their kids out of school, which is so very worrying,” Badurunisa said.

“He initially came to teach Quran at the Children’s Centre here, and then when he got fired, he started teaching private Quran and Tawheed classes,” she said.

“It seems ridiculous that he convinces parents to take children out of school as they are not gender segregated, and then himself proceeds to hold mixed classes for all ages,” she alleged.

Another source from the island, on condition of anonymity, said the Sheikh’s preachings were leading to a lot of dissent among the previously unified people of the island.

He said that Sheikh Rasheed “acts as though he owns the island’s mosque”, and that he has been verbally harassing mosque-goers with taunts like ‘laadheenee’ (irreligious) and ‘kafir’.

He said that a group of islanders had approached the Islamic Ministry asking for action against the Sheikh.

A Maafushi school official said that it was known that both the students who were being kept away from school were now attending the Quran and Tawhid classes run by Sheikh Rasheed.

Government response

Abdulla Ibrahim from the Minister of Education’s Bureau said the ministry is “highly concerned as this will negatively effect the education of these children.”

He however said that the ministry has not yet decided on a way to address the specific incidents.

“Preschools are run by women’s development committees or councils. However, we will soon be discussing how to address this matter,” he said.

Minivan News was unable to contact Sheikh Ibrahim Rasheed at the time of press.

Minister of Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Shaheem Ali Saeed, was also not available for comment.


25 thoughts on “Maafushi parents pull students from preschool over playing of nursery rhymes, lack of gender segregation”

  1. A mini-mullah cult within Dhivehistan? Where did this modern day prophet crawl out of? It would be fine if these troglodytes would stay meditating in their caves but they cant rest unless the rest of the civilized world is also following their warped sense of reality. Depriving girls their education, forcing them into reproductive bondage, cutting off their clitoris, putting the whole world at risk by allowing vaccine-controlled diseases to flourish - no these aren't some harmless Druids or Amish. This is a dangerous death cult that will breed future suicide bombers and regressive mullahs. The future of Dhivehistan in the making. Pretty soon we'll have acid attacks, nose-choppings, and shootings just because a girl went to school. Of course, pin-drop silence is to be expected from the Guardian Council and CPVPV of Dhivehistan.

  2. This person sounds like a pedophile disguised as a mulllah. He should be investigated and locked up for disrupting the religious unity of the Maldives. Or do those regulations only apply to non-Muslim Maldivians? Since the authorities won't do anything my advise to the islanders is to give him the same treatment some islanders gave to the Indian teacher.

  3. Is this the solution that sheikhs are offering? Pull your children from school, deprive them of education, and society will be better? Makes sense.

  4. it is really surprising to see so many people in a islamic country have so little knowlegde of islam in general, dont they know that in boys and girls should be segregated? dont they know it is not acceptable to copy anti-islamic cultures in the name of education, there can be education without nursery rhymes of questionable origins and without mixing the sexes, it is proven by modern educational research in western countries that segregation produced better learning environment. Islam has all the answers for everything in our lives, only the deaf dumb and blind reject that.

  5. Bigotry, jingoism and bellicosity has replaced piousness, neighbourliness and compassion. The values of Islam as espoused by these pseudo Sheikhs. Suits their narrow agenda though. But how thick can people be to actually believe them?

  6. @ Homosexual,
    judging by your name,

    I know you are pretty upset and starving for s** with the same organ as yours as Dhivehistanis doesn't allow your type of longing for the moment but

    i find it strange that your type put your "thing" into a place where humans are supposed to excrete(where fecal matter with it's smell, germs and the lot) just blows my brain into pieces!

    I also find it amusing that you claim your type of sex is genetic when science is dismissing this idea (but you should be happy because your type of scientists claim it's genetic by distorting the facts and lying). So i do not find it weird you spiting out all this stupidity about religion in general.

    As the world’s leading AIDS researchers gather for the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., scientists report that despite gains in controlling the spread of HIV, the disease has continued to spread at an alarming rate in the very population in which it first appeared — gay men.

    Read more:

    I'm pretty much sure this relationship is demented from it's start!

    Scientists claim that homosexuality is not genetic but it's epigenetic (meaning it arises in the womb by the influence from external factors). Hmmm lot of information to research!

    Actually i reject this vaccine deprivation part (where in Islam does it say not to give vaccines???!!) but there is a whole lot of controversial debate about giving vaccines, appearing now in the west! I presume you do not research??

    Unbeknownst to many parents, infant vaccination has long been a subject of controversy. In his book The Assault on the American Child: Vaccination, Sociopathy, and Criminality (North Atlantic Books, 1990), Coulter documents possible long-term neurologic and other side effects of infant vaccines. Among these are lifelong allergies, autism, brain damage, encephalitis, and dyslexia as well as learning and behavior disorders. What Coulter and Fisher vociferously protest is the lack of response to these findings from the government-funded public-health establishment.

    Both Fisher and Coulter agree that not only are vaccines the sacred cow of the public health system, they have also become the golden calf.What that means is money.

    So there it goes, the west is always concerned with money??? Their own doctors are claiming this and not some mullah?!!

    And about the clitoris part, now where in the Qur'an does it say to cut off your clitoris??This could have appeared from the Egyptians and it was a
    tradition. How can Islam allow this when the Quran says not to harm your body!

    Now you think you are one clever bloke by saying all this but i know small teenagers who go on tattooing, piercing their clitoris, nipples, putting bolts and nails just for the sake of fashion!
    They get infections from all this but hey if the west does it, then it should be worshiped.They are way better than camel herders, i presume!!!

    And breeding future suicide bombers? man, i should be concerned about this while i shouldn't be concerned about western made death weapons, drone bombing and the false flag incidents???

    Reading your comments always entertain me and expands my level of thinking!!So go on and insult Dhivehistanis!

    PS:What type of labeling is this- Dhivehistan, i thought humanity loving humane people avoid labeling or are you dismissing your own morals????

  7. As usual, Minivan has presented A bird brain approach from other commentors!!

  8. @ Anti Islamophobic,

    The deaf and blind never does any research!Their main goal is insulting and disgracing a population while posing as humanity loving pigeons??!!

  9. Shimy,

    "Their main goal is insulting and disgracing a population while posing as humanity loving pigeons?"

    After your diatribe against homosexuals, you follow up with the above statement when you feel insulted. Now that kind of irony can kill.

  10. this happen because of children's day & nursery rhyme & to not segregate the gender of this kids.sad. RELIGION TEACH IN MOSQUE while EDUCATION TEACH IN SCHOOL.

  11. The minivan news team and those who insult Islam in this website are a bunch of cowards hiding behind a website. The day they went public we beat the shit out of them. If you have guts come out and show yourself. We will show what it is really like in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

  12. When some parents deny vaccinating their children, the Government forces on such parents to vaccinate their children. I wonder why the government does nothing to stop the Mullarasite a parasite that gets its food from ignorance. Mullahs thrive on poverty and ignorance. Probably in 10 years time, the only pious Muslim country will be Dhiveistan. I think we can make a movie about a surviving true muslin colony in an isolated corner of the world, like planet of apes, infestation of bearded men and women bandaged like mummies and taking over whole colony. Half of the population maimed because robbery will be common in poverty stricken people. And at the end of the movie the colony will be extinct as most of the reproductive generation will be stoned to death as sexual activities will be more common in primitive people when life does not offer any other activity.

  13. @yoosuf, youre making the rest of the muslims look like savages

  14. Well you can't really blame them.

    These are our esteemed professors, explicitly declaring music is NOT allowed.

  15. @Kaafaru on Mon, 20th May 2013 2:18 PM

    "Mullahs thrive on poverty and ignorance."

    That's right on target!

    Their sanity depends on ignorance.

  16. Minivan, so you can publish a comment threatening the lives of your staff, but not my comment which fits within your guidelines? Can you tell me why? Also, update this article. The mullah had to be escorted out of the island by riot police after the islanders gathered around his house.

  17. @Damn

    No he is just being honest. That is the plain truth. If a former muslim were to become an atheist, christian, or god forbid a jew and came out including being gay they would most definitely be beaten.

    Over 70% of world muslim population thinks apostasy should be punished with death. That is what actually blows my mind. No other religion preaches that bulls**t that much and even the moderates can't counter that. Fucking violent religion.

  18. @ yoosuf rilwam, why don't start that with the criminals.barbaric....

  19. Yoosuf Rilwan! My congratulations. A perfect Dhivehistani! You don't beat around the bush with AIDS or anal sex or *cringe* Ann Coulter. Straight to business. *claps* Bravo! Mullarization will eventually create so many Rilwans that the sleeping moderates will be forced to wake up.

  20. @ peasant

    Now why didn't you comment on any of my research findings and make this a debate! I did not make up all the facts shown here and a mullah did not discover the findings!?

    And it saddens me that you people take all the evils of the corrupt Muslim communities like Pakistan and Afghanistan and leave good communities like Jordan, Oman, Morocco, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei,Saudi Arabia, emirates, dubai etc. Shows how much hate you have for Muslims!

    Yes! i am very much against homosexuals but that's it! In a sense they are actually making our prophets message true that is; women will outnumber men that is; for one man there will be 50 women when the last day is near.

    Remember guys, YOU do not know what lies after death! you just think in your incompetent brains that there is only total darkness after death because you crave for materialistic perceptions!

    Is Death the End? Experiments Suggest You Create Time by Dr Lanza is a good read

    Bubble bursting at speed of light will end our universe - so we won't even see it coming!

    Read more:

    Now all scientists agree that the world will end, there is no denying it, the question is when?

    The interesting part is,if i die a good muslim , i will be met with good tidings. Now if i believe in your version of life, then also i will have no regrets according to you! Both ways, i am at an advantage!

    But if you die with your own type of belief and actually my version of religion is correct, then i pity for you as we do no know what will happen after death!???

    PS; i do not hate any of you but the way homosexual belittles our religion without considering his own and western inconsistencies like changing ones own gender by mutilating your own sex organ just ponders me to think about his agenda??!

  21. And Yoosuf Rilwan could be made up by the Minivan team so the atheists and homos can ignore my comment!!

    Bunch of Cowards!!??

  22. @Shimy

    You sound like one of the few goodish muslims with the whole I do not hate bit. You may argue they are the majority, but I disagree.

    You pity the unreligious. But the Maldivian people want to punish them. You had sex? criminal offence. You indulged in haram substances? Criminal offence. You left the religion? How dare you.. execution/exile.

    And now these sheiks are preaching for death penalty to be carried out as beheadings, cut people hands off, stoning people, prosecuting rape victims, oppression of women.

    Can you leave that behind and just pity us for leaving? Why do you need to take it to a violent level?

    You are trying to use (pseudo)science in your favour.

    1) Yeah the world will end, but science will tell you that it doesn't end the way the Quran describes it. At best the Quran is metaphorical at this point.

    2) The world did not begin the way the Quran describes it. Again, at best this makes it metaphorical.

    3) Humans and Animals were not sculpted literally. There was a little process called evolution that had a hand. Again, at best, your book is metaphorical.

    4) There was no world flood.

    5) The moon reflects light, it isn't a source of light. Can be argued, that bit was metaphorical too rather than plain wrong I suppose.

    So in a book where the "power" of god is in metaphors, why are we taking the teachings literally?

    Now let's look at your "good" Muslim countries.

    1) In all of those countries, freedom of religion nad the right to practice is granted to minorities and expats and so is already better than Maldives.

    2) All those countries punish Muslims who leave the religion and so is not really good. Inhumane and illogical. Belief is in your mind and it can change. SO WHY THE F**K DO YOU NEED TO PUNISH THAT?

    PS: Homosexuals are not the same as trans people. Only reason homosexual comes here and spouts the hate toward muslims is because he gets an enormous amount of hate in the first place for just being who he is. Don't blame him for being angry.

    And I don't see how a person being homosexual or trans insults your religion tbh. It has literally 0 things to do with you.

  23. And then they wonder why there are so many homosexuals in Maldives.

    Ha, ha, HA!

  24. Shimy where do you put your thing, in a gem hole? Even if it is mouth it also secretes saliva that has millions of bacteria. And if it is the wonder hole of reproductive cannel, even it is not that hygiene. Shedding of uterine lining during menstruation fungal infection?????


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