Police escort Sheikh from Maafushi after protesters accuse him of “distorting religion”

Police have escorted a sheikh from the island of Maafushi in Kaafu Atoll on Sunday, after 300 protesters gathered outside his private Quran and Tawhid classroom and demanded that he leave the island.

Multiple sources from the island previously expressed concerns about a Sheikh Ibrahim Rasheed, originally from the island of Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll, who has been preaching in Maafushi for just over a year.  He is alleged to have been “spreading hatred and strife on the pretext of preaching Islam”.

The Maafushi School and Pre-School voiced concerns that a number of students had been pulled from school by their parents over the playing of nursery rhymes and the lack of gender segregation. School officials have since said that some of these students had been made to attend the Sheikh’s private Quran and Tawhid classes instead.

After recent wide coverage of the issue in local media, residents of Maafushi staged a protest in front of Sheikh Rasheed’s private class “Thahseenul Quran” on Sunday evening.

Vice President of the Maafushi Island Council, Majdha Ibrahim said that approximately 300 people had joined the protest, demanding that the Sheikh “immediately leave Maafushi and stay away.”

According to Majdha, some of the chants the protesters shouted included “Stop creating strife with your twisted words”, “Stop distorting religion to take away our unity” and “Our daughters have a right to education”.

“Yesterday, the council received letters from both the preschool and the school, expressing concern that this man’s preaching was leading to parents who abide by him to take their children out of school. We haven’t received any official complaints about him previously, though we have heard residents voicing concern and disapproval about how his actions are leading to strife in a previously peaceful community,” she said.

Majdha confirmed that the Sheikh had been removed from the island around midnight on Monday with the assistance of a police response team from the capital Male’. Images on social media showed Rasheed wearing a helmet and police body armour.

“Sheikh calls us “ladhini” if we are not like him”

Maafushi Women’s Development Committee President Badurunisa Ibrahim alleged the Sheikh was creating a rift among the island’s citizens, claiming that he was converting more and more people to join his “more extreme version of religion” and forcing them to abide by rules he defined.

“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,” she 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 Tawhid classes. 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.

Confirming that hundreds of angry protesters had gathered last night, Badurunisa asserted that people were voicing out against the Sheikh only because he was preaching a “twisted and misleading version of religion” and aiming “to create unrest” by forming factions among the people.

“Had he been just here teaching in his private Quran class or preaching actual Islam, none of us would have a problem with him. But when he is outright lying and distorting Islamic values, and brainwashing some people of our island, our community will not simply stand by and watch,” she said.

Stating that the protest had not been against “Islam”, but against abusing religion as a tool for discord, Badurunisa detailed some of what Sheikh Rasheed has been preaching on Maafushi.

“You’ve heard of his hypocritical stance against gender segregation. Besides that, he says that a man’s prayers will not be acceptable unless they are dressed in the Arabian style, salwar kameez. He also preaches that only kafirs do not grow their beards long, that it is haram to wear a necktie, and other such things which I don’t believe are in accordance with actual Islamic values,” Badurunisa said.

“When it comes to females, he speaks strictly against educating girls, or women having careers. He has also said that girls should not be able to participate in our local Quran recitation competition as a female’s voice itself is ‘aurah’ [Islamic term for parts of the body required to be concealed in order to maintain modesty],” she continued.

“He calls any of us who do not dress like him or act like him to be ‘ladini’ [irreligious] or kafir,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kaafu Atoll Council member Ali Shaheen has said that it is of utmost importance that the state finds a solution for similar problems.

“I think a solution for this can be found only when the State begins to take action against people like this Sheikh through the Religious Unity Act. This Act says, in no uncertain times, that it is against the law to create disunity by using religion as a tool. I call upon all relevant actors to view this as a serious issue and take meaningful action to prevent further incidents of this kind,” he said.

“Not a Sheikh, we brought the teacher to safety”: police

“He is not a Sheikh, he is just a teacher who runs a private Quran class in Maafushi,” said a police media official, requesting to not be named.

“All that the protesters demanded was that the teacher be removed from the island. Keeping in mind the recent violent act against a teacher, we responded to the matter and safely brought him to Male’. He was not taken under our custody as such. Upon reaching Male’ we left him to his own resources,” the official stated.

“It’s his own words, we do not endorse them”: Ministry

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Islamic Affair Mohamed Didi confirmed that they had knowledge of a sheikh creating problems in the island of Maafushi, and that the ministry had advised him against doing so.

“However, we cannot take official action against someone after hearing just one side of the story. We will need to find out what exactly he has been saying. This causes delays in taking action,” Mohamed Didi said.

“In the end, every Sheikh himself must take responsibility for the words he says. I don’t think anyone would have spoken against a Sheikh had they been preaching along Islamic principles. These preachings are his own words, and we do not endorse them,” he continued.

“For example, the issue of gender segregation. There are mixed co-ed schools across the country, even in Male’. The education system is under the Education Ministry. That is how things are and we do not involve ourselves in this,” he stated.

“Our ministry’s policy is to avoid any actions which may cause disputes.”


34 thoughts on “Police escort Sheikh from Maafushi after protesters accuse him of “distorting religion””

  1. Maldives is stuck between ideologies of psycho "sheikh's" who want to oppress women and invade individual privacy and go against the "no compulsion in religion" which is a part of the religion they are claiming to "defend", and preach stupidity, instead of science and progress and art as did the 12th century muslims and the ottomans.

    and the other end of the spectrum there's these, drunk homo supporting lying hypocritical loonies, who have completely forgotten that the "westernism", that they are preaching was what killed thousands of our people during the portugese invasion a few hundred years back, and its what our forefathers had sacrificed their own lives and blood to defend against, and youre dragging this filth onto our doorstep, thinking their filthy ideals are superior, guess what? Their empire will fall as did all other empires. Them having power is nothing more than a mere face, The egyptians rose and fell, the greeks rose and fell, the romans rose and fell, so did the persians,the byzantine, arabs, ottomans, mongols, the germans, the soviets, and with time so will the "west", and their filthy ideals God willing.

    Either way its horrible and would'nt want to bring a child to this current world, to rot in such filth because either ends of these people are filth and nothing more, plain filth

  2. Haha! I love this. All these mullahs should receive the same treatment. Congratulations to the people of Maafushi who have taken a stand against mullarization.

    But transferring him won't do. No, that's how the child abusing Catholic priests are dealt with by the Holy See. This cult leader should have his licences revoked and should be locked behind bars or sent back to whichever cave he has crawled out of. Obviously the Guardian Council would hesitate to do that since it is also infested with pedophiles and criminals.

  3. These morons are saying that vibrating some strings and creating sound is a sin, and blindly believing this non sense is the most stupid thing we have ever heard. It seems the basic principal of Islamic teaching is to stop doing anything that can give you some emotional kick. I think this is the biggest slavery human ever has invented. And people are willingly accepting this non sense and are ready to die for the cause of this unimaginable slavery. It is the responsibility of all those who can use their brain to free people from such slavery in 21st century when the world is heading to eliminate all human suffering.
    I feel sorry for our countrymen who are still trapped in this psychological trauma and effecting the wellbeing of so many children who are traumatized and abused by their parents with bombardment of such psychosis causing shit. May be this is the reason why majority of Maldivian are schizophrenics and unproductive. We should have a motto, “stop Mullarization stop abusing”. Because of art, the human being have started to conceptualize concepts and patterns which lead to separate us from other animals and probably the reason why we ever thought of creator was because of art. These Mullahs want take us to homo erectus. Say no to Mullahs and be civilized guys.

  4. This is a good day for Maldives.

    The future for Maldives lies is a secular state.

    These Sheiks should be removed from their position of influence.

    Maldives was and should remain secular!

    Vote Secular this election. Vote MDP!

  5. Welldone citizens in Maafushi. Don't let them corrupt the religion like they are doing in numbers in Male'.

    The islanders still know what the real Maldives is all about. F*** the Mullahs.

  6. Maldivians should be proud today.

    You have taken a step that will help leaps and bounds to the nation.

    Well done!

    Police: I would ask the Sheikh be 'exported' to any of the ...istans, or in the least have a court ask him never ever to 'teach' again in the Maldives.

  7. The islanders acted well considering they did not go against Islamic principles which says to remain united. Just going over the border for a stupid thing like music is nonsense!

    And my , the evolved beings commenting here are rejoiced! Now Maldivians are in the same league as them!

    When homosexuality, prostitution and drinking booze will be publicly recognized in the Maldives then these evolved beings will rejoice and shed their tears for Maldivians for being such clever evolutionists!

    They are even claiming schizophrenia is apparent in Maldivians when actually a lot of well known, the so called productive musicians and actors committed suicide,became addicts, took pain killers considerably, to kill their pain!Why didn't their music help them ?????

    Yeah, we should strive to become another Marilyn Monroe or a Kurt Cobain or a Amy Wine house to relieve our schizophrenic nature to only commit suicide like them.

    hahaha, evolved people are deluded like nuts!

  8. Elvis Presley (over dose), Heath ledger (pain killer overdose), Amy wine house(alcohol overdose) and what about Britney spears and her craziness??

    oohhh!How i would love to see these fishy heads in our own back yards since some people idolize them??? productive beings of music, my foot!

  9. Preaching hatred and personal beliefs have become a common thing.

    After attending 3 religious hearings, batches and batches of new "Sheikhs" emerge and start preaching.

    If one could care to listen to one of these newly arrived "Sheikhs", one would think that the "Sheikh" had lived with the Holy Prophet Muh'ammadh in Mecca and Medina! And they seem to think they are following His foot steps.

    But, when it comes to the reality of this world and especially Maldives, their ideology boils down to just one thing! POWER!

  10. A victory for common sense and people power. Now, if only we had the nerve to take all religion out of politics!

  11. What the sheikh said was absolutely true. The problem is people are not educated enough and we Maldivians have been proudly following a so called culture, mixing piece of Islam and western practices. Thought it's hard to grab, our culture is not Islam.

    Music is Haram and mixing girls and boys when they reach pubity is also haraam, and for a damn good reason.

    Just for common sense sake, if there are so much confusion regarding these issues, learn Quran and saha hadhees. Still if you're not sure, just avoid those acts. It's better that way, rather than finding out truth, whether music and mixing of girls and boys are haram or halaal, when are questioned in the grave.

  12. Shimy you really are a dumbass aren't you. You try so hard to sound smart and end up sounding like a retard every single time. You name a handful of musicians and actors and then attribute what they went through to music, claiming that all other musicians and actors go through the same thing. I think a 5 year old has better logic than you. What about the hundreds, or even thousands of musicians and artists all around the world who are enjoying extremely successful careers, making millions of dollars? More than you or any Maldivian could ever even think of making. They are doing what they love and making more money than 99% of the planet. How many Maldivians can say that? And I'm really not sure how you're making this connection between music and drug/alcohol addiction? Please explain to me and the rest of the readers, with your cave mullah taught wisdom.

    Also this is why you should stay in school kids.

  13. Lets use this as setting a precedent and remove all hate mongering pseudo Sheikhs and groups like Adhaalath from our society.

  14. Oh and Shimy, your tastes in music is horrible. Please suicide-bomb yourself.

  15. Also, Andrew Andreas, I humbly request that you overturn your verdict on 'deporting' the mullah. I'd like to talk to him - I want to see who hired him and who's paying for his propaganda.

    He'll talk. I assure you. My modern interrogation methods have a 100% guarantee of success.

  16. Giving examples of some vocalist who committed suicide over overdoes, does not prove music is bad. How many people commit suicide by listening music, is there any statistic on this? If you are unfortunate to be born in an unsocial environment where social norms, like music, partying are considered taboo, of course you don’t have a taste for it and this does not mean that these are evil things, and you can’t expect your perception of reality to be the only truth. It is always common in Islam to give examples of people who don’t see the world from Islamic eyes, and abnormal behavior of few such people are seen by some moronic idiots as Shimy who can’t even make abstract concepts, as the result of what those individual believed. Does this guy Shimy has idea How many Muslims commit suicide, even on much silly things like going to heaven for the cause of some imaginary super human like character who promises heaven that flows river of wines. Isn’t Mullahs are more cynical than some artist who commits suicide; they don’t go around claiming that music will send you straight to heaven. Mullas are asking people to be zombies and be salve of their imaginary Frankenstein and asking people to go back to Bedouin culture of 07th century. Can you name a single philanthropist in Muslims?

  17. Ohhhh, how i love when these evolved beings insult me for my perceptions!???MY comments always irritates them to the extent they try to make me a fool??! pathetic isn't it??!

    The so called artists that i have mentioned here were world wide icons, full of wealth but eventually took to over dosing themselves to commit suicide? If music was real and a blessing (by the way i am not saying all music is bad, just the music where the devil dances naked, smokes weed and copulates with the same sex, blows your vocal cords and shouts out filth to be free!?) look at Rhianna and lady gagas songs, you think they improve us in any ways with their constant devilish acts??!! If they do then i pity for you! You are supporting the drug addiction, infidelity, violence in Hollywood!

    Addicted in Hollywood: Stars' Problems With Cocaine 'Still Going Strong'

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2011/07/29/addicted-in-hollywood-stars-problems-with-cocaine-still-going-strong/#ixzz2TuixS1gC

    There are music which improves us, which shows the diversity of different cultures and language , which speaks about kindness, charity music to support the poor but this was a 80's thing when Micheal Jackson was famous! Unfortunately he was framed and he also resorted to pain killers which lead him to death!?? i hope he died a Muslim because he was very close to this faith his brother being a Muslim!?

    The world congress of Muslim Philanthropists is dedicated to charity but i guess you are not interested! What about the donations given by the rich countries like the Qatar foundation(and they give more to western causes than Muslims)

    AR Rahman, Akon are muslims but i do not support them!

    Charity need not come from singing,dancing, spreading your naked body on the tube but it should come from the heart!This is why the rich grows rich and the poor remain poor???and when all the western empires fall, Islam will rise just to do this???

    And by the way, committing suicide is haram in Islam so how can a person who blows up oneself to kill innocent people be considered as a muslim. The person is deluded and you evolved beings can stop spreading this false agenda which has already being rejected in Europe.

  18. @ Kurt Presley,

    "hundreds of musicians who make millions of dollars"

    This is the point, the rich gets rich, no matter what but the poor stays poor!

    Ho hum, i would want to see somebody else be rich than the west, their charity never benefits the poor??!!

  19. Shimy,

    Oh, if only you had an idea to what cringe inducing idiotic babble you are spouting

    Congratulations, you have covered every single fallacy of reason and logic there is, in your so called arguments.

  20. @peasant

    Ya, really think i give a damn about what you say?

    Ya cannot even form a proper argument other than insulting the other person?! ya try to be clever but then become a coward just like these evolved fishy heads?!!

    ya name really suits you, peasants of the ancient times??!! kekeke

  21. @ moron,
    ya name suits ya too, no wonder you have the same kinds of names, ancient peasants and moronic morons!

  22. Moronic morons and ancient peasants will never grab the fact that Muslim nations are targeted, invaded for the oil, drone bombed and then children massacred.

    Afghanistan: NATO Air Strike Kills 11 Children

    Massacre in Afghanistan: US soldier kills 16 villagers, including 9 children

    You will only point out the inhumanity of Muslim suicide bombers but leave the western suicide bombers out of the picture!

  23. Is naked devil dances, smoking weeds, and blowing vocal cord worse than kissing stones, dehydrating your body, kissing the ground or trumpeting with voodoo chants? It all depends how you perceive reality. So Shimy don’t be judgmental it is not for you and for me to decide what is wrong and what is good for others.

  24. At least US ,Israel and NATO don’t kill their own people and suppress their own. You are too intoxicated with your hatred toward non Muslims and have lost your cognitive ability to conceive the facts. Who says US, Israel and NATO are our heroes and we worship them the way your whole life is scarified for salvation of outdated ideology. Of course USA and western countries function to protect their interest and unfortunately Muslims countries are seen as a threat to their interest and they have power to manipulate the whole world and it is the fact and you have to digest it. No point blowing up yourself for futile cause, because there is no God out there who will come to rescue you? It is all you and your brains can rescue you so we are just asking to integrate in to Global community, reject Mullahs and work for progressiveness, denouncing all crazy things what Mullahs are advocating

  25. @Shimy on Tue, 21st May 2013 4:16 PM

    You have to face reality. It is a materialistic world. Grabbers takers. You can liken it to a race; really no place for the left behinds.

    Stupid gets left behind. Religion is a haunting call. to appease those imbecilic-ignorants left behind, angry at being made fooled out of, angry at being conned out of their wealth, flabbergasted by having their intelligence robbed by their own kind, stunned and head-wound up by moronic cantations.

  26. What shimy doesnt realize/is paid to whitewash is, that today - the 'muslim countries' do the most exploitation of muslims.

    Just look at Syria.

  27. There is a beautiful story about a man who criticized peoples and called people to correct religion. They killed him for telling the truth. And when he was killed he wished Allah would show the people how he was blessed for telling the truth. But the sunnah of Allah never changes. We will only get the recompense of our actions in hearafter.
    The story is in Ya Seen sura.

    He we have a man who appears to have told the truth, and for the truth he was persecuted. Luckily they didn't kill him like the story in Ya seen.

  28. hey human being, the jahiliya era called, they were looking for a Ruder Finn agent to slander Prophet Muhammad.

    The difference between the pious man in Surat Yaaseen and the dirty priest Seyku Ibrahim Rasheed is that Ibrahim Rasheed is a hypocrite and an enemy to muslim women and children.

    He is a foreign imperialist who deserves to be executed by firing squad for insulting the children of Maafushi. Would you like to join him in the blast pit? I can arrange for that.

  29. I'm SO PROUD of Maafushi peoples for defending their true values, and the true values of Islam...
    There is NO place on this island (or in the Maldives, for that matter) for those extremists...
    I love you all ♥

  30. Great- just the right approach to stop an extremist. Every female should have the same chance to be educated- all over the world and also on Maafushi!


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