Leaked photo allegedly depicts Deputy Transport Minister in Colombo casino

Local media outlet Channel News Maldives (CNM) has published a leaked photograph circulating on social media apparently showing Deputy Minister of Transport Ibrahim Nazim in a casino.

The report claimed that the photograph was taken in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The television behind the individual alleged to be Nazim in its bottom corner says “Welcome to Bellagio”, a Colombo casino.

CNM also reported that police were currently verifying the matter.

However, a police spokesperson disputed the claim stating that police had not formally “received any reports regarding such a case”.  He also refused to comment on CNM’s allegation that police were trying to verify the authenticity of the photograph.

The contentious photo believed to be of former PPM activist, Deputy Minister of Transport Ibrahim Nazim (far right)

MvYouth, an online newspaper affiliated with the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) – Nazim’s former party prior to his defection to Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party – reported that the photograph had been taken while Nazim was on a campaign trip to Colombo with the JP.

Nazim was considered a senior PPM activist who backed the party’s ousted Deputy Leader Umar Naseer during the party’s presidential primaries, but subsequently gave his full support to Abdulla Yameen after he defeated Naseer in the election.

Following Umar Naseer’s announcement of his support for Gasim, Nazim resigned from his position as PPM’s Youth Wing leader and signed up with the JP, backing Gasim’s candidacy.

The photograph was leaked less than a week after the JP launched its “Religion and Nationalism Policy”, pledging that a future government under Gasim Ibrahim would strengthen Islamic faith and nationalism, particularly among young people.

Minivan News was unable to get a comment from Nazim as his phone was switched off at time of press.

The Jumhoree Party has meanwhile dismissed the leaked photograph as a “fake” claiming that it was PPM “propaganda”.

Speaking to Minivan News, JP Spokesperson Moosa Rameez claimed that “in this technological world, editing a photo is very simple.”

“You will have seen a man wearing his underwear outside flying on TV who is called Superman. You will have seen a man releasing web from his wrists called Spiderman. See all these are made and they are videos. We are talking about a still photograph here. How simple would it be to edit one?” Rameez told Minivan News.

Rameez said he believed the PPM was behind the whole scandal and was attempting to take revenge after Nazim left the party to support the Jumhoree Alliance.

“When a man’s wife whom he loves gets a divorce and leaves him, he will start talking thinks bad about her. Likewise, that young boy Jameel (PPM presidential candidate Yameen’s running mate, Dr Mohamed Jameel) cannot digest the decision. Why else would they try to defame someone who worked with them before?” he said.

Rameez alleged the PPM had become “desperate” after realising that Gasim and former President Nasheed were the only two candidates who had any chance of winning the upcoming elections.

“I am sure Yameen and Jameel are behind this. This is part of their propaganda,” he alleged.


PPM presidential candidate “root of all nation’s problems”, Umar Naseer tells JP rally

The “Jumhoree Gulhun” – a new coalition consisting of the Jumhoree Party (JP), Adhaalath Party (AP) and Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) – held a rally on Monday night to celebrate new arrivals, including Progressive Party of Maldives’ former interim Vice President Umar Naseer, former PPM Youth Wing Leader Ibrahim Nazim, PPM MP Shifaq Mufeed and Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) leader Hassan Zareer.

“None of these fresh people joining us laid any conditions, demands or excuses before joining our coalition. They have come to join us to protect our sovereignty, our religion and the way of our ancestors,” JP Leader and presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim said, addressing 200-300 supporters gathered in their Male’ campaign office.

“Their self interest is the self interest of the Maldivian citizens,” he continued. “I would like to tell all those who have newly joined us that we will not disappoint you. Our desks are extremely clean. There isn’t even a single piece of paper which might be stained.”

“It is my belief that together with the other parties’ members, our coalition will now have at least 50,000 members. Therefore, there is no doubt that our coalition will win the elections, be it in one round or even if we go to a second round,” Gasim predicted.

“Yameen is the root of all our country’s problems”: Umar Naseer

PPM’s former interim Vice President, who lost the party’s presidential primaries to PPM Leader Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s half-brother Abdulla Yameen spoke at the JP coalition’s rally tonight, criticising the presidential candidates of both PPM and MDP.

Stating that he and his supporters who had joined the JP coalition alongside him are “ultimately supporters of Gayoom”, Naseer said Gayoom’s half brother, Yameen “is a completely different story”.

“There is no way PPM can win the September 7 elections with Yameen as a candidate,” Naseer claimed.

“Yameen is the root of all the problems faced by our country today. The 40,000 illegal immigrants who have entered the country are people brought in under his nose. People say that there is a connection between Yameen and the illicit drugs that are sold on the streets of Maldives,” Naseer alleged.

“And so, any person who loves this country being in PPM and voting for a man like this is nothing but a betrayal to the nation. Even though you remain a member of PPM, you do not have an obligation to vote for a corrupt man like Yameen. The nation is far more important than that,” Naseer said.

Naseer stated that in the first round of elections, it will be Yameen who contests most closely with Gasim, adding that it is “of utmost importance to defeat him”.

“If Yameen comes to power, nothing but an empty pit will remain where the country’s safe deposit ought to be,” Naseer continued.

“I speak out of experience. And therefore, I pray we get Allah’s blessing in these efforts to save this nation, to prevent it from going into the hands of a corrupt group of people, to save it from the irreligious ideology of Mohamed Nasheed and to protect our nationalism.”

Naseer also stated that he had the utmost respect for current President Mohamed Waheed, but added that he could not support Waheed as he had appointed Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Thasmeen Ali as a running mate.

Rationalising his refusal to support a Waheed-Thasmeen presidency, Umar alleged that Thasmeen had made “underhand deals with Nasheed to sell out the airport to GMR” and described him as “a traitor to the nation”.

He also predicted that the days leading to the September 7 election will prove to be “highly dangerous and risky”, stating that MDP’s apparent plans to file a case against Gasim gives weight to his concerns.

“It will also go to the point of physical fights on elections day. What I have to say to the people of this nation is that this is the time when history will be written. We must defeat Nasheed at any cost.”

“Be vigilant as [they] might attempt to stop you from voting”: Gasim

JP presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim advised his supporters to be “very vigilant and careful” on election day.

“We all know there is a certain group of people who will vote first thing in the morning on election day, and will then proceed to harass people who try to go to the voting booths after them. So be extra careful to cast your votes as early as possible,” Gasim said.

“Beware of losing your national identity cards before election day. And be wary of other people living in the same house as you, as they may be instructed to hide your ID cards so as to stop you from voting,” he cautioned.

“If such things happen, then these people might win in one round, as they keep saying repeatedly. So be vigilant. Be extremely careful,” Gasim said, referring to the Maldivian Democratic Party.

“Nasheed keeps saying he will come to power ‘at any cost’. Listen carefully, he says ‘at any cost’, meaning he is willing to do anything at all to rise to power. This means they intend to create enough chaos and trouble to cause the international community to not accept the elections,” he stated.

“Some of your sons and daughters living in your homes are, like that man [Nasheed] says, not always in a sound state of mind or sober. They might be paid some amount of money to hide your ID cards and stop you from voting, so be very careful of this. Be vigilant and careful in order to fulfill this legal, national and religious obligation,” Gasim stated.

From PPM to JP

Along with Umar Naseer, other council members and general members of PPM also joined the JP coalition.

Ibrahim Nazim, who resigned from his post as PPM’s Youth Wing Leader on Monday night and joined the JP rally the same evening, also echoed Naseer’s claims that Yameen “has no way of winning the presidential elections.”

Nazim stated that he had defected to the JP as the PPM failed to respect elected positions in the party, including himself.

“It is impossible to even contact the leadership, be it via phone or even text messages. I do not see how a person like this can contribute to empowering youth. I have decided to support Gasim as he is the only one of the four contesting candidates who seem to be working with the common people.”

Having initially supported Naseer, Nazim later called on PPM youth supporters to back Yameen after he defeated Naseer in the party’s presidential primaries.

Following June’s Civil Court ruling that the outcome of the PPM primaries cannot be made void, Nazim called on Naseer’s supporters to remain or come back to the PPM, adding that he believed Yameen would maintain the political ideology of Gayoom.

Despite this, Nazim then left his position at the PPM and joined the JP coalition with Naseer and his supporters that evening.

MP Shifaq Mufeed, who initially was in MDP and later defected to PPM in 2012, also joined the JP coalition.

Mufeed stated that he had come to the JP coalition not due to any monetary incentives, but because he believed in Gasim’s pledges and political ideology.

PPM’s ‘Maaz’ Ahmed Saleem, who supported Naseer in the party’s primaries also spoke at Monday’s rally.

Speaking in praise of JP’s presidential candidate, Saleem said, “Gasim already owns 30 percent of this country. What reason is there to not grant him the remaining 70 percent?”

“We gave power to Waheed on February 7, 2012 with a lot of hope. But today we are seeing Waheed filling his pockets with irreligious thoughts and imparting these anti-Islamic ideologies to the people,” he said.

“And as for Nasheed, if he wins the election, it is a fact without doubt that we will see the construction of temples in our Islamic nation.”

“Umar Naseer and I, we worked very hard to get the PPM to hold primaries. We did succeed in doing so. But then, the half-brother poked his hands in and meddled with the primaries, making it corrupt too,” Saleem alleged.

Other speakers at the rally included Abdulla Mohamed, who led the Civil Coalition of NGOs, the main organiser of the December 23 coalition which held the 2011 rally under the banner of “defending Islam” from the MDP.

Abdulla Mohamed said the JP stands an “irrefutable likelihood of winning the election if every member guarantees an additional 10 votes for Gasim.”

“Although initially Gasim was going to contest in the elections with only a handful of people backing him, as in just his Jumhoree Party, he now has the support of a large coalition, which guarantees he will win,” Abdulla claimed.

“On February 7 we rid the nation of a creature far more fearful than the historical sea demon known by the name of Rannamaari. We rid the nation of Nasheed and his sidekick, Mariya Ahmed Didi (MP and former MDP Chairperson), whom we can call ‘AnniMaari’. We must do so again in September,” he said.

“If we can do that, and if every member obtains 10 more votes, winning this election will be as easy as peeling an onion.”


Male’ City Council accused of failing in transport matters

Male’ City Council has “failed” to provide services to the citizens of Male’ according to Land Vehicle Registrar of Transport Authority Ibrahim Nazim.

He said the council’s actions did not suit a civilised society, and accused the council of spreading misleading information.

“Male’ City Council has failed when it comes to providing services to the citizens of Male’ and cooperating with the Authority on transport issues,” he told Sun Online.

According to Nazim, five meetings were held with the council on five occasions this year to discuss the issue of putting stickers on illegally parked vehicles.

“I discussed these issues with Male’ City Council on 9 January, 10 January, 11 October, 16 October, and 18 October. Five meetings were held to discuss the issue of stickers alone,” he added.

A recent statement from Male’ City Council said that it was the Transport Authority’s decision to put stickers on illegally parked vehicles without discussing the matter with the council.


Comment: The Evils of Democracy

This article was first published on the website of the NGO Islamic Foundation of the Maldives. Republished with permission.

Democracy is a system of infidelity which opposes the decree of the Creator and an evil that was born and raised in the lands of the West. Islam and democracy can not coexist in the religion of Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.

There is no such thing called ‘Islamic Democracy’ as some people put it because those people who adopt, implement or approve and agree to espouse democracy with its basic principles and fundamentals are openly hostile to the faith of monotheism.

When democracy is implanted in a Muslim society, it becomes a trial which sets apart the faithful Muslims from hypocrites and apostates. Those Muslims who take it upon themselves to fight and defend democracy without a religiously compelling reason hate to see Islam triumph over all other way of life. Most often they love to be in the company of the infidels, hypocrites or apostates and be praised by them while calling themselves ‘moderate Muslims’.

There is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’ or ‘radical Islam’ in the revealed religion of the Almighty Allah. These are terms invented by the enemies of Islam to create divisions within the nation of Islam.

If someone deeply looks into democracy, he will realise its damaging aspects on any society. Democracy which emerged in the lands of the infidels demands the separation of powers: the executive, the legislative and the judiciary are to function as completely separate entities. Moreover, democracy aims to change the established Sharia and demands to keep separate the religion and the state, which is unacceptable in Islam. In a democracy, the secular majority wins and rules over the divine commandments. If an undesired group or party wins power through elections, then the election results are annulled and the constitution is amended to bar that party from competing in elections again. Such examples can be seen in Algeria, Turkey, Palestine and Kenya.

Democracy spurs sedition and discord by gathering people in parties and blocs, the consequences of which are hatred, fighting and bloodshed.

Huge sums of money are required for the working and functioning of political parties. In most democracies, the murky business of obtaining funds for political parties involves corruption, bribery and the selling of state secrets. The electoral campaigns are comprised of boasting, showing and presenting one’s deeds and withholding from others the deeds that they are due, as well as the use of falsehood and deceit in order to gain people’s votes.

Democracy makes the entire population equal, as there is no difference between a knowledgeable specialist and an ignorant person, an eminent scholar of Islamic theology and an illiterate drug addict, a monotheist and a polytheist, a believer and a hypocrite, an adulterer and a pious man, a child rapist and a holy person.

The proper functioning of democracy demands that most criminals have to be ‘rehabilitated’ and not punished for heinous crimes. The prisons in these countries include gyms and other sports or recreational facilities, swimming pools, libraries with internet services, the best food, medicals etc. To add more, there is a system of parole which allows the criminals to leave the ‘prison’ before the end of their sentences.

Democracy is a system that wastes the money and resources of the country in holding elections. These elections are filled with problems of intimidation, fraud, ballot rigging and other irregularities. No interim government is allowed to take over before fresh elections begin; instead the old leadership remains in power during and immediate aftermath of new elections, paving way for more social unrest.

Many times the opposition refuses to accept the election results with accusations of fraud, and calls on people to come out on streets to protest causing pandemonium and bloodshed. You will realize the deficiency of this democracy and its reprehensible failure to manage people’s affairs when those in the opposition constantly call for premature elections, along with its ensuing chaos and disorder.

Democracy leaves the door wide open for spoilers and all the undesired elements in the society to carry on with their work of spreading mischief in the land. Democracy also coexists with the oppressive regimes and the spoilers of social life with all its constituents: gay and lesbian rights movements, narcotics and other substance abuse groups spring up into action.

Therefore, homosexual marriages, selling of intoxicants and the right to renounce Islam have to be allowed under the guise of protecting human rights. Hence, a need for legislation to regulate all such cursed acts and behaviour which in turn produces deputies who pass on laws against those prescribed laws of Almighty God.

In a democracy, candidates jockey for positions of power with promises they do not keep after winning the election. The candidacy for elections is contrary to the guidance of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) who said that Muslims do not confer the command of an emirate on he who asks for it.

Less privileged or deprived people have no chance of being on the electoral lists because becoming a candidate requires spending huge amounts of money in order to get people’s votes, which apparently go to the one who pays out more for bribery or propaganda work by the media.

So, in a democracy money can buy positions of power, and as such, the seats of the legislature or parliament mainly consist of people from the upper class or people backed by them. It is absolutely impossible to enact any laws urging their businesses to spend money in a way that might benefit the poor. The reality is the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

The most prominent people in a democracy are the politicians. The pious scholars of Islam, renowned scientists and men of knowledge have to follow the guidelines set by these politicians. Some of these so called politicians occupy seats in the cabinet, parliament and others work as party activists etc, but the truth is, they are ‘political prostitutes’. Most often they shift from one alliance to another or change parties and is devoid of any shame in behaving so for their worldly gains.

If you take a closer look at democracy, you will realise the deficiency and failure of that system to manage the people’s affairs and elect leaders capable of running the country in a way which benefits the masses. You will also undoubtedly ascertain the appropriateness of the Islamic way in generating the leaders and appointing rulers or emirs.

It is wrong to say that Muslim lands had been ruled by dictators or authoritarian rulers in the past centuries. The revealed Holy Scripture of the Muslims instructs the rulers to rule justly by obeying the commandments of Allah and with consultation (shura).

Throughout history the Muslims always had Consultative Assemblies comprised of learned men to advise those in power. The idea of dictatorship, authoritarianism, monarchy or royal dynasty rule began to creep into the Muslim lands when Muslim masses influenced by the West began to forget the proper method of statehood in Islam.

The Maldives has been ruled for quite a long period of time by authoritarian rulers with the power to enact draconian laws through the rubber stamp parliament. The Maldivian people were sick and tired of their ruling elites, their extravagant behaviour, nepotism and corruption etc.

The rampant moral degeneration, drunkenness and drug addiction made the Maldivian society plunge into chaos in the years between 2003-2008. The opportunity was ripe for the irreligious people who opposed the authoritarian regime to manipulate the situation by calling on the West to impose democracy on Maldives amid threats of economic sanctions.

There were many who thought that after democracy had been installed the problems created by the old authoritarian regime would disappear once and for all. However, in addition to those social problems that already remain, democracy has begun to create more problems in people’s lives by dividing the masses into parties or groups.

More often, rival factions compete for influence within the same party and today the so called political parties in Maldives are on the verge of bankruptcy or collapse and state funding is insufficient to keep them functioning. Soon the political parties in Maldives have to rely on foreign donations and grants of which the most likely consequence of this would be foreign control.

Money can buy power, so if the West decides to bring a certain opposition party into power, they increase funding for that particular party. In addition to all these problems, the party in power and the opposition parties are always at each other’s throats, as a result the ordinary people have to bear the brunt of the entire disharmony or disruptions within the community.

The so-called democrats in Maldives claim that they were the only ones who worked tirelessly to bring an end on nearly half a century of oppression. They say that these religious mullahs and bearded fundamentalists only acted like timid chickens and were unable put up a formidable resistance even to defend their ideals. They dare to say that these religion mongers kept hiding behind the backs of prodemocracy activists just to gain favours when everything happens to be over.

If so, then why for the past three decades did countless numbers of Muslim scholars – bearded men who offered five daily prayers and burqa clad women – continuously end up in jail or under house arrest? Where were the pro-democracy activists and human rights campaigners when breast feeding mothers were taken into police custody on the suspicion of trying to endanger religious harmony?

The so called prodemocracy activists only emerged during or after September 2003, when a violent drug addict was beaten to death by prison guards and the shooting incident there which killed a few other drug-related criminals.

It was so because the democrats became convinced that the authoritarian ruler faced pressure from the West to allow political parties to be formed in the Maldives.

The democrats might try to argue that they were in opposition since the early 1990’s. It is a wrong notion to say that they were campaigning for democracy then. The voices raised in those days were not for democracy but for reform or perhaps for change of power. Those voices disappeared into the wilderness because they were not backed by the West.

The spread of democracy in Muslim lands is a victory for diabolical forces of Jews and Christians who spend vast amounts of money and sacrifice much to keep Muslims divided.

All comment pieces are the sole view of the author and do not reflect the editorial policy of Minivan News. If you would like to write an opinion piece, please send proposals to [email protected]