Maldivian journalist threatened with beheading

Death threats calling for the beheading of controversial Maldivian journalist and blogger Ismail Khilath ‘Hilath’ Rasheed have been published on, 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”

  1. If only, Hiriga had said that all of the parliament were silent on Islamic fundamentalism as well.

    It is foremost a problem created by parliament - that they created a constitution that was absurd.

    A Maldivian has to be a muslim? If the common man cannot think for himself - and rather the state declares what he should think - who cares what other things are provided by the constitution!

  2. Some poor sod mustve lost to Hilath in a debate; ah, when they are defeated, they pull out the death threats. Typical extremist behavior.

  3. Press freedom is not against the basic principles of Islam. The only people who think as much are conservatives who dominate the airwaves.

    Hiriga - why don't we have more balanced views on religion? Isn't that what the new regulation on media is supposed to emphasize. Fair and Balanced Coverage?!

    Why does the our public think that these kinds of threats are okay!? Violence is never okay, and conservative philosophies are making our nation a more dangerous place to live. When President Gayoom first started preaching, his ideas were conservative. The measures he put in place back then were conservative as well. And today?! Today he is one of the most liberal voices out there when he is in reality barely a moderate!

    This is the state of our nation. And the state of our nation is not okay.

  4. The irresponsible attitude of some local media is so apparent in Hirigaa's comments.

    OF COURSE the media needs to be open and unbiased on ALL issues. They are supposed to be the entity who cover issues of importance to the nation and bring them to the general public in an unbiased manner, and create objective dialogue on such issues. This would also mean that they should publish reader comment in an unbiased manner, so long as the comments were within legal bounds.

    I certainly hope that people have not fallen to the levels of attempting to behead Hilath on the 'fatwa' of an anonymous source on a website. May Allah bestow on us the ability to use the brains we were blessed with.

  5. where is justice..where is peace..where is tolerance? of all where is the freedom the country was promised by Mohamed Nasheed. Did we really voted maumoon out, for this nation to be dictated and bullied by fanatics. In other word live in fear of a bunch of increasing fanatics due to Mohamed Naseehed incompetence of dealing or challenging the fanatics. While the X first lady was called a non believer of islam for not wearing hijab her husband had the answer to protect her and had scholars backing him. While the whole country is been terrorized and feared by scholars on megaphone. websites and on the roads that women without hijabs will curse the country and drown people and take them to hell. Where is the so called moderate shaheem to defend the women been victimsed and forcefully changing beliefs due to fear and terror created by scholars serving Mohamed Nasheed aswell.

  6. whats the news worthiness of this story? whats the point of jumping up and down cox some anonymous guy wrote something in a website? this all proves the point that you people have an anti-islam agenda.... you people are looking for any chance just to defame and blame islam.
    by the way i wont be surprised to know that this article in muraasil was written by this hilath guy just to earn some sympathy and to get an excuse to blame islam.

  7. time for moderates to rise up and reclaim Maldives from the extremists. these camel pee drinkers will turn this country into saudi hell hole of stoning women, chopping off hands and murdering tourists

  8. I think Maldivian Media is coming too aggressive towards anything they are not able to do their own way. They don't think they have any limits to what they can report. I think they are a bit amateurish and they need to learn to take criticism before starting to criticise others.

    Imagine how many death threats are put online or otherwise somewhere by some nobody. And suddenly it becomes newsworthy because this one is against a journalist. They are simply too aggressive in their reaction to just about anything.

  9. here is an example of the Prophet (PBUH)....

    Muslim scholar - Ali Dashti's "23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad" [22] page 100:
    "Abu Afak, a man of great age (reputedly 120 years) was killed because he had lampooned Mohammed. The deed was done by Salem b. Omayr at the behest of the Prophet (PBUH), who had asked, "Who will deal with this rascal for me?" The killing of such an old man moved a poetess, Asma b. Marwan, to compose disrespectful verses about the Prophet (PBUH), and she too was assassinated."

  10. They all do go mad when beaten in debate.


    @u suk: Mr. Hilath has been conducting extensive feasibility tests on the properties that I own... on the day this death threat appeared on Muraasil, and in this time, he had no internet access. Making false accusations is against the etiquette required of muslims. How about you go do a thaubaa prayer now?. Thanks.

  11. first of all in Islam there is no such thing as being moderate or extremists. Its not mentioned in the Quran. Its only Islam.
    Secondly (for the so called moderates) you cant fight fire with fire. Funny how they attempt to prove that moderate Islam is the true Islam.

    I am one among the non-believers (of anything based on faith) which also disproves that Maldives is %100 Muslim country.


  12. One of the distinctive characteristics of the contemporary jihadist movement is its stress on the centrality of jihad against the so called internal enemies. The new ideologues of jihad, including Qutb, Sirriya, Shukri Mustafa, Abdel Rahman, Faraj, Zawahiri, and Zuhdi, were first and foremost religious nationalists whose key priority was to dismantle the secular social and political order at home and Islamize it.

  13. hirigaa don't you think this hilath guy is a fanatic, anything he writes will criticize Islam and basic the so called tenants, there many ways a guy can be a fanatic his own personal life shows the whole story and while you talk about free media in Islam there are limitations and even remember that our religion is not democracy is and freedom of speech, it seems like we are having here a religion called democracy, above all islam comes first ok please understand , and please don't manipulate the situation where by people wouldn't see the real fanatics each and every side there are fanatics, in so called party there are much worst fanatics .. so lets be honest to our self and report responsible journalism and do a little bit investigation rather than gossip column ok thank you

  14. Let it be known to these people that Maldivians are peace loving liberal and tolerant people.

  15. u suk: Where's the proof for that? How do we know YOU didn't write it while if we're all assuming things. So death threats are to be taken lightly as long as they're anonymous? Well you're also posting anonymously, so I guess we can all disregard your opinion then.

    The thing that stinks most about this issue is that while the media and the general public is silent on issues of religion; the extremists are anything but. Preaching on the radio, on tv, in taxis, on giant projected screens in public areas. There's no escaping it.

    The Maldives is headed down a road where it's going to be their way or the highway. The more extreme, the more righteous.

    I congratulate Hilath, this website, and the few segments of media that still speak out on issues such as this; those that are still unafraid. Without those voices we there would be nothing stopping their dream of another Afghanistan.

  16. yes u suk. this hilath is he only critical of islam or is he a sick person who get happiness out of making fun of islam. minivan news did not note the attempt to report the government threats to dhifm in this same way. minivan news storyline has a theme to it. so this report is not surprising.

  17. to all those who are talking the way out of this: this is not about Islam. This is about freedom..we know a hundred mulla keep an i on minivannews and ensure they talk crap on these comments but this is way out of line. All mullaz will see the result of this action. We will take this to the highest level and make sure this is the end where fanatics create fear among our society using god.

  18. This may be a act of DOTS. In islamic sharee ah there is no way that we can kill a man. if he or she has done something that he has to be killed it will be carried out by the scholars nt by muraaasils. and there is only one possible reason in islam where we can kill a man at the point. (anyone) when someone insults Prphet Muhammad (pbuh) then he or she should be killed at the moment. The Prophet (SAW) himself said that if such a person is killed then "no two goats will but horns over it" meaning not even the animals will care about his death"
    and as far as i am concerned i heavnt heard Hillath doing such a thing. so there is no way we can call for his death.

  19. To 'makunu' and the like..

    I believe criticism like yours (denouncing even moderate Islam) is exactly what the fanatics want. You are giving them a reason to challenge you.
    You are really JUSTIFYING their cause to blow up people like you.

    People who speak against Islam are as bad as the fanatics.

  20. i'd like to be optimistic, but it is too late to worry about fundamentalism in Maldives. If you want a peaceful life, do your self a favor and leave this country.
    we have given them enough time now to infest their brand and ideologies here. and unlike Hiriga, i think, today its the view of many Maldivians. I hardly know anybody now who would not agree to the death threats. well i might be a bit exaggerating here, but its true. Ofcourse those who would support it, they'd do it out of ignorance, but thats the new islam in town!

  21. A source from muraasil reveals that this article was sent by hilath himself. Not a surprising thing to expect from a same sex adovacate and from someone who made up false stories of jaariyaa

  22. It is unfortunate that religious fanaticism has been allowed to spread unchecked.

    In fact, all state media and even radio channels seem to be on a mission to indoctrinate people with a version of Islam that is completely contradictory to our traditional and liberal Maldivian values.

    The threats against Hilath are highly condemnable, and also a stark reminder of the kind of barbaric values being preached to the public. (Beheading?! killing?! When did we Maldivians become like this?)

  23. I tell you, who are these Mullahs or whoever trying to threaten people like Hilath? Where were those Mullahs when Gayyoom was oppressing them?. Remember, we are the one who changed the previous government and we are the one who will stand up and fight against these fanatics called Salafis and Dots. Get ready for the last battle. It is coming soon, we will not run away screaming "f.........."

  24. Is impossible to open any discussion with a fundamentalist of religion.....ANY RELIGION !!!
    They are nut and arrogant only

  25. The Jihadists fear nothing. Even if they die, they think go to heaven as heros with a bonus of 80 virgins. That a lots of sex.

    How can Government punish someone who thinks has nothing to loose and everything to gain.

  26. Islamic ministry and other relevant authorities are silent to these threats made in strong, hateful language. what is wrong with people? isn't it time people protest for such things? Or do we wait till they kill someone in the name of god and islam?

  27. when people call others Makunu..look at themselves. I m sure the long grown beards and one weekly shower and no perfumes would be worst than makunu or in english monkeys. I m saddened that we have to come so low to tackle with this mullaz but its getting to much. we will deal with you when the weekend is over and office starts

  28. I am not a proponent of Fareed and neither hilath. However, I am fully certain that the Majority of Maldivians are peace loving moderate muslims. Hilath has been mocking indirectly for Islam for quite sometime and he is one of the person who should bear the responsibility if a violence erupts in our community. It is not a democratic standard to be profane to what others beleive though it is considered as a right by some people and thats one of the rationale why there has been no generally accepted democratic standard around the world. It is being delineated in different ways. Maldives is yet in a transformation process to a full democratic nation. And due to the finite resources that we have it would be a complete destruction to the democracy if each and other could not tolerate to what others beleive and this applies both to Hilath and Fareedh.

  29. This is not news worthy. Giving too much attention to just one guy who no one knows that anonymously made a threat. If the person really did not say anything against the Prophet (pbuh), then he is just misguided as we have many anti-muslims in Maldives. Many of them giving comments on this site. So ofcourse when this site gives the news out, some would be ready to jump up and blame Islam for one person's threat (be it foolish or real). Instead of attacking the person, it is ironic how few people tend to always attack Islam for it.

    But again always good to see people give their opinions (what ever side) since during Maumoons time there was no such thing. That in itself is a big achievement I would think.

  30. @ makunu

    Even if you say 100 times that you are a non believer, that doesn't prove Maldives is not 100% Muslim. Coz, how cud you prove yourself as a Maldivian on an Internet website comment, any foreigner can make the same comment claiming that he is a Maldivian. So, next time you make such a comment, this at least twice, before clicking "submit Comment" button.
    bdw, we Maldivians are Muslim who love our religion and we are proud to say that 'Maldives is 100% Muslim country'
    If you just can't digest it, just waste your wasteful time by making rubbish comments like the above one you made.

  31. @ Hilat

    one one hand when you try to promote Freedom, why would you make false statements against Fareed's Fatwa. Let him do his job, let the people decide weather Fareedh is making a fair statement or not. why wud you get into the way. Let him practice his freedom. And you may say, you are also practicing your freedom, then the guy who posted the death threat comment also have the right to practice his freedom of making such comment. Guys, we Maldivians really need to know more about Democracy and Freedom and how to practice it. Freedom does not give any one any bit of a chance to interfere and destroy the acts of others. That's act of abuse in the name of Freedom.

  32. Hirigaa and the Journalists association he heads has turned into a political entity. What they do is to come up with press releases against he government. Thats all! They wont say word against all these religious extremists!

  33. Im beginning to dislike this government for letting these crazy sheiks out on the streets and brain wash feeble minded men and women alike.

    Im ready to vote in DRP next election just to get rid of these hooligans. Anni for some reason is failing to tackle this partuclar aspect.

  34. it is sad where this country is headed.. as 'Ogun' said, it is impossible to open any discussion with them about religion.. cuz their discussion is based on the 'holy book'.. how can it be wrong, no matter how irrational the argument b.. how can you talk against the 'word' of god?
    the moment you are born to 'muslim' parents, u r called a 'muslim child'.. and there onwards there is no way out, no matter your belief..
    the extremist have the upper hand here, cuz they have the 'holy book' to back them up, to justify their actions and to butt in to others' life.. they r here, they r spreading, and they will conquer ..
    to be honest, I don’t care if they cover their bodies frm head to toe, dress like shepherds, herd sheep and ride on camels.. all I want from them is to leave us alone. LIVE N LET LIVE….

  35. To Imaad,

    Even if someone insults Prophet I don't think anyone has a right to kill him/her. God gives life and only God can take the life.

    You are saying that "Scholars" can decide who can be killed or not. Who gave the scholars the right to kill?

    Learn to tolerate alternative view points and respect each other. Then only we can built a better nation. You have to look beyond religion, as it has been corrupted by so many people.

  36. The whole subject of Islam is blown out of proportion, and many are now confused on the real meaning of Islam. With drugs extremists, politicals extremists and religious extremists on the other side, the country is slowly going down the drain. Media is the only hope.. save it before too late..... god bless us all !

  37. this is really funny......i tell you wats goin on here! few days back there was a photo of sheikh fareed's upcoming lecture's banner uploaded onto "mahdi ahmed" facebook. hilath and few of his friends started commenting so ill about islam, sheikhs, muslims with quotes like "bearded monkeys", "seyks", "hell is new heaven" and many more. mr. hiriga and minivan why dont u guys think that this is a problem first of all, after few hours once hilath has achieve his goal, they have removed the pic and comments from fb, and there came this article on Murasil, probably written by hilath himself to get the attantion! again this article was removed from murasil and the page was "copy pasted" on hilath's website. this is a dirty game by hilath and he didnt even publish my comment on his article. he only publish wat he likes!

  38. I commend Minivannews for responsible journalism and giving media spotlight to fanatics and extremists.

  39. What is happening, I think is their voices are getting stronger than ours. I mean look at us including me. We are behind a computer, writing comments. Most of us anonymous.

    What I think should happen is to let our voices be heard too. Those who want to promote sports, music, movement and drama can have events on one end of Male while Fareedh preaches about Naraka on the other end.

    What should not happen is that either parties incite violence on the other.

    Hirigaa Zahir, I think your response is very irresponsible. May be you too are scared of the Mullas.

  40. @ mode

    Really? According to you the likes of Chika and Rabarey should have their freedom to use their swords against fellow humans since it is their profession. No one should interfear????

    Ignorance have no bounds!

  41. @ mode
    How do we know you are Maldivian OR Muslim? Any way for you to prove it on the internet? I've thought twice about this, and I've decided that you are missing a few marbles up there...

    @ makunu
    Count me in as one of the nation-less minority, 'cos apparently once you are not a Muslim, you are not a Maldivian anymore. How soon do u think before the only "Maldivians" left are what the free thinking population would call "brainless bearded stinky parasites". Yup! That's a brilliant way to keep Maldives 100% Muslim!

  42. @mode the main problem with you and similar peoples are that you guys love what you believe. There are people who loves molesting children. Does it make it a reason enough to prove that what you believe is true?

    I do respect you for being a human and understand the fact all humans are emotionally driven to survive but the emotional attachment you have for the religions you have for the religions are damaging/killing people who are not involved in it. In Quran it says to kill people who are tyrants to the Islam. A tyrant? wtf! Dude we have the right to believe in what ever we want as long as we don't harm the others.

    btw your not even smart enough to figure out that Hilath himself is not religious. how much of proof/evidence you need to know that he is not religious ?

    Hilath is one of the few people who are risking their lives to save the countries ill religious thoughts

    WE ARE NOT A %100 MUSLIM COUNTRY". The name is only there for political purposes during Maumoon's era to get funding/money(for his personal use and for the nation) from the Arabs.

    Prove myself as a Maldivian atheist? i don't think you are tolerant enough for that. to find more proofs check mv blogs sphere or talk to to ur friends and figure it out urself.(i know you wouldn't even believe even if someone shows his National ID card or Passport) YOU ARE AS IGNORANT AS THAT!

    I would rather die by saving a millions people from diseases than getting assassinated by some Mullah after claiming that i am an atheist officially.

    I would rather die helping people who wishes to survive or people who values life while you guys kill anyone who is not muslim or disrespects muslims. (yahoodheen, kaafarun, nasoaraaeen. etc.. or what ever you want to call it) unfortunately there is no specific word athiests in dhivehi.

    good luck with you life.


  43. The issue Maldives needs to deal is Arabization and not Islam.

    We cannot even write the name 'Allah' in Dhivehi. This is the Mullas' ways of convincing Maldivians subconsciously that Dhivehi is inferior to Arabic. So inferior, we cannot even write our Gods name in Dhivehi.. This has to change.

    Even the beauiful names of mosques like Fandiyaaru miskiy has been changed Arabic names.

    The Arab educated (brainwashed rather), Mullas have sold Maldives to Arabs and its time to return to our indigenous culture.

    We should be proud of being 100 percent Dhivehi.. Wonder no one cares about it..

  44. I love how "proper Muslims" reacts to accusations.
    Ok, maybe the journalist was misinformed/ignorant/incorrect or simply downright telling lies.
    Now any normal person would simply disagree and counter argue.Provide proof of his innocence and such.
    But your "proper Muslim" threatens people. burns flags. and what not.
    Gee doesn't like too peaceful to me.
    "proper" is what they describe themselves with.

  45. @makunu, see i dont think you understand our constitution! it clearly says "A MALDIVIAN IS A MUSLIM" and if you declare you are not a muslim, am sorry brother you cant be a Maldivian even if you are born to dhivehi parents, similarly a foreigner can become a Maldivian by declaring himself as muslim and if applied for citizenship! so anyone in this country declaring him/herself as non muslim is a not a Maldivian by our constitution. so you are not a maldivian makunu.

  46. @abuayham

    On the otherhand, on judgement day, you can simply show your Maldivian ID card to get into heaven. Afterall, all Maldivians are Muslims.

  47. dear abuayham and other who think an atheist maldivian is not a maldivian. There is something called international laws and other foreign protocols and treaties that disregard this article in our constitution. Maldivians is party to many HR conventions and alot of loops holes exist that the state cannot take any action even if you declare yourself a Buddhist in the middle of majeedhee magu. So beat it. Freedom to thought and practice of any religion in maldives exist.. the only thing lacking is u dont have places of worship but u fanatics should understand is that evrything is between god and u. U cant force anyone to belive any religion ofcoz u can force someone to act...


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