Protests over anti-Islamic movie spread to the Maldives

Crowds of protesters gathered in front of the UN building on Friday, protesting against the movie “Innocence of Muslims”, perceived as offensive to the Prophet Mohamed.

Similar protests have erupted across the Arab world following the release of video offensive to Muslims on the the video-sharing website, YouTube. The UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that the video was promoted by radical Islamophobic Christians in the US and then broadcast in Egypt by Islamic activists.

Protests have occurred in Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, Jerusalem and the West Bank, Kashmir, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Nigerian city of Jos. The most serious incident was in Libya, where demonstrators killed US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three embassy employees by firing a rocket-propelled grenade at their car. British and German embassies have also been attacked.

On Friday in Male’, a leaflet was distributed inviting persons to the protest at 4:00pm, titled “In Protection of Prophet Mohamed”. The leaflet did not specify who the organisers of the protest were.

Police had cordoned off the area ahead of the time, and protesters initially gathered opposite Billabong International School. Placards were mostly in English, and had a range of messages expressing their anger against the movie and the US in general.

Some of the placards in the front row read: “Behead those who insult our Prophet”, “Our prophet is dearest to us than our mother”, “May Allah curse America”, and “Maldives: Future graveyard of Americans and Jews”.

In less than an hour protesters broke through police barricades, shoving police away angrily and approached the UN headquarters. The few police officers present cleared the entrance of the building, but let protesters remain right in front of it.

Female protesters remained at the far end of the road, near the Billabong school.

A US flag was set on fire, with protesters surrounding it chanting “Allah Akbar”. A number of speeches were made, accompanied with chants. Some of the most repeated chants include asking President Waheed to return America’s US$20,000 contribution to restore the historical Buddhist artifacts in the museum, which were destroyed by a mob of vandals during February’s political turmoil. Some protesters stated loudly that if the idols were restored, they would promptly destroy them again.

At one point, protesters demanded the resignation of Minister of Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed.

A lecturer at the Maldives University, Sheikh Mohamed Thoyyib, was given protection by the police after his speech asking protesters to show patience and compassion like the Prophet enraged some of the people gathered there.

Young children accompanied some of the protesters, with some children and their parents holding toy guns in their hands.

The protest was adjourned in time for maghrib prayers, at around 6:30pm.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs released a statement on Thursday condemning the movie. It stated that the enemies of Islam had always used tools of the times to insult the Prophet, but that such efforts would not at all harm the character of the Prophet, as he was held in high regard all over the world. The statement called on people to show restraint and to offer prayers for the Prophet.

The Islamic Foundation of the Maldives also issued a press release today, stating that “Countless numbers of Muslims all around the world intensely revere the person of Mohamed, in fact they revere him more than their own lives, and therefore it is extremely offensive for them to defame Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).”

The Maldives’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs has meanwhile officially condemned the attacks on the US Embassy in Cairo and the US Consulate in Benghazi.

In a series of Tweets last night, the Maldives’ Islamic Adhaalath Party (AP) condemned the video, whilst urging Muslims not to resort to violence.

“AP strongly condemns the anti Islamic video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ which is highly provocative and highly insulting to Muslims,” said the party, before adding, “Islam forbids resorting to violence against innocents. We should not attack our foreign guests and/or foreign diplomatic offices.”

The protests come at the end of a week that has seen two visits from to the Maldives from both the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele J. Sison, and US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake.

Local media reported that threats were made against Sison during the protest.

There were also reports that the crowd had issued warnings against Commonwealth Special Envoy Sir Donald McKinnon who also visited the country this week to discuss the recently completed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) with leading politicians.


58 thoughts on “Protests over anti-Islamic movie spread to the Maldives”

  1. Time for anger management.

  2. "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."- Wafa Sultan.

    "If the people of this religion are asked about the proof for the soundness of their religion, they flare up, get angry and spill the blood of whoever confronts them with this question. They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and concealed." - Muhammad bin Zakariya al-Razi

  3. If Mohammed was a perfect prophet, no need to protest and kill innocent people whenever there is a movie produced by a mad man. If Muslims really believe in God, then it is the responsibility of the God to take care of this, not Muslims. Please try to make this World a peaceful place to live, no suicide bombs and no disagreement between Shiite and Sunni.

  4. This article is late as the demonstration held yesterday was staged for Minivan's benefit by pro-MDP religious group Islamic Foundation of the Maldives in a bid to target US-Maldives relations which the MDP believes has propped up the Waheed administration.

    As hard to believe as it sounds there are several reasons based on which I am saying that this is a political stunt orchestrated by the MDP. I will list some of the reasons below.

    1. The only media in the Maldives who gave this event live coverage was pro-MDP RaajjeTV owned and managed by MDP activists. RaajjeTV happened to be prepared and on the scene when this "spontaneous" demonstration occurred. Also the usually liberal RaajjeTV put on an air of sanctimony and tried through various statements to tie the 23-rd December anti-Nasheed protests with yesterday's little charade.

    2. The demonstrators near the UN building yesterday appear to have connections with the Islamic Foundation of the Maldives which is well-known for their pro-MDP leanings. One of the leading members of IFM is Ibrahim Mohamed, a former writer for Minivan. The other is Aboobakr Ibrahim a close personal friend of Ex-President Mohamed Nasheeds. Their star preacher is Ibrahim Fareed, an activist who had gone to prison with Nasheed in the Qayyoom regime. For the IFM connection please compare the faces seen at yesterday's demonstration ( with faces seen at IFM events (

    3. For further proof of the MDP-IFM connection please refer to the religious NGO's position regarding Nasheed's coup allegations and their decision to distance themselves from anti-Nasheed protests last year which included all other religiously-conservative NGOs.

    Nasheed is well known for his brash use of religiously conservative elements within his close group of allies to create headlines he and his party leadership can exploit to gain support from the West. This is yet another carefully pulled-off stunt. What he himself does not realize is that the people like Dr. Abdul-Majeed Abdul-Bari and Fayyaz Ali Manik will use Nasheed's favor to further their own ends which will eventually prove detrimental to his own ambitions.

  5. The man who made the movie was NOT American. He was Egyptian born and has a criminal history of drugs and was considered a crazy person by the people who knew him according to those who have been interviewed. He tricked the actors in the movie and changed their lines using other people voices. This horrible movie was the work of an insane Egyptian man.

  6. It's ironic that in the name of protecting Islam, muslims are protesting and calling for violence, rather than being patient and tolerant as prescribed in Islam. These actions of such mad people will be potrayed as what Islam is all about. These actions do more harm than any good to what Islam stands for.

    Tsk tsk, you just can't help but blame MDP for everything eh 😉

  7. As i came out of the Friday prayers from the mosque i saw the leaflet stuck on the wall of the mosque .... inviting persons to go to the UN Building at 4:00pm, to protest ... titled “In Protection of Prophet Mohamed”.
    My instant thought was ...
    Those people who want to protect Moses should go to Customs area and those people wanting to protect Ibrahim should go to the fish Market.

  8. Response to tsk tsk comment:
    Sir for your information your incorrect implication of MDP or pro-MDP people with this anti-america demonstration is NOT TRUE. the reason is that the main person who arranged, financed and appeared that demonstartion was a young man by the name SHIYAM, son of VA Group, brother of the wife of Hon Home Minister Jameel, ie Jameel's brother in law. please check this info and varify it. secondly nowadays VTV or DhiTV or TVM never brings live coverage of any demonstartions, only Raajje TV does that. so please stop accusing MDP and others. i believe you also want to be fair in your comment. the truth cannot be Concealed!!!! MDP has always been mis-represented but MDP remains as it is forward for democracy and peace. your comment will not tarnish MDP name. and its NOT new for people to point fingers every time there is a problem in Maldives.

  9. i support Adama Naseer comment in response to tsk tsk comment.

    i would like to ask tsk tsk...who vandalized our museum in the name of islam? was that MDP? who blast a bomb at Sultan park? was that MDP... nevetheless both the incidences were immeditaely blamed for MDP supporters. my friend if MDP wants violence it can be done in less than one minute and Male would become a fire ball. so far we have always remained peaceful. who pays for thugs, who cover their faces, wear police uniforms, and create terrorism activities? you all know that who are gang leaders. your targeting of MDP and calling Nasheed thug or anti-islamic or whatever does not hold water at all. its an old tactic. you better invent something new. US UK and the rest of the world knows MDP very well...

  10. Since Anni started to felt on losing the international media hype and this was perfect opportunity for him to get into the limelight.

    Anni is behind this event and proven since rajjey TV was aware of the incident and covered in full like any other event by MDP.

    Anni , it is time that you need to realize to leave this country for the sake of our nation and please stop taking us to a war among ourselves for your own benefit.

    Please leave all you hatred against the Maldivian and let this peaceful nation move forward without you.,

  11. tsk tsk! your hatred for minivannews seems to make you blind to the reality. Do you even bother to read the article before wasn't a spontaneous gathering leaflets were distributed beforehand citing the time and place. Haveeru also covered the protest with the offending photos of children with guns being published on a number of seem to think everything is a conspiracy. Lets just condemn the idiotic acts of those who claim to be perfect muslims and continue to give a bad name to Islam and muslims, yes those ignorant bearded protesters we saw burning flags. When clearly in Islam violence like this is discouraged.

  12. Funnt tsk - whatever is wrong in this country blaming on MDP.
    You can check every day in like Haveeru and Sun, the difference in news, articles and tone, between their writings in Dhivehi and English.
    In English they please US, UK, Commonwealth and whoever abroad. For the sake of looking democratic, civilised and moderate non extremist. Andfor tourists and $ funding from the same West, laadheenes and missionaries whom they insult and defame in their Dhivehi versions.
    DhiTV, TVM or VTV do not broadcast the extremism of burning US flags and kids with toy guns. Because THAT would give the wrong impression. Though surely it was a major news item, surely the people could have see the truth behind yesterday's protest.
    BTW remember how DhiTV deleted footage from Feb on YouTube. BTW Villa Gasim ordered not to broadcast DhiTV in his resorts.
    BTW, Min Foreign Affairs "condemns attacks in Libya" but not one single word on what happened in MV itself.
    Anyhow, no need anymore for a boycott of tourism. That those extremist do themselves now.
    But not the guts of being consequent : stop then using or buyin anything from West : $$ and the currency, tear gas, weapons, engines, cola, Camel, IPhones, IPad (the bribe to CoNI), whiskey, medicines .... And of course no Western tourists anymore.
    Hypocrites, misusing religion for greed, money and power. Killing others Muslims everywhere around. Keeping the same Muslims countries backward and underdeveloped.

  13. I stand by my comment based on the information I have.

    I have not and will not use every opportunity to bash the MDP but there are clear and objective reasons for my claims.

    Generally speaking, politicians across the entire spectrum have used conservative Islamic preachers and ideologues for their own ends. Sometimes for control other times to rile up a mob.

    I ask everyone here not to assume that MDP is any different. It is now a well-established tactic to pressure the ruling government of the time.

  14. Islam........RELIGION OF PEACE......... in the twenty first century is all about intolerance, killing of innocent people, suicide bombers and sectarian violence.
    We 'kaffirs' are sick of you and your culture of hate and violence.
    Haven't you anything better to do in Maldives?

  15. The fault lies with no polictical party, but with every single fool who responds to calls for protests. If you all turned a blind eye away from this ridiculous film it would have not got the media highlight it craves. Now instead of a few hundred people knowing of the film the whole world will be curious as to the content. Ask the protesters what they are there for and i would say none of them could state the true content of the film, only the twisted version that has brought them on the streets. Total idiots protesting outside of the UN Building why? Even islamic countries belong to the UN or you targeting your brothers and sisters from across the waters who also have no involvement with the film. The only fact that comes from this is that the protesters are proving true to reasons people dislike muslims, everything results in violence on the grounds of a falsehood. Take the poor girl in Pakistan accussed of burning the Quran, family in hiding, girl imprisoned only to find out that the local Iman had carried out the devious act because she was christian living in his neighbourhood yet the mob are still after her blood for a crime she didn't commit. Did the US government produce the film? No, but one of your own brothers from Eygpt, but don't let facts distort a valid reason to protest against western governments that time and again hold out a helping hand when it's needed, Where are your brother from Saudi with their vast oil riches when you need to build hospitals, schools, and in times of disaster? I'll tell you where they are waiting for the poorer Muslim nations to do their dirty work in the name of religion.

  16. It used to be so much simpler in the Prophet's (PBUH) time: a sword in the liver for an Abu Afak or an Asma bint Marwan while they slept.

    No silly protests in unrelated places, and the harming of innocents as we have today...

  17. Not surprising to see MDP branded by the "lover"!

    Readers, be aware that some of these people are born with a perpetual hatred towards justice being served to the people who it is to be served!
    MDP is trying to serve justice to people and they will always hat it!

    The fact here is that there have been release of a documentation that will hurt the feelings of many Muslims all over the world! Which in fact is wrong!

    Protesting against such action is inevitable!

    However burning of an American flag is not going to erase the fact that the documentation was released and it cannot bury the fact that Muslims were not hurt.

    It is sad that this much of extremism exist everywhere!

    People who released this video, I am sure must have had a good laugh over this silly unwanted affair!

    Also who knows some of their loved ones are not among the injured!

  18. I really want to watch this movie now, in fact I will do that immediately.
    Thanks to the free publicity all these loonies.

  19. How many people have actually watched the trailer, it is comical in nature and just plainly ridiculous. The reactions showed by the Muslim world only show Islamic intolerance and will do Islam no favours !! I had to laugh when I saw the German embassy getting vandalized, what do they have to do with this ??? Sorry 95% morons !!

  20. it is sad.. these acts of violence are emotionally-charged. I think they are just copying what they see on TV, thinking that burning of flags, trying to attack embassies etc was serving the cause of Islam.

    It is noteworthy that such acts resemble wide-spread hatred and resentment towards the US in general in the Muslim world. Violence should not be encouraged ever in any form!

  21. Loved the kids with the guns. Just letting kulheybeybe and the other man know that if there was indeed a war, you guys probably won't even have weapons. One destroy is enough to wipe out the entire Maldivian capital in a matter of seconds.

    The people who killed the US ambassador, and the people who protested both in the Maldives and elsewhere are the true faces of Islam. I fear that the world has been tolerating the intolerant for way too long. If there is a threat to freedom of expression, even in the form of satire, it needs to be dealt with. Muslims always think that they deserve a special sort of treatment. Go to a mosque on Friday to hear sermons hating on Christians and Jews, and praising the mujahideen. Yet, I don't see them killing ambassadors and burning flags of the Maldives or Libya.

  22. MDP principle are good and and it did function well before the p[arty was invaded by Anni.

    Anni is using MDP for his personal gain and not for the benefit of the party or people of Maldives.

    This demonstration was organized by Anni and his associates and the organizer was Anni Man . Fareed is Anni man and Fraeed had no choice but to do what ever Anni asked him to do.There is something hidden behind Fareed obligation towards Anni .

    Anni is making the country to suicide for the sake of his well being and power .

    We the majority of Maldivian know and only few handful cult followers will try to twist the true pictures here .

  23. Do I agree with making fun of other people's beliefs? NO. Do I believe people around the world should go on a multi-day murderous rampage because of this? No. Muslims are you trying to prove the maker of this idiotic movie correct?

  24. Of course tsk tsk has friends, like the Baghee "President" and his overlord Gayoom.

    America's recognition of the coup government is disgraceful. I am ashamed of my country's government for subverting democracy in the Maldives. Please forgive us.

    And to Miss India I repeat the old adage "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones". Her government has also endorsed the illegitimate coup government of the baghee.

  25. Again those stupid coup sheiks... its someone from US who made this video... not US, not UN... Is this next Afghanistan?

  26. Standing by your own propaganda, and the facts you made up by yourself as always, tsk tsk?

    Oh well. You can go hug your measly US$ from Gasim. 😉

  27. peace and sanity should co-exist with any religion. Violence and destruction are never the core of any religion: Hinduism, christanity, budhism, islam, sikhism or any other.

  28. A light no matter how bright is useless in a country of blind people.
    A path to heaven is useless is no one actually follows.
    A god is useless if he can't assist and direct mortals in the times of need.
    Words and language are for mortal people, and if one can't translate accurately to propagate messages, then there is something wrong in the model for enlightenment opted.

    It's time, the question is asked. Is it really, true?

    A few basic questions could flip the table from Perfectionist creation to a mortal deception of lust, greed for power, sadism, rape, paedophilia,, homosexuality, etc. Arabians have the same dose of these as the rest.

    Acknowledging them, is the source of the problem here. No one takes it lightly, when pointed out, how stupid they are, how imbecilic their ancestors were; why they have been duped for so long, by a otherwise useless desert dwellers of caves. It's all about inner pride.

  29. I have watched the trailer; it’s offensive and disturbing, though limited America and Europe has laws on minority rights and some sort of legal action can be brought against these individuals.
    Muslims do have their share of the balm as well. But we cannot control the social media and people hating other groups of people for their religion, sexuality, skin color, or ethnicity, like this case something else will pop up in the future. This should not be an excuse to kill people or resorting to violence.
    Also America has nothing to do with it; the producer of this movie was a Copt Egyptian who lives in USA, with a criminal record on drug trafficking and tax evasion and the movie was finance by Pakistanis and Egyptians of similar religious belief.
    Five Americans has lost their life due to the stupidity of Muslims and their lack of rationality, following everything that you hear as truth if the issue is sensitive and offensive towards them. Hate groups can take advantage of these kinds of things and balm it on the Muslims and justify their vile actions.

  30. Baheera, a heretic Christian monk was responsible in setting up this whole circus. Bahira became a heretical monk, whose errant views inspired the Qur'an. Bahira is at the center of the Apocalypse of Bahira, which exists in Syriac and Arabic which makes the case for an origin of the Qur'an from Christian apocrypha. Now this chap was mad with the threesome arrangement i.e. God,son and the Spirit. Instead, he wanted to preach monotheism and found a good candidate in the oasis of Hijaz to use a stooge to advance his cause. Now I really cannot understand as to why the Creator had to show a dream to a grown up man to take his little kid to the outskirts of a city and to the foothills of a mountain and command the man to slit the throat of his little kid to prove the man's 100% allegiance to a monotheistic Creator and His very existence!! The Creator would never subject His subjects to such inhumane psychological trauma!!! No sane person would ever subject his/her kid to such heinous, ruthless condition. This is exactly the problem with organized religion. Because of this thing called religion, more people had been killed than the two world wars combined.

  31. Im as a muslim, i feel sored with the mockery made anyone aginist our beloved Prophet

    They have NO right to make fun our Prophet, as we dont make fun of any religion!

  32. The fact that the protest against blasphemy against Muslims and their prophet was covered by the Raaje TV wasn’t because it was an incitement by any of us any more than the protestors themselves.

    It rather is that the other TV channels were indifferent to the insult that the blasphemous publication of the movie or video caused to Muslims and the Muslim world.

  33. Muslim reactions can be characterized as as disproportional. True.

    However, if there was a similar film on Holocaust derail (not right either), I am sure many western countries would condemn the video.

    Lets agree that there no such thing as absolute freedom as frequently preached by High Priest of Human rights.

  34. why protest & kill innocents? why feel hatred & rages? does it mean that "THE TRUTH HURTS"?

  35. may allah curse america??.. i really doubt god will curse a land where there r more than 1209 mosques and devoted believers of all faiths. pretty hypocritical when these paradise dwellers would lose their minds over a movie made to make fun of gods messenger (pbuh)but wont even raise a finger in protest over the hundreds of movies that uses gods name in vain. both hollywood and bollywood... Sigh!

  36. Burning the US flag or the effigy of the US president does not mean that what they are against did not happen or will not again in future. It is the belief of the mankind particularly among Muslims that everything depends on Divine power or plan which cannot be reversed or interfered with by man.

    Nothing is great about it if the undesired events continue to happen at present or in future. Experience bears this out. Nature is as unreliable as men behaving in a particular way considered blasphemous or not. Where there is no Divine will for such behavior to be stopped there is nothing that man can do to this end.

  37. Imagine the publicity that the movie said to be Anti-Islamic and insulting to Muslims the world over gets from the violent protests by the Muslims themselves. Now, the movie could make much more money than it could not have had it not been for the violence against it by Muslims. They are therefore contributing directly to the success of such work by the non-Muslims.

    The other problem of these protests is that it lets or causes more people know about what the movie depicts of Islam. If their religion considered from a wrong perspective would hurt the Muslims, then that is Muslims who must keep it in perspective – by not exaggerating the fact or situation.

  38. if every maldivian hate americans they have to burn all the products made from USA from smallest to biggest.burn your US$ money, iphone, ipad, computers, PS3, Xbox, appliances. you have to hate cristiano ronaldo, leo messy cuz they are christians don't watch football, cnn, american idol, american movie,. never use nike, adidas, oakley, billabong, levis, body gloves.never drink redbull never smoke marlboro. then thats how you can show that everyone here is protesting.

  39. I would thus like to let the guys who have just made fun of the comments over here, BE CAREFUL. !! You even are playing with out Beloved Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ). and Those who have insulted , have been punished from this world.!

  40. Why does Islam has the Crescent Moon to symbolize its religion? The god Il or Ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God." The Moon-god was called al-ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. The pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave to their children. For example, both Muhammad's (PBUH)father and uncle had Allah as part of their names.

    The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad's day. Prof. Coon goes on to say, "Similarly, under Mohammed's tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being."

  41. Islam's origins have been traced back by scholars to the ancient fertility religion of the worship of the moon god which was always the dominant religion of Arabia. The moon god was worshipped by praying toward Mecca several times a day, making an annual pilgrimage to the Kabah which was a temple of the moon god, running around the Kabah seven times, caressing an idol of a black stone set in the wall of the Kabah, running between two hills, making animal sacrifices, gathering on Fridays for prayers, giving alms to the poor, etc.. These were pagan rites practiced by the Arabs long before Muhammad (PBUH)was born.

    What religion today practices the pagan rites of the moon god? Islam! This explains why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam. It is placed on top of mosques and minarets and displayed on hats, flags, rugs, amulets and even jewelry. Every time you see the Muslim symbol of a crescent moon, you are seeing the ancient symbol of the moon god.

    The word Allah is part of Muhammad's (PBUH) father Abdullah and his uncle Abdul Muththalib. These were names used before the birth of Muhammad. These are just food for thought for my Muslim brothers and sisters. Hence, there is no need of killing each other for religion. These are religious practices that have been in existence for eons until more violent and harsh weather conditions in Arabia forced it to take a detour.

  42. Islam is a great religion; All the Maldivians are Muslim and Colored. So why is it that the Arabs can't stand men of color. They look down on us. Does it make sense that we bring these racist people to guide and preach us every year for Ramadan. !!!!!


Comments are closed.