Death threats calling for the beheading of controversial Maldivian journalist and blogger Ismail Khilath ‘Hilath’ Rasheed have been published on Muraasil.com, a popular publishing platform that allows anyone to publish content in Dhivehi.
Rasheed, a journalist of 10 years experience, is known for being highly critical of Islamic fundamentalism in the Maldives.
The threats, which Rasheed translated from Dhivehi on his blog, called the journalist an “animal who has blasphemed” and said he “had no right to live”.
“Let it be made known to this guy that Maldivians are an Islam-loving and Islamic Sharia law-loving people. Become a terrorist in the name of religion,” demanded the author, identified only as ‘Jihad’.
“I am of the opinion that even if you kill him, you are all innocent. Cut off his head,” said the article’s author, identified only as ‘Jihad’.
The piece was quickly removed from Muraasil following complaints.
Muraasil’s founder Nasrulla Adnan explained that while anyone is able to create an account and publish articles on the site, new authors had to abided by a code of conduct and were carefully moderated. Only regular and approved contributors were able to post content without it being reviewed, he explained.
“Obviously that [content] was posted by someone who has published for a long time,” Nasrulla said. “We took it down and revoked their [publishing] rights.”
Rasheed said he felt the threats were “quite awful” and he was “now afraid some fanatic is going to attack me.”
“The situation with free speech in the country is very precarious,” he said. “We have all these institutions and laws, but extremists are using the umbrella of Islam to to incite violence against women, children and bloggers. I don’t think that Maldivan people should be silent about this.”
President of the Maldivian Journalists’ Association (MJA) Ahmed ‘Hiriga’ Zahir said such threats against the media were not common but were occasionally made by “some fanatical people, particularly when [a journalist] reports on religious matters.”
“One of my colleagues has had threats made against them before by certain groups,” he noted, observing that “much of the media is silent about fundamentalism and religious extremism – even the president is very silent on religious issues.”
“I think most journalists are aware that according to the Constitution there are certain limitations on press freedom, such as not being able to write anything against the basic principles of Islam,” Hiriga explained.
“I think the media needs to be much more open towards covering these issues and not be silent, [even] if they face threats. We are a moderate country and we can’t tolerate this kind of fundamentalism. It does not reflect the views of most people and I don’t think many people in this country are fanatics.”
65 thoughts on “Maldivian journalist threatened with beheading”
Before even laying a finger on my dear friend Hihlath, that person has to go over my dead body
Mohamed Thakuru... you are... You are the king!?! Back from the dead!. The Heroes of the Age of Legends walk the earth once more!. Huzzah!. It is the Day of Days, as prophesied by the Rune Stones!
I see some people here telling us to let Sheikh Fareed practise his speeches, citing the "freedom of speech" clause. Why I should let him cause schisms between mother and father, promote anger between husband and wife and call for the destruction of the common family is beyond me.
Death threats to journalists is a cause for concern. No matter where on this earth we live. I read what Hilath writes sometimes. And i have not seen anything that sounded like he was "attacking" Islam. Those who feel he is, has to understand that Islam cannot be attacked. It is only some peoples "interpretation" of Islam that people criticize or disapprove of. Disapproving of or not believing any given interpretation of Islam presented by scholars is a God given right to each Muslim, it shud not be interpreted as "attacking".
Some people go so far as to say Hilath is an atheist or gay, so he should be killed. I have one thing to say to them...read the Holy Quran, and you will find in there what it means to accuse people as such. Accuse anyone of anything that might bring the person harm, and especially accuse anyone who says he is Muslim as a non believer. Such a claim is not made easy to be proven in Islam. As the question of the person's intentions is there... leaving the person as the only one who can know of it apart from Allah Almighty.
I know some people seriously believe that Raajje is a 100% Muslim country,just becuz the constitution says it... No nation can be 100% anything. Human nature simply will not allow it. I am a believing practicing Muslim. And i think it is best to accept and tolerate.
i believe that there are people who have lost faith. Or secretly believe other things. I believe much of the disbelief comes from the hypocrisy that most "scholars" bring in their interpretations. These "scholars" seem to be acting somewhat like priests of Christianity or Judaism. Like they r chosen people between us and Allah. And they only have the right to interpret the Quran. Even though the Quran says that the relationship between us and the Almighty is a personal one. No where does it say that if we chose a certain scholars way, the scholars will be the one who will be judged on Judgment Day, for us taking the wrong path, shud his "interpretation" be wrong.
Trying to create fear to subdue a people is an old age trick used by many oppressors...oppressors that use religion (or any other thing) as means to justify their unjust rules, and twisted interpretations of the laws.
We need to take calls to KILL people a lot more seriously. Imagine what will happen if people thought they were above the law, cos they can say they were doing it in the name of "protecting" Islam... and it is ok... dangerous road to go on...
WTF are these intolerant aethist blabbering about. Is it only muslims who should tolerate to what you aetheists are saying? why cant you just tolerate to what fervent muslims say. I know many idiotic people in here who have mocked to the sermon of Sheikh Ilyas and couldnt digest to what he said. An anonymous individual posting an article in a website could not be considered as a valid death threat in a court of law and how do you know if its not from hilath who is obsessed to get publicity as other dirty politicians do? Let the peaceful Maldivian muslims live their life instead of creating havoc in the community.
Hats off to Hilath for standing for being 100% Maldivian rather than being 100% arabinized Muslim.
I agree with Ali that, even though our constitution says that every Maldivian has to be a Muslim, it is not right because the constitution is sick and against Human Rights, to which Maldives has signed for.
The majority of the Maldivian society is friendly to the outside, but inside intolerant, xenophobic, anti-homosexual and cannot cope up with citizens deciding to change their faith or to become atheists. FACT.
Btw I agree with "Sunna" above - because it's the "Holy Book", it cannot be criticized ! ? !
(!) To date, religion is the ONLY subject which has kept itself IMMUNE to criticism. Everything else can be criticized: politicians, musicians, artists, writers, actors, prostitutes ... but NOT people who claim they are basing their views on a Holy Book.
And we are tolerating this! (except a few individuals like Hilath who encourages people to use their brains). Think about it...
We will protect hilath. wait and see.
To Makunu and other:
Funny discussion about to be Maldivian must be Muslim.
If a foreigner lady deliver a baby in Male, the baby acquire the Maldivian nationality without respect of the religion.
If a Maldivian lady deliver a baby in Italy, the baby acquire the Italian nationality but is not a Cristian like all Italian or the majority.
Please don't mix Genetic and Religion.
@Marina: And it is Hilath's policy on education people to use their brains that earned him those mad death threats.
Do you have any grey hair yet, high cholesterol, falling hair, blood pressure, weakening bones?
Most atheists really start thinking about religion when they are old and miserable and when they have lost sexual libido!
ATHEISM IS A FANTASTIC WAY TO WASTE YOUR LIFE AND FINALLY LOOK BACK AT ALL THE GARBAGE YOU LEFT BEHIND - A WASTED LIFE!
To all those atheists who are eulogizing Hilath. YOU HAVE FOUND YOUR ULTIMATE MESSIAH - just see that you don't worship him cause you have to remember you are atheists!
Look how you all started to rant when you felt your Messiah was in danger!
And yet you expect us to stay calm when you try to decapitate Islam? Very sensible!
To Sunna and Ogun;
Like wise it's impossible to open a conversation with an atheist - THE ONLY THINK HE/SHE IS WORRIED ABOUT IS HIS ANCESTOR - THE CHIMPANZEE! If you like you can bond with a monkey and get AIDS. We are not interested in cowardly atheists.
You really are the shadow of Hilath, isn't it? So what's with Hilath's own shadow? How can one person have two shadows, unless you are in cyberspace floodlights!
And to say something about your comment; Muslims beaten by an atheist in a debate?! WHAT WAS THE TOPIC, by the way?
Keke - and these atheists think they can beat Muslims in debates? oooh!
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A DEBATE IN YOUR WHOLE MISERABLE LIFE?
When an anonymus person wrote something against hilath in muraasil.com it was taken as a threat an JJ Robinson wrote a big news report about it on 11 march 2010 here on minivan news.
Yet when hilath explicitly threatened people who oppose him with physical violence using drug gangs, its not a news to minivan news.
Shame on you JJ robinson.
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