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Page added on December 3, 2011

Comment: Speak now, or forever hold your tongues

Comment: Speak now, or forever hold your tongues thumbnail

The Maldivian government’s reaction to the fallout from the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s address to the Majlis is deeply disappointing. It largely confirms what many increasingly allege: the change President Nasheed and MDP promised was limited to regime change and does not include a genuine commitment to democratic reform.

Navi Pillay called on Maldivians to consider putting a moratorium on the practice of flogging. She did not say Maldivians who believe in Islam should abandon their faith. She pointed out that the Maldivian State is one of the few among followers of Islam that still engages in the practice of flogging, imposed disproportionately on women.

Her fundamental proposition was: why not be as compassionate as your faith allows instead of being as cruel as it gives you room to be? Her suggestion was that we discuss and debate among ourselves to find this path to compassion. The official government response to this was, shockingly, ‘You can’t argue with God.’

The Islamic Ministry’s condemnation of Pillay’s speech, and its criticism of MPs for ‘allowing’ Pillay to address the parliament are hardly unexpected. At the helm of the Ministry is Dr Abdul Majid Bari who, while having no qualms about pocketing money earned from his stake in the alcohol-guzzling pork-eating infidel tourism industry, presents himself as an ultra-pious conservative when it comes to affairs of the Maldivian public.

This deep-rooted hypocrisy is what allows a man who holds a doctorate in the interpretation of the Qur’an to mislead the Maldivian public into thinking that multiple interpretations of Shari’a and hadith are unequivocally un-Islamic and that debate is beyond the Islamic pale.

The view of Dr Bari and other ‘Islamic scholars’ such as Dr Afrashim Ali (the ex-singer who treats the subject of his doctoral exegesis as a state secret) is neither new nor uncommon.

Had they taken the time to put it to the public in a coherent manner it would read: in view of the fact that there are specific offences and sanctions prescribed in the primary sources of Islamic jurisprudence, the Qur’an and Sunna, there is no justification for suspending regulation specifically outlined in these divine sources.

This is the view of most conservative proponents of the Shari’a, and is obviously the one held by Dr Bari and others leading the charge of the flogging brigade. It is, however, by no means the only view on the subject within Islamic thought and jurisprudence.

Rather, there are a great variety of ‘Muslim voices’ offering different views—conservative, liberal and pragmatic—about whether and how the idea of human rights and Islamic normative requirements fit together.

Diverse ‘Muslim voices’ on human rights

Even before the modern era, Islamic law was characterised by a broad jurisprudential diversity based on geographic, ethnic and racial as well as philosophical grounds.

This is evident from the fact that it was 400 years after the death of Prophet Mohammed that ijthihad—reasoned interpretation of the sources of Islamic law—was brought to an end with the increased petrification of the Shari’a by medieval jurists.

Many liberal Muslim reformers thus demand the recovery of ijthihad in order to do justice both to modern needs and to the original spirit of the Shari’a. They emphasise the Shari’a’s original meaning as a ‘path’ or a guide, rather than a detailed legal code.

These liberal Muslim voices do not attempt to deny the binding character of Shari’a. What they ask for is active reasoning, ijthihad, which was originally regarded as an independent source of Islamic law.

Their view, as expressed by Lebanese philosopher Subhi Mahmasani is, ‘The door of ijthihad should be thrown wide open for anyone juristically qualified. The error, all the error, lies in blind imitation and restraint of thought.’

Critical approaches of liberal Muslims such as Mahmasani, Egyptian judge Muhammad Said al-Ashmawy and Abdullahi Ahmed An-Nai’m have often highlighted the humane character of the Qur’anic revelation, which is the most important source of the Shari’a.

Tunisian scholar Mohamed Talbi has argued, for example, that ‘Were it possible for us to ensure a life of justice and equality in a different way [to corporal punishment], this would certainly be a way pointing in the same direction as the Qur’an does.’

Although Shari’a had continued to be the predominant legal system in matters pertaining to family law, from the 19th century onwards, Islamic criminal justice had gradually retreated from public law.

The introduction of Islamic criminal law through legislation is thus a relatively recent phenomenon that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Libya enacted Islamic criminal laws in 1972-1974, Pakistan did so in 1979, Iran in 1982 and Sudan in 1983 and 1991.

And, despite the enactment of such laws, there has been a strong tendency within most Islamic societies to restrict the applicability of hadd punishments as much as possible.

In Pakistan, for instance, the Federal Shari’a Court resisted the reintroduction of stoning in the early 1980s by repeatedly refusing to apply this form of punishment. Prime Minister Zia ul-Haq replaced some of the judges with his own allies to finally have stoning judicially confirmed as being in accordance with Shar’ia.

What these arguments, incidents and discussions suggest is that reconciliatory mediation between tradition and modernity seems conceivable not only among those who are consciously liberal but also among conservative Muslims, as has been argued by many academics.

In light of the rich Islamic jurisprudence referred to above, it is hard to see what the Islamic Ministry’s statement ‘No Muslim has the right to advocate against flogging for fornication’ is intended to do. Except, of course, to shut the Maldivian public off from any other teachings and characteristics of Islam other than those held by Dr Bari and the Islamists who rule Maldivian thought today.

Yellow: the colour of cowardice?

The deafening silence of any opponents of Dr Bari and other Islamists’ extremist views is inexplicable.

Does this mean that among the Muslim scholars that this country now has in such multitudes, there is not one person who disagrees with the extremists’ position? Does it mean, as the recent Religious Unity Regulations suggest, that Maldives will only consider as legitimate Muslim scholars those who purport a particular fundamentalist view of Islam?

Is there not one member of the Maldivian judiciary, the legal community at large, the legislature, or civil society capable of espousing a different position? Does the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives agree that the UN Human Rights Commissioner is wrong? If not, why not say so? Where are you all hiding? What are you afraid of?

Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem’s statement that there is ‘nothing to debate’ is ‘singularly counter-productive’. It makes President Nasheed’s same-day appeal for gender equality ring hollow, like many of his other statements that emphasise democracy and human dignity.

We may never know details of the Faustian pact President Nasheed and MDP have made with Dr Bari and other proponents of extreme Islamism. What we do know is that it is costing the Maldivian people their democratic, and religious, right to intellectual debate and growth.

No matter how far above rising sea levels it is capable of lifting us, or how much it can lift our colossal debt burden, it is not worth keeping in power a government that lacks the courage to raise Maldivians above the quagmire of ignorance the Islamists are sinking us into at such a rapid pace.

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75 Comments on "Comment: Speak now, or forever hold your tongues"

  1. rambe on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 1:49 PM 

    All efforts must be to draw a line between extreme conservatives and liberals and get the majority to lean to moderate views; The Mullahs automatically will come to liberal fold, because what motivates them is how the majority of Maldivians react to religions and to extreme translation of its teaching. Once average Maldivian has learned to judge right and wrong with own rationale. Mullahs will be exterminated.

  2. HH on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 2:04 PM 

    siding with Pillay over this issue is political suicide in a country where the opposition wouldn’t miss a chance to brand the ruling party as “Anti-Islamic”, and this is relevant the large majority of Maldivian is highly paranoid when it comes to their faith.

  3. Wine and Pork Lover on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 2:45 PM 

    “a man who holds a doctorate”. No Azra. he holds an al-Dikitaarate. Allah knows why these mullahs are so keen to be known by wine-drinking, pork-eating, fornicating, infidel, western labels.

  4. Wine and Pork Lover on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 2:50 PM 

    PS: Allah knows best!

  5. HH on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 3:07 PM 

    and to ever bring about true reform the ruling party needs to be politically strong. Maldivian politics is highly volatile with no clear support for any particular political party. In its infancy, the current ruling party would not dare touch such sensitive issues.

  6. sunny side of life on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 3:20 PM 

    Ms. Naseem, your argument is cogent and well written. In my heart of hearts I sympathize with your view. However, I believe that the governments seemingly “yellow” reaction to this incident is one less of cowardice than of caution. Given the vulnerability of the Maldives to any extremist group seeking vigilante justice in the form of a terrorist attack placing the country in unprecedented straits, the government has no choice. I believe the government should not go head on into the eye of the storm but let it lose wind. The solution should not be to provoke but to subtly err the collective consciousness towards a more liberal version of Islam. Unfortunately this takes time and may seem a defeatist stance to many who have suffered and will keep on so.

  7. adkfabfj on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 4:11 PM 

    HH is right!

  8. Mohamed on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 4:30 PM 

    1. Thank you for exposing Islamic Minister, Abdul Majeed Bari!Imagine him talking so pious and at same time selling pork and alcohol and pocketing the money.
    22. fyi Maldives moved away from flogging under Nasir during the last couple of years of his presidency. And people did not mind it.

  9. kasimbe on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 5:22 PM 

    azra, a very good read indeed. very passionately written. I wish someone would write so passionately about this country’s corruption epidemic.

  10. The defender of Islam on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 5:58 PM 

    Oh Azra naseem! U r a Kuffaar. A disbiliver. That’s all.

    Maldivians are muslims. Because constitutions states a person born in maldives can not be a maldivians unless he is a muslim.

    So who are you to talk about maldives?

    This is our country. Our bussniess. not your’s.

  11. dissent on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 6:16 PM 

    mohamed nasheed and his administration are under the mistaken impression that child rights and womens rights (for people sentenced to flogging in the maldives are overwhelmingly women, including under 18 year olds) are worth sacrificing for the supposed benefits that bari and other wahhabis will bring his party in the next election. remember, also, that when a representative of his party proposed an amendment to the current constitution to bar women from running for the country’s leadership, he was silent. nasheed has an appalling record on womens rights and the response of his government to pillay should make that clear to anyone who is still in doubt.

  12. ainth on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 6:19 PM 

    Another piece of writting from an islam hating bigot named Azra, published in the islamophobic minivan news.
    We will show you people our strength and our love for islam in the mega-demonstration of 23rd december.
    This is our our country, our faith and we will protect it at any coast.

  13. Dheenee Ageedhaa on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 6:33 PM 

    Ironic, the name.. I mean we got Mullah Naseem …and now Azra Naseem !!…Mullah Naseem’s given the government a black eye…No arguing with God, indeed…Exposed for all the world to see…the closet Harbie… Talk about friendly fire…

  14. Maldivian Apostate on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 6:59 PM 

    Maldivian are ridiculous, till today they believe a sea demon “ranamaari” was the reason for us to be muslims, when in reality the Buddhist were butchered by the Arab merchants who made the deal with the Maldivian king of that time.

    islam is a sexist religion that says women are half compared to men. the reason why women wear the burqa is cos men get horny, muslims men are so horny that even 6 year old girls have to be covered, why? cos a child has sexual appeal according to muslims, (not surprising when prophet Mohammed married a 6 year old and took her to bed when she was 9)

    and maldivians are the best hypocrites that i know of, like you mentioned the booze, pork, infidel tourism money fuels the countries economy. and they are more than happy to pocket that. no questions ask’s, or no Allah regarding this matter.

    and we have these so called “Moderate muslims” who are the biggest laugh of all time, where are they now? dont they agree violence is wrong? so they have nothing to say regarding women being flogged?

    what i know is, islam is islam, there is no diversity in islam, it all boils down to what the Quran and Hadiths say. you maybe a muslims who thinks you can be moderate and have open thinking, but what you dont realize is that there is no such thing as open mindedness in islam, islam means no doubt, no questions, and follow the religious scriptures blindly like a herd of sheep’s.

    all islamic has barbaric blood rituals, and the Maldives is becoming a target for those Mulla’s who has islamic sharia on their mind. if the impose it on Maldives. look out, there goes our country. say bye bye to freedom of speech or life. and get ready to be the stone age barbaric desert dwelling arabs who will kill you over an erection.

    PS. when you see Habiee like guys walking around with green turbans in Male’. look out for them, they are here on a mission to recruit the naive minds. they can set people against “infidel” (tourist) or worse.

    and further more Ibrahim Fauzee from the islamic ministry of Maldives is a celebrated terrorist who was locked up in Guantanamo Bay. i would not trust him ever. so beware Maldivians.

  15. Maldivian Apostate on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 7:04 PM 

    “Allah knows best” this is when muslims have nothing to say. its the blank they fill with Allah, muslims dont exercise their common sense, rational thinking and logic. intellectual laziness is the key for being a good muslim

  16. Mohamed on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 7:07 PM 

    crazy lady, in the so called dimo crazy you can do anything that majority agrees, if the majority agrees and passes a law allowing you to get married with you father that will also be legal, if both agrees having sex with you brother is also unpunishable, but in islam it is different we will never allow these things in our country, if you want these you may go where it is possible, ladhukuda anhenaa

  17. basher on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 7:14 PM 

    @The defender of Islam
    People like you are an embarrassment to every, Muslim, every Maldivian, every human being. You should take your silly head out of your ass and come up from air once in a while. Every word that you just splurted is utter nonsense. Your ignorance is astounding, really. I’m just hoping that you are using your mummy’s or daddy’s laptop without permission, surely you’re just a child right?
    “So who are you to talk about maldives?

    This is our country. Our bussniess. not your’s.”
    LOL :-)

  18. Vitamin C on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 7:39 PM 

    Azra, very well-written and thank you.

    I say amend the constitution so that every damned thing in this country does not hinge on that stifling phrase that some idiots then sitting in parliament thought would be a great idea to write into the supposedly liberal constitution.

    Too bad they thought Gayoom would be a bigger threat than the Mullahs. Talk about lack of political foresight.

  19. Mldivian on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 7:51 PM 

    “why not be as compassionate as your faith allows instead of being as cruel as it gives you room to be?” absoultely right.
    very well written and i share your concern.
    I belive we are very unfortunate. our particular time in history and the way in which society is arranged makes a haven for extremists to infiltrate and the political upheaval starting from early 21st Century has only fueled the growth of extreme element in this country.

  20. Mldivian on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 8:29 PM
    Looking at this video which was uploaded back in 2008, it gives you a clearer perspective on what is going on here.

  21. nasra on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 8:40 PM 

    This writing could not possibly come from a believing muslim, be it a Maldivian or a woman by a muslim name. It clearly shows someone who does not believe in the law of God, when He has ordained a punishment in His book for our own good, plain and straight forward. If you doubt Quran please read it atleast once, from cover to cover and pondering its meanings. I once had doubts but after I read it my belief is ever strong.

  22. The defender of Islam on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 9:13 PM 

    Oh kuffar! tolerate it! and study to tolerate it!

    whether you tolerate or not ISLAM will prevail all the Izm’s SOON. Weather Atheism, Zionism, christian-ism, or all the IZm!!!!!!!


    Thimyhun jeheyny nuthanavas vaan.

  23. The defender of Islam on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 9:17 PM 


    AM 52 year old guy. OKKKKK

  24. Salim Waheed on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 9:31 PM 

    Thank you Azra. But it is no longer the government who is supporting the conservatives. It is not the government who is leading the movement towards social,economic, and political regression. The Islamic Minister is operating according to opposition principles and wishes. And no one is opposing them. But they are not the government and since they officially left the government, the ruling party has now become far more moderate than DRP, PPM, JP, and of course Adhaalath who is now tied to the others.

  25. George on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 9:33 PM 

    Very well written.
    You are a brave soul to expose the dark side of your Islamic minister.

  26. Aishath on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 11:23 PM 

    Well thought and written Azra. Maldivians are corwards, you r right

  27. hassan ahmed on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 12:34 AM 

    To hell with flogging! The judge who gives the verdict would have fornicated probably the previous night.
    The Mullahs have dirty mind always they speak of sex. Allah bribes his slaves by offering “huraleen” if you are obedient to him.
    This is all crap and man made.

  28. Riyaz on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 12:35 AM 

    A very cool headed article.

    Well done.

  29. maldivian on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 1:11 AM 

    I like the way “The defender of Islam” is getting politely ignored.

    Because all he’s passing off as ‘islam’ is bigotry and hatred.

  30. Michael Fahmy on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 2:40 AM 

    Azra Naseem’s article is well-written, and it shows familiarity with Islam, the modern world and even Maldive Islands.

    But like other foreigners,Azra tends to expect too much from Maldivians.

    Maldives would need a dictator to bring about the social, political, economic and even religious changes that the country desperately needs.

    That dictator also has to be an older and more experienced person than the president that we have now.

    Muslims are more than a billion people and they live all over the world. I think there are 52 Mulim-majority countries, and many more where they are not in a majority.

    Maldives is one of the least important corners of the world-wide-Islam. There are no historians, linguists, anthropologists, etc. etc. and the general level of education is still extremely low. Bribery and corruption are rampant at all levels of society.

    A year before Husni Bubarak was removed, (and he was removed because the Army withdrew their support from him), I was arrested in Egypt because the name in my passport is Michael Mahmood Fahmy.

    Egyptian Police told me that I am breaking the Muslim Law and disobeying Prophet Mohamed by having Michael as my first name.

    I have had trouble even in Male Airport because I have this name. My passport was once confiscated and I had to contact Foreign Minister, Hon Fathullah Jameel.

    If you want to meet an educated and intelligent Maldivian, ‘ Come to me, and I will give you peace’……..

    Thank you, Azra Naseem.

  31. Mariyam on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 3:24 AM 

    I’m a supporter of MDP and President Anni. Also I dislike the dictator Gay-yoom.

    You seem to be a person who writes the same way. But by this sort of writing in an extremely critical situation on the volatile subject of religious disagreements it’s STUPID. You’re stupid. Better not say a thing in a place full of idiots. Most Maldivians are idiots. And you became a bigger but STUPID idiot by ‘provoking’. I know you’re trying to rationalize and trying to let others know the real side of the story. I truly believe that. But even when I did try that way long before you even though about writing this article – I was labelled as an INFIDEL immediately. I was treated by hostility and sometimes abusive manners by my own folks.

    Also take a look at the commenting patterns on this article. Think and you’d see that the majority is in favour of you not because they simply like you but because you accused the Yellow being COWARDICE. That way they’re hoping to further jeopardize and get this thing stirred again.

    You’re like ANIYA who wrote on veiling and women’s rights. Keep one thing in mind – most are ignorant and under educated. We’ve been an oppressed people without much freedom for a long long time. And if people are not so careful with what they express about religious beliefs and practices one might get hurt.

  32. a on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 4:02 AM 

    Yellow? I thought the whole episode showed the cowardice of our so-called human rights NGOs and Women’s NGOs!

    Also did you not take into account President Nasheed’s call for debate? Why not Alhan’s remarks?

    It’s be foolish of us to think any government is in a position to do much here.

  33. democracy on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 6:57 AM 

    This debate is entirely about secularism vs islam in Maldives but no one including madam Azra Naseem has dared to utter that ‘S’ word and call the spade by it’s real name.

    Shake off your own cowRdice and say the word instead of calling everyone else cowards and hypocrites

  34. Oh Shut Up! on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 7:28 AM 

    Condescending article reeking of judgment. Who are you to call people cowards? People are struggling to live on low wages in this crazy high cost economy with horrible healthcare, bad education system and slum like housing conditions. Most people don’t think that coming out in an organised matter to oppose these things will do anything except fall pray to some egomaniacs political game.

    The president gave these fundies the Islamic ministry and a hefty budget to spread their propaganda. He’s reaping what he sowed.

  35. unknown person on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 7:34 AM 

    Religion is mind cancer. Be done with it.
    Think freely without restrains and be happy, patient and kind. Surround yourself with peaceful thought, smiles and love. Wear clothes to reflect your personality and the weather of the place you live in.
    Just be who you want to be, you live once so really LIVE your life. Stop trying to please other people. You are all you need to please.
    Men , women, we are all just PEOPLE, equals!!
    ( Only insecure , deluded men preach otherwise )

  36. ibrahim on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 7:38 AM 

    democratic movements successfully bring so-called islamists in to power. we have seen this in tunisia, morocco, libya and more recently in eygpt. By giving a voice to the islamophobes in our society would only radicalise the majority and ignite a movement that would eventually bring a muslim to rule this country

  37. Mohamed Rasheed on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 7:53 AM 

    Azra Naseem,
    A good article except the personal jabs at Dr. Majeed and Dr. Afrasheem. I support the Government’s stand given the social and politically sensitive nature of the issue. It would have been political suicide to defend Ms Pillay. The Government should not initiate religious debates, the civil society can.

  38. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 8:00 AM 

    Flogging people is an admirable goal!

    It teaches the victim humility, and disincentivizes them from carrying on with their immoral activities. Anyone who disagrees, especially these satanic ‘human rights’ advocates. must be garroted on the spot!

  39. Ahmed on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 8:44 AM 

    Asalways Azra, very well written, with passion and honesty rarely seen in some of the garbage we see written on such subjects.

    The finest accolade that can be given to you is obviously in the words of the few idiots who as always use Islam as weapon for hatred, subservient brainwashing and sheer idiocy. I doubt that they have ever read anything objectively in their entire miserable lives, I pray they do so they can really see the true wisdom, love and humanity in Islam for it is all there.

    That is why it was given to us with the instruction to learn, not to blind or bully others with, but to live full lives.

  40. Ben Plewright on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 9:16 AM 

    Excellent article, thanks.

    The comments are so enlightening, so entertaining that I think ppl all over the world, ppl who do not even know the Maldives or Islam would be enriched by all these comments.

  41. Agency on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 9:27 AM 

    @ Salim,
    When Bari speaks as Islamic Minister, he is speaking for the government. Just as Naseem does when he speaks as Foreign Minister. If they are furthering an agenda that is not the government’s they should not be in the cabinet. As long as they are, what they say must be taken as that of the government.

  42. Agency on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 9:44 AM 

    @Salim, and those who are saying the government cannot engage in the debate:

    Bari is the Islamic Minister and therefore represents the government. So does Naseem as Foreign Minister. Does that not mean it is the government taking these steps to shut-down debate?

    If it is political suicide to engage in the discussion, why take steps to actively stop the debate from taking place?

  43. dreaddddd on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 10:16 AM 

    ok article for a maldivian. unfortunately anything written in good english gets extra credibility in the this country. the article is a bit naive and idealistic and does not cater for certain political realities that are really obvious. azra naseem will live and learn. but don’t get discouraged. keep doing what your doing. you have potential.

  44. Zeena Gasim on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 10:30 AM 

    The purpose of flogging is to remove the factors for flogging. If no one fornicates then we don’t have to flog and then the society will be more clean. Anything people don’t like has some more benefits than what people like. Alcohol,Cigarette, sugar are addictive yet is detrimental to our health. Every law in Islam has a purpose. All the problem arise when humans fail to follow Islamic teachings properly. Mullahs are not following the real teaching of Islam. A true Muslim should be compassionate to all humans irrespective of their faith.

  45. idreesbe on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 11:10 AM 

    if anything is written against islam, its well written, excellent, cool headed and bla bla bla.. But if somebody out of love or devotion to his belief says something to state his belief then he is coward, ignorant, irrelevant, mocked and scoffed!

    See how unbalanced, the kaafir mind is?

  46. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 11:13 AM 

    @The defender of Islam

    not very bright for a 52 year old man, you should be ashamed to have such pathetic thinking.

    we are Maldivians and we are not muslims, and we have as much right as you do regarding our countries status. this country is going to be a diverse society where our kids are going to enjoy subjects like art and music. we dont want the 1400 ideology called islam.

    we dont need violence, stop flogging women. stop discriminating them, and stop being sexist perv.

  47. nasra on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 11:18 AM 

    Ms. Asra, if you do not advocate adultery or is determined to lead a moral life free from fornication, what is there for you to fear of flogging or any other civil penalty? Dont you know punishments do not add respect or self-esteem to the culprit but they discourage immoralities?

  48. tsk tsk on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 11:32 AM 

    Point on point inflation, no respite in sight, dollar crisis to worsen in the coming days, government spending to increase, corruption is systematically perpetuated by the failure of institutions and we have time to discuss this?

    I support the reasoning that most of us here in the Maldives are not ready for open and civilized debate. I stand by my earlier statement that pluralism in everything is not a universal good.

    Your writing makes it obvious that you are an idealist and a supporter of imposing normative universal rules on every nation in the world. Look at the realities – the world has displayed time and time again that cultural relativism does shape how every so-called global ideal is implemented in the world.

  49. nix on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 11:53 AM 

    Good article. could have been better. But i think it has achieved what it set to achieve. A cry to speak out. a call for debate. these comments here is proof enough that a formal debate in this is not just needed but is necessary.

  50. idreesbe on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 12:02 PM 

    Actually there is no barrier to muslims and non-muslims living side by side in the same country. We muslims can live like that. We are perfectly at peace with that! But its very apparent that the kaafirs and apostates cannot even tolerate us. So let there be enmity between us and you. But let it be known that it is you who are intolerant. You cannot even tolerate the idea that islam. As for secularism and kaafirism, this is not something you invented or something apostates only knew. The holy prophet Shuaib was also dealing with secularists. So saying that you cannot stand a 1400yr old religion doesn’t hold much water. cos secularism is an idea that is many times older than 1400yrs.

    Peace upon those who follow the guidance!

  51. HassanK on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 12:13 PM 

    Those who say Maldivians are forbidden to be non-Muslim are themselves committing Kufr. They are not only forbidding some thing allowed in Islam, but is also putting Maldivian Constitution ahead of Qur’an. If Qur’an allows non-Muslims to be citizens of Muslim Countries, how can you say the words of the constitution over-rides Qur’an…..?

  52. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 2:03 PM 


    no we cant. in the hadith muslims are asked to kill those who leave islam, its called “fithna” (and apostates are the worst cos they left islam) islam is suppose to fight until there is no “fithna” this is islam agenda. meaning all non muslims have to be converted or eliminated. you speak as if islam is a different religion.

    look at maldives, the so called great islam is scared of a bible and jails people from different religions for having religious materials. the fear you muslims have is enormous. if you are a muslim, you should be able to live near a church or even read a bible and still be muslim. but thats not the case here in the maldives. you muslims believe that statues are for worshiping. this primitive thinking is making this country and international laughing stock. is it that you muslims are so insecure that a bibile, or a statue of a Buddha will make you leave islam? is that how much faith you have in islam?

    the islamic foundation issued an article which said to kill and revoke the citizenship if an apostate fails to repent after providing 3 chances. of cos Ibrahim Fauzee the Guantanamo bay terrorist has everything to do with that. (not extreme, this is exactly what prophet Mohammed ordered his followers to do regarding apostates)

    muslims are the most intolerant people i have known, i have lived with people of other beliefs and non of them say you will burn in hell for not believing what they believe. this is the originality of islam, the discrimination regarding non muslims by condemning them to hell fire and the racial hatred promoted in islam towards jews by calling them rats and pigs.

    muslims are hostile towards apostates. you speak of tolerance when you cant tolerate muslims leaving islam and in Maldives the apostates numbers are growing, and when we say we left islam, muslims are insulted. even if we dont say anything else. there is no common ground between muslims and apostates, if so its similar to a cat and a mouse being best friends.

    you cant respect indiviguals for the choice they make, but rather you like to impose what you believe on others, your threats of hell fire is just the tip of the ice berg, and i say this with confident that most “HABIEES” in maldives are common criminals who took this form at jail or after they got out. they hope by dressing up like a desert dwelling arab will save them for the eternal hell fire that you muslims are so fond of. and these guys are violent and when following the violent verses from the Quran they feel right at home as a solider of islam. just cos you have a unhygienic beard and dress like a hobo dont make you a better person. and stop threatening apostates with hell fire, we left islam we know what islam is.

    further more we are the minority in Maldives, you can call us Zionist, atheist, or whatever, but the truth is we are apostates, and our number are growing not just in the Maldives but world wide, we have apostates protesting against islam cruelty all over the world.

    we are human and we deserve the same rights that you fight for. we have the right to choose and the right to exercise free speech. and dont say you muslims are too emotional to hear what we have to say. when you have no problem cursing us with your imaginary hell fire. we apostates will walk the roads of Maldives are free people. if you cant accept that its not our problem its yours

  53. Wine and Pork Lover on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 2:25 PM 

    Michael Fahmy, from what you have written, now I know the Egyptians are more idiotic than I thought. Why would they arrest a foreigner passing through their airport because your name doesn’t conform to their norms? I am sure your passport didn’t state that you are a Muslim, Taoist or a Druid. Someone who commented here wrote that Azra is a “woman by a muslim name”. What is a Muslim name? It is just a foreign name, in this case Arabic, and means (wait for this Azra….) “Virgin Breeze” in Arabic. Azra, don’t tell me you have a job already lined up upstairs!

  54. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 2:43 PM 

    these virgins in heaven, does their virginity comes back after they have sex? if not muslim men will have sex with all 72 virgins on the first day and will have sex with non virgins for eternity, now that unheard of, something for you muslims men to check on

  55. Wine and Pork Lover on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 2:57 PM 

    Yes these virgins are solar-powered, Maldivian Apostate.

  56. peasant on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 3:00 PM 

    The Yellows are not cowards, they are pragmatists, practitioners of realpolitik in statecraft. Well ok, at the very least, they are devious opportunists.

    Convincing a schizophrenic that they are just seeing things is just as easy as convincing the Maldivian populace of their own idiocy; both require time, dedication, management and potent drugs if results are required in a short period of time.

  57. siribavana on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 4:22 PM 

    This is our country. Our bussniess. not your’s.. and our forefathers were Buddhists .

  58. siribavana on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 4:33 PM 

    To : Mohamed on Sat, 3rd Dec 2011 7:07 PM

    What makes it ONLY your country? Why can’t be be MY country or Azra’s country? It as as much ours as it is yours.

    There is no religious or logical reason why I can’t be who I want to be in “my country”. Give me one good reason, even from Quran that says Maldives only has to be 100% muslim country or people of other faiths can’t live here.

    Now you’d tell me majority of people want it to be so. right?. Than you are talking about your so called “dimo crazy “.

    So tell me what is it?

  59. Inthi on Sun, 4th Dec 2011 11:33 PM 

    this is a great read and very well written. well done Azra!

    I wonder where are the leading women in public life of the Maldives? We have quite a good number of women (lawyers and others) who are quite vocal on other issues but this! We also have an awardee of the Women of Courage, but guess noone would want to stir up controversies for the sake of their seat!

    How many have thought about the fact that the ratio of women being flogged in the Maldives is far higher than a man being done for the punishment. Where are the statistics? why have the Azimas and Rozainas and Dunyas of the Maldives kept quiet on this?

    Appalling how hypocritical Maldivians are! ashamed to be one atm!

  60. idreesbe on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 5:48 AM 


    You are picking and choosing things in sharia haphazardly. Maybe you are trying to emphasize your views with any material that comes your way.
    Fighting in islam is not to kill everybody that is kaafir, rather the command to fight is when muslims are oppressed in their land, or when the chieftains of kufr refuse to allow muslims access to their subjects to propagate the message of islam. So rather we muslims will fight for freedom of expression and religion when it is denied by the chieftans of kufr. individually every person has the right to be in any religion they are pleased with even in lands where islamic sharia is practiced. That is atleast the theory.

    our govt (which is not islamic) bans bibles and statues in this country, doesn’t mean we muslims are afraid of bible. its done so to appease the senstivities of the ppl. as for statutes, every sane person shall oppose it as its clear wasteful extravagence nobody benefits from. Just think about the 600000rf they spent on each statue in addu and the continuing military precense to protect it which is like daily 2000rf to protect what? a stone monument? who needs that when we have so much need of precious resources in the country. If u want to oppose islam at every inch of the way then you may approve of the statues, but anyone who is capable of clear thinking will oppose this at least by reason of its wastefulness.

    from my experience with local apostates i can tell that they are more intolerant and disrespectful of others faith than ‘born unbelievers’. So the ball is really in your court to play nice with ppl who don’t take your line.

  61. Wine and Pork Lover on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 2:33 PM 

    “chieftains of kufr refuse to allow muslims access to their subjects to propagate the message of islam”

    The chieftains of kufr already allow that. Look at the huge mosques in the lands of the Kaafarun. Do we see any Christian, Buddhist and Jewish Buddha-temples here in our land? Do the chieftains of Islam reciprocate? No. We always take,take,take. We never give anything back.

  62. Wine and Pork Lover on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 2:39 PM 

    “doesn’t mean we muslims are afraid of bible. its done so to appease the senstivities of the ppl”

    Funny that. The same “sensitivity” is found in such diverse places as Malaysia (which banned a shipload of Bibles recently), Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and among Islamic communities in Europe and North America. Why?

  63. ibrahim sodig on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 3:17 PM 

    @bacon and whisky lover..
    the chieftains of kufr has issue with smaller things like headscarves and mosque minarets also. are you aware of that? if they are so tolerant than why is all this fuss about a piece of cloth?

    &FYI muslims are not ruled by muslims anymore. most of the current rulers of the muslim world can better be discribed as faasiqoon or faajiroon. they are very very far from the beautiful teachings of islam. Look at how they squander muslims wealthy by creating palaces and golden toilets for them to poo? is that islamic?
    I am not counting on you even to admit a manifest truth.

  64. Maldivian Apostate on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 3:28 PM 


    i guess you dont know your own religion than.

    hint learn about “FITHNA” and it will help you.

    your delusions and the lack of knowledge regarding islam is pathetic

  65. Maldivian Apostate on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 3:39 PM 

    Wine and Pork Lover

    they will say just about anything, cos they have to even if it all bull. we all know the status in Maldives, and we all know what islam asks to do to apostates. muslims like these will defend and deny, but it will never change whats already in the religious scriptures.

    sad part is muslims dont know their own realigion, cos they never bothered to take the translation of the Quran or Hadith and read it. NO. the “recite” the Quran. meaning reading it in Arabic like a chant and feel holy about it. they will read through killing fields, and never realize it.

    Quran is a miracle: the only book read by majority muslims without understanding a single word of it.

  66. idreesbe on Mon, 5th Dec 2011 4:58 PM 

    The saddest part of it is that our apostate brethren has made up their mind about everyone’s knowledge about islam including their own! They know more about islam than everyone else’s knowledge combined! I think this is called boasting and i have very little care for ppl who boast about things they have little knowledge of.

  67. Dhivehi Hanguraama on Tue, 6th Dec 2011 12:43 AM 

    I agree with Idreesbe; apostates can be very annoying.

    Tell them that Islam is a tolerant religion, suddenly they go on a rant about how Muslims MUST be intolerant and then, hilariously, demand that they become more tolerant; to iterate, they call upon them to do this while while denying that it is even possible for a Muslim to be tolerant.

    Pure silliness.

  68. Wine and Pork Lover on Tue, 6th Dec 2011 10:22 AM 

    “the chieftains of kufr has issue with smaller things like headscarves and mosque minarets also. are you aware of that?”

    Yes, it is called reciprocating. The chieftains of your cult do not permit kaafarun to go about in normal dress without wearing your gross shroud. It is not just church spires you don’t allow. You don’t allow churches. You burn any carving that looks to you like a Buddha. You know what? It’s called tit-for-tat. That’s the only language you savages understand.

  69. Maldivian Apostate on Tue, 6th Dec 2011 12:29 PM 


    the only knowledge i have on islam is based on Quran and Hadith, and your lastest tasfir with commentary. its all there. care to read? cos apostates do. why? cos we wanna know the truth that why we resort to reading the religious scriptures in a manner we understand it. you gotta try it. islam is clear when you read those.

  70. idreesbe on Tue, 6th Dec 2011 7:05 PM 

    you seem to have encountered too many problems (about islam) at the same time. care to state your objections one by one? just saying that you are against a whole body of learning is useless. there will be bits and pieces where you can object and where you can agree with. if you cannot find agreement with anything islamic, then there is nothing more to go on.

  71. Wine and Pork Lover on Wed, 7th Dec 2011 12:23 AM 

    “whole body of learning”. I suppose this lot would describe sitting around a camp fire and sucking bone marrow as also “a body of learning”.

  72. idreesbe on Wed, 7th Dec 2011 5:18 AM 

    @ pork lover.
    there is saying somewhere that says you become what you eat. so if you love and devour the meat of pigs then you becomes what? :) IF (a big if) you became what you eat then its unlikely you will be able to comprehend much about learning… mee alhe dhoge tha?

  73. Wine and Pork Lover on Wed, 7th Dec 2011 12:16 PM 

    By that logic, you have a fish brain because you eat fish and a bird brain because you eat chicken. What do you have Idrees, fish brain or bird brain? Perhaps you eat peas.

  74. musician on Sat, 10th Dec 2011 1:39 AM 

    Azra, I wonder how much time you spent to wrote this useless shit. Democracy and human rights!!! Do you even know who and where it practice. Those are just words. It has lost its real meaning and now people laugh for those words. cut the crap and be realistic caz we live in a real world

  75. Maldivian Apostate on Thu, 15th Dec 2011 12:33 PM 


    im against all violence and unjust acts. people should be free to choose what they wanna believe in, you cant impose your idea on them and threaten them if they dont except.

    everyone has the right to freedom of expression, and you say apostates insult muslims, well when an apostate says he/she left islam your already insulted to the maximum.

    muslims can go practice their religion in non muslim countries, but for them to practice their religion in maldives is a no no, DOUBLE STANDARDS!!!

    understand this, i stand for whats right. and right now in the Maldives unjust acts towards apostates are brewing, even the state is an enemy of them.

    you think thats fair? so you rather have people lying and pretending to be mulims cos they fear to openly talk their mind? is that what you want?

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