Comment: Oh, what a circus

Act One: A cure for apostasy

A medical doctor with no formal religious training takes centre stage as an Islamic scholar to tickle the Maldivian youth’s religious fancy.

One man questions his own faith and asks the scholar for his learned opinion on apostates. The good doctor diagnoses the man’s malady as possessing too much intellect – a condition that prevents belief cells from forming and developing in the brain. The doctor prescribes a specialist consultation with the ‘Non-Islamic-but-Muslim government’ for a remedy to his condition.

The government provides him with ‘counselling’, which proves to be just what the doctor ordered as, lo and behold, the man is cured within days. He apologises to his Muslim brethren who put away the swords they had unsheathed and enfold him in the warm embrace of their attar-scented hijabs. ‘Insha-Allah!’ cry the audience.

Act One, Scene Two: Modesty slips on banana

Enter Wife of a Preacher Man. Qualified to preach by default as spouse of a non-qualified Preacher, she warns her Maldivian sisters to cover up.

“Rape is your due if all ye sisters do not conform! For the men folk, they know not how to control their lust!” is the message.

Having wowed the audience with her compassion for the sisterhood, she exits the stage centre left. [Curtains close and open].

Wife of a Preacher Man is now straddling a blow-up banana with a throbbing engine. She rides it across the lagoon of a tourist resort where Western heathens lounge about in bikinis. “Look at me! I am covered up, and I can still ride a banana with modesty!”

In one of the Act’s most dramatic scenes, she falls. The set moves to a hospital. She remains silent throughout her treatment. A good patient never asks questions of a Doctor. Questions are the first symptom of that very dangerous disease: too much intellect, or as described in preacher/doctor vernacular – ‘extra-smartism’.

Act Two, Scene One: The measure of a judge

Enter a group of nine learned men, and one woman. They discuss the character and qualifications of those who should be allowed to sit in judgement of other Maldivians.

Known collectively as the Judicial Service Commission their task, as stated in Article 285 of the Constitution 2008, is to ensure all judges appointed prior to the new Constitution possess the qualifications necessary for a judge as stipulated in Article 149.

So far so boring? Do not underestimate this circus, though, for there is indeed an impressive twist to this plot.

The Chair of the Commission is also a Supreme Court Judge. And a fraudster! The then Anti-Corruption Board found him guilty of making false claims for overtime as a judge. His plea in mitigation behooves a man of such stature: any findings of the Anti-Corruption Board has no legal authority. Only a qualified judge, as his esteemed self, may pronounce a citizen guilty or not guilty. Ergo, he is innocent.

Act Two, Scene Two: Judgement day at the Commission

Eight of the ten members are present, and a draft of the standards to which Maldivian judiciary should be held is put to vote. Four vote in favour. Four against. A majority is declared. Huh? If there are four on one side and four on the other, does that not mean the two sides are equal? From whence cometh the majority?

It is yet another twist in the tale, audience! It turns out that one member realises – after the vote is taken – that he meant to abstain. Some members of the audience may be of the opinion that the intention to abstain is declared before a vote is cast. Were you not told underestimating this circus would be a mistake? The tricks here are mind-boggling.

The Standards, passed by a ‘majority’ of these most learned members ensures the Maldivian judiciary would include not just fraudsters found guilty-but-not-guilty, but also sexual offenders among other varieties. The unfolding scene is of a just and happy society where embezzlers, sex offenders and petty criminals all stand a good chance of being judged by an equal.

All rejoice at this exemplary egalitarianism. Cue a standing ovation from the audience.

Act Four: Bra burning lesbians

Enter Lesbians Disguised as Feminists. How brilliant is their costume that this discerning twenty-first century audience cannot tell the difference between the two groups. Most audiences of the last three decades had been able to make the distinction between them, but this one is fooled.

Not for long, though. One section of the audience, with just the right degree of religion-abiding smartness, is on to them. There and then, a truly daring exposé is performed. The Feminists are Lesbians! It is clear from their penchant for women’s underwear.

Come on, audience, put your thinking hats on: Feminists + women’s underwear = Lesbians. Consider this: they sent the underwear to a male Muslim scholar. On Valentines Day. That particular Lesbian fetish for sending underwear to male Muslim scholars is the missing clue here, dear Watson. Feminists = Lesbians = Sissy Nation.

Bring them out from their underground holes and flog them before they plait and tie pink bows to the beards that proudly proclaim Maldivian patriarchy to the world. “Aaaah!”, enlightened, the audience sighs contentedly as the curtains close. Blessed are we to have Adhaalath among us.

Forthcoming attractions: Angels & kangaroos

The Ringmaster, or he who thinks he is the ringmaster, is away with kangaroos of a different sort to those at this own court. Meanwhile, the real Ringmasters prepare for a new act that will make the audience cheer and applaud even more than they did at the Biggest Event Ever of last month on any of the above acts.

A preacher with the name of an angel and a message of true divinity (which some – clearly deluded and ignorant – critics have described as one of hate) will take centre stage shortly.

All Muslim brothers and sisters, recently restored to your glorious 100 per cent Muslim status, are invited to attend. Dress code: Hijab and beards for men; Full Buruqa preferred for women. [Leave Buruqas off at your own risk].

It is also advisable to leave most grey matter behind. Extra-Smartness is strictly forbidden.

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