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Page added on December 23, 2011

Protests proceed peacefully as a majority defends Islam

Protests proceed peacefully as a majority defends Islam thumbnail

Two much-anticipated protests, one to defend Islam in the Maldives and another to exhibit support for a “moderate Islam” drew crowds of thousands along Male’s eastern coast this afternoon, and thousands more on islands across the country.

Contrary to  speculation, no violent outbreaks or confrontations took place on a grand scale. However, three individuals were injured during a protest against the government’s religious policies in Haa Dhaal atoll Vaikaradhoo. They have been taken to the island’s health clinic, Haveeru reports.

Meanwhile, police and national defence forces (MNDF) are maintaining close operations on Male’.

“There is no violence, so the police are continuing to survey the situation but they will not interrupt the ongoing demonstrations unless there is a confrontation,” said Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam.

A coalition of NGOs and six political parties began organising a protest “to defend Islam” several weeks ago. Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) coordinated a counter-protest after threatening messages were posted on the coalition’s promotional website. Over the past week government, religious and security officials attempted to negotiate the situation, with rumors of members of the Taliban joining the protest raising concerns over public order.

Both protests began at 4 pm today. MDP’s protest concluded at 5:30, however the “Defend Islam” protest leaders have announced they will remain in action so long as the public demands it.

Defend Islam

Banners bearing slogans including “We stand united for Islam and the nation”, “No idols in this holy land”, “No to the Zionist Murderers”, “No to El Al Airlines” and “We stand for peace” lead participants to gender segregated areas across from the Tsunami Memorial area, where approximately 20 protest leaders spoke from a mounted podium.

Speakers from various religious and political opposition parties addressed an estimated 5,000 men, women and children of varying ages and attire. Protestors were handed t-shirts and banners reading “Maldivians in defense of Islam” along with Maldivian flags.

“We don’t know there is a moderate, higher or lower Islam. We only know Islam, which is above all the religion. The only road we must follow is based of Allah’s callings,” said Jumhoree Party Leader  and tourism tycoon Gasim Ibrahim.

Gasim urged the people gathered to continue the rally peacefully, assuring his party will “stand with the people to protect Islam”.

Former State Islamic Minister and current spokesperson for Adhaalath party Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed said the party does not support terrorism, adding that the security forces would know the actual people provoking terrorism.

He also vowed to defeat President Nasheed in 2013 elections.

The crowd raised cries of “Allahakbar” between speeches, and Shaheem led an oath to defend Islam in the Maldives.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader and MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali said that he was there on behalf of DRP to assure Maldivian citizens that the party will stand with the religion of Islam.

”We are gathered here to uphold Islam for the future of the next generations,” Thasmeen said, accusing the current government of trying to establish anti-Islamic policies.

Increased diplomatic relations with Israel, including possible service of El Al airlines, and recent debates over Shariah law were among examples given.

”We are here to show that will not support those policies yet we are not extremist,” he said. ”We will stay forever as an Islamic nation.”

El Al Airlines was expected to begin service to the Maldives on December 13, but has been postponed indefinitely. The National Security Committee is currently reviewing the situation.

Half-brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Abdulla Yamin argued that President Nasheed would have stood in the front line of this gathering if he wanted to uphold Islam.

”Today they are asking whether churches could be built and idols could be kept,” Yamin said. ”And, the police do not have to defend the idols.”

Yamin accused the government of trying to abolish Arabic and Islamic studies from the country.

”The current government does not care about Arabic and Islamic Studies and has in fact disrespected Arabic and Islamic studies,” he said, reiterating that this nation will forever be an Islamic nation.

Several speakers called on the government to condemn United Nations Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay for her suggestion that flogging be abolished as a punishment for extra-marital sex. Pillay’s comments fueled gathering tensions over the SAARC monuments erected in Addu and the agreement with El Al Airlines, which culminated in today’s protest.

At 6 pm protestors flocked to the sea and were given water bottles for ablutions before a group prayer on site.

MDP for Moderate Islam

Meanwhile at the MDP rally held at Artificial Beach, President Mohamed Nasheed said the government will continue to practice a tolerant form of Islam, reminding listeners that Islam in the Maldives has traditionally been tolerant.

“We can’t achieve development by going backwards to the Stone Age or being ignorant,” he said.

The President also called on leaders of political parties to explain their stance on religious issues to the public ahead of the 2013 presidential election.

“Should we ban music? Should we circumcise girls? Should we allow 9 year-olds to be married; is art and drawing forbidden? Should we be allowed to have concubines? We have to ask is this nation building? Because we won’t allow these things, we are being accused of moving away from religion,” he said.

Nasheed also urged MPs to discuss the inclusion of Sharia punishments in a revised penal code “without calling each other unbelievers.”

“At this moment we may not realise how important this gathering is, but years down the line we will look back and realise this was a crucial moment,” he said.

“I asked you to come here in support of the middle, tolerant path. And I believe that most citizens want to continue our traditional form of Islam,” the President said.

President’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair told Minivan News today that “the opposition said 100,000 would attend their rally, but less than 5,000 showed up.”

“This is because their rallying call was based on a lie – that Islam is under threat in the Maldives,” he said. “It also proves most Maldivians want toleration and not the introduction of extreme punishments such as stoning, amputation and genital mutilation of girls.”

Public Responses

“The government today is breaching the Islamic values everyday. It is already too late to protest. But we need to stop President Nasheed from speaking against Islam. That’s why I am here,” said one 35 year old woman protesting at the Tsunami Memorial.

“I am not at the MDP rally because they are calling for moderate Islam. We don’t want that. We want 100 percent, full Islam in Maldives,” said another participant.

“Islam calls for flogging, stoning and hand amputation. But President Nasheed speaks against these Islamic penalties openly. That means he’s not following Islam. He wants music, he wants adultery and alcoholism to takeover us,” a woman alleged.

Minivan News asked why the people are not protesting outside the parliament or the judiciary, to change laws which currently exempt those Islamic penalties.

The women argued that these bodies are not the ones allowing Israeli flights to land in Maldives, or which approved the monuments in Addu, which they claim are religious idols.

“It is the government that is responsible for these things. Besides we are not allowed to protest outside the parliament and courts. So we are raising our concerns here.”

One observer of the MDP rally clarified that, “This protest is not related to Islam in any way, they are just doing it because they like to protest.”

Other onlookers were more circumspect.

A man who attended the MDP rally said he was happy that there was no violence. “This is how the protests should be. People have now expressed what they want. Let the public decide.”

“I am here to defend Islam. Not to take any sides. The government is doing things that are conflicting with the Islamic values we have been following,” claimed a man wearing a t-shirt reading “one religion”.

According to him, allowing Israeli flights to land in Maldives, closing down Arabiya (Islamic) School and keeping monuments in Addu is all part of the government’s conspiracy to eradicate Islam from the Maldives.

“I am just here to watch what is happening because it is my country,” a man said.

Ahmed Naish, Ahmed Nazeer, Hawwa Lubna and Eleanor Johnstone contributed to this article.

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72 Comments on "Protests proceed peacefully as a majority defends Islam"

  1. MM on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 10:46 PM 

    Same old game and same old tactics.

    Everybody protesting to defend islam. If everyone and every political party is defending then who the hell is attacking islam????

  2. Sheik Imran on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 10:54 PM 

    I have not seen any political rallies that were more political than the rally that Adhaalath held in the name of protecting Islam. So much for the Mullahs.

    What I see is; the opposition political parties taking advantage of a large crowd (combination of Male’s religious extremists and opposition parties) being fed with a majority diet of political lies at the podium.

    Really sad.

  3. Hani on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:07 PM 

    I’m really glad no one got hurt. Peaceful dialogue and debate is the way forward.

    It’s kind of amusing to watch religion being used as a political tool on such a grand scale. Unless religion is totally separated from politics, it will continue to be used as a tool to spread fear and intimidation so as to easier control the population. Sinister, really.

  4. Muad MZ on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:16 PM 

    Hey Anni, it didn’t take me a day or the thousands that showed up even a day to realize where you and your followers will be put in Maldivian history books since obviously you will not last after the 2013 elections. You have not just brought yourself down, but you have took MDP down with you.

    MDP MPs should change to other parties or become independents if they do not support their party’s protest which supports a President and Government that is calling for freedom of religion and welcomes Israel to the Maldives which is a 100% Muslim country.

    I know there were MDP members in the pro-Shariah demonstration, so it is obviously the ones in charge of MDP and currently in the Government which is attacking Islam by asking people to be open minded and debate about Islam in the Maldives. Again, let me tell you.. Islam is not for debate and never will be.

    Did Anni and Zuhair not see the numbers that showed up in MDP planned protest? The weakness it had. Yet the silly President goes up and talks as if the whole Maldives is there and he has seen a new light. Maybe he saw an Israeli flag.

    Also why didn’t Minivan cover the protest like Haveeru? Or show the difference in numbers between the two protests? Maybe some pictures as evidence since we all know that Minivan has occasional anti-Islamic articles themselves. So at this moment, it is the mouthpiece for the President.

    Do you not see the thousands that stayed until now to listen to speakers from so many major political parties and NGOs defending Islam against a President that obviously does not know what Islam really is anymore.

    Also your scare tactics and fear mongering against the peaceful protestors has been slapped on your face! Oh and the face of who ever is giving you these bright ideas. You really need to get better advisers. What are you paying them for, when everything you have done recently have only made you look like a dictator. You need to higher a better public relation expert. Oh wait.. I hear that the Israeli government are one of the best at it. Well, I am sure your already on this due to your close relationship with these Muslim killers.

    Now you most likely have only a few choices to counter the huge protest against you. You will slowly use the media and other forces to create violence in the Maldives in order to accuse good Muslims of extremism. This is the same tricks that Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mubarak of Egypt used against his political opponents in order to arrest them and cause fear in the hearts of the population. Than comes their best line.. ‘if you want stability, security and peace.. you will support me as your President’.

    We are sick of these politics and we will blame you for any violence because we already know your supporters are trying to create violence and provoke peaceful Maldivians who love their religion and country so much.

  5. Muad MZ on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:17 PM

    Some websites to follow the protest on.

  6. Muad MZ on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:21 PM 

    Who is the peaceful ones here? Who is the ones calling for violence? This is taken from Haveeru as a source:

    MDP’s Deputy President Alhan Fahmy is addressing the party’s supporters at its camp.

    Alhan: The current government is a legitimate government; we will go to the area where the protest is being held if the police do not “clear up” the streets within one hour; we call on President Nasheed to command the armed forces to clear up the streets.

  7. Mohamed on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:28 PM 

    give in to their demands!!! they will demand more. mr. president! i did not support you before (i did not support any body, but i do now. there are many like me in this country. please do not give in to their demands. if you do, disaster will strike this country. actually it has struck only that the damages can still be repaired.

  8. Muad MZ on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:35 PM 

    About time I saw a picture to show people the difference in support there is for the two protests. For foreigners, please understand that the yellow one is the protest held by the President of Maldives Mr.Nasheed and the one which the more supporters are the great Maldivians who loves their country just the way it is now under Islamic Shariah.

  9. Dhahjaalu. on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:38 PM 

    Adaalath, We will defend our way of living and Imran, Shaheem, there is a world out side and we are ready to welcome you. please come, we will treat you family and friends with respect. come come. we are waiting.

  10. Steven Bradley on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:42 PM 

    The state of this country’s mass hysteria appalls me. The things they’re calling for in the protest are:
    - The president should condemn Navi Pillay and apologize to the people for letting her speak.
    - Stop the El Al Airlines from starting flights to the country.
    - Take down the SAARC monuments.

    In other words, totally paranoid and useless demands. Why won’t these half-wits protest for and stand up for something that will actually benefit the country socially and economically, like protesting against organized gang violence, increasing amounts of drug use, unemployment levels, the rising dollar rates, the deplorable status of healthcare, and the miniscule amount of the population that has the means for tertiary education???

  11. Dhahjaalu. on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:45 PM 

    Dear Muad MZ, You truly sound like Maumoon’s face, i.e: arse.

    Please know there will be a fair and free election in 2013, unlike your little boy’s time.

    Mean while please know Zakariya Hameed is recovering, if you are ready, more than willing to display doctors report on what happen to his Anus.

  12. Dhahjaalu. on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:45 PM 

    Ready for violence. Frog you just come out.

  13. tsk tsk on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:51 PM 

    I think the people have decided.

    Nasheed does not command the support of the Maldivian people anymore.

    Call it whatever name you will but the opposition has one.

    End of story.

  14. Steven Bradley on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:55 PM 

    And I seriously do not understand this extreme urge to flog people (preferably women) in the name of Islam and yet, these people are not interested in upholding other Sharia-required punishments like amputations for stealing, stoning till death for adultery, and killing for murder. Disgusting double standards.

  15. Muad MZ on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:56 PM 

    Another comparison between the two protests:

  16. A Samad on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:56 PM 

    It is clear there is an overwhelming majority favouring the protection of Islam in the Maldives. In order to prevent the introduction of practices contrary to Islam, the president should take cue from these sentiments and propose a constitutional amendment to preclude any possibility of any other religion being introduced by the Jews, Christians and Hindus to the country.

    1. In addition to every Maldivian being a Sunni Muslim, only Sunni Muslims should be allowed the privilege of visiting the country. No Jews, Christians, Sufis, Hindus, Buddhists and Shias allowed. Only this constitutional ban will decisively ensure we remove the threats posed to our country, it’s religion and people.

    2. “Ribaa” or interest on lending must stop. This is a fundamental tenet of Islam. No banks should lend money, or no commercial banks should operate within the Maldives. No Maldivian should borrow interest bearing money from outside the Maldives.

    3. No liquor nor pork should be imported into the Maldives. As Maumoon said in 1975, those who sell alcohol is no different from those who deal in it.

    4. No Maldivian should travel to a country other than those that are a hundred percent Muslim, lest Satan corrupt his soul through the glitter of wealth and woman. It is always a ‘his soul’, as all ‘her souls’ are already irredeemably corrupted.

    5. The penal code should prescribe no other penalty other than those prescribed in Islam. Death for apostasy, and cutting off the limb for theft.

    6. All TV channels should be banned. No surreptitious corruption of our sousl. The spread of Christianity or other faiths should be given the slightest chance. No songs and no music. Only a constitutional ban will ensure no laws can be made that may relax these horrific practices.

    7. No internet should be allowed. Just look at all those Christian and XXX websites. Enough to rattle the fragile faith of our children.

    Unless these changes are introduced at the constitutional level, the president is not protecting Islam. Long live, the Maldives.

  17. Mohamed on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:03 AM 

    Gentleme! watch the movie ‘agora’. one can see how powerful a political tool religion is.

  18. Jazzz on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:26 AM 

    I wonder if the protesters achieved anything, other than waste their own time??

  19. me on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:28 AM 

    who are the violent ones?
    its the mdp that threatened they will forcefully clear the islam defenders protest.
    who are the intolerent ones?
    its mdp chairman reeko moosa who called the shut down of private tv and radio channels.

  20. nasra on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:43 AM 

    president nasheed has given a bad name to mdp. todays protest created a big rift w
    ithin mdp between those who love islam and who hate islam. we now know big majority is with those who love islam. so, president is any matured politician should join the majority to stay upto and beyond 2013.

  21. Sheik Imran on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:43 AM 

    Today, a terrorist organization was born in Male’ – led by Sheik Ayman-al Zawahiri (Imran)

  22. Leena on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:45 AM 

    I would love to know the list of brothels that Sheikh Imran has, which he wants closed. interesting how he knows so much about these so called brothels

  23. Charlie on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:45 AM 

    The Maldives is a beautiful country, don’t let stone age religious arrogance change that. People should have the freedom to choose their religion, and not be bullied into it by an overly religious state. That is false faith.

    The Malvides is a Muslim country, and it will no doubt stay that way, but personal choice is key. People who wish to follow Islam to the word are welcome to do so, in fact encouraged, but if some choose to not follow such a strict Islamic path, their decision too must be respected. The alternative is forced faith, and therefor false religion. Is that was the Maldives really wants to portray its religion as ?

  24. Shamee on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:58 AM 

    Finally, our President stands up to the zealots who would destroy our culture and traditions and turn this beautiful nation into a terrorists nest like pakistan.

  25. Maldivian Muslim Youth on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:00 AM 

    @ Muaz, We are not dumb. We know that our faith cannot be shaken. We are good and true Muslims behind President Nasheed.

    It is very clear what your motives are. We all know that the government is not trying to destroy Islam or force us to change what we truly believe. So why try to overthrow a democratically elected government over false accusations. Either way, we do not want strict Islamic Shariah in the Maldives. If you want, you can propose to the government to split the constituition so that you can follow the way u like and we will continue to follow the current constitution..

    Pakistan’s population is the 2nd largest muslim population. Those people are talking about a monument that was gifted by the Pakistani government which can no way be blamed on any Maldivian. It is a gift and gifts are suppose to be honored for peace and properity. Majority of the Maldivian population decides and they have shown this by the number of protestors that gathered to their calls twice in a day. Gathering more than 8,000 people in 1 hour shows how badly we need to continue the Islamic practices we practice now. We have been practicing Islam the same way we practice now for 800 years.

    Why is Qasim Ibrahim (Member of Parliament) and Ahmed Thasmeen Ali (DRP leader and parliamentarian) permitted to sell alcohol and pork in the tourist resorts of Maldives which they own? And why are they pointing their faulty fingers to our President Nasheed saying he is trying to destory Islam. This is madness. We do have logical judgments. This is a very bad political act seen from the opposing MP’s of the Parliament.

    Allah (s.w.t) knows the best. Allah Akbar!

  26. Mr Well Done on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:10 AM 

    Mullah Maldivians, well done to you all for showing how hypocritical you all are. Using religion as a politician weapon is dangerous for all Earthly people. It doesn’t matter the religion is Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or Judaism etc…

    Religious fanatics will destroy any country if they get hold of power. So all sane Maldivians do not buy into these Mullahs version of religion.

    I wonder whether these guys have protected any thing in the name of religion. They only showed that how intolerant some Maldivians have become.

    India and Sri Lanka should watch for these intolerant Mullahs. Remove them from your country when they visit for medical treatment like they have destroyed your gift to the Maldives (monuments).

    “All countries such as India should ban export of rice, flour and other staple food to Maldives as these Mullah’s do not need un-Islamic produce.”

    Agree with A Samad.

  27. Hijabi on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:14 AM 

    We should tell the tourists visiting Gasim’s and Thasmeen’s resorts about the intolerant speeches these two made today and how they are aligned with the Jihadis for political gain.

  28. fuzz on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 2:28 AM 

    Defending islam??? These people are so ridiculous. They will protest for any religion and convert into any religion, if they could be president.

  29. mohamed on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:26 AM 

    Steven Bradley & every other hypocrite condemning stoning in Islam: Stoning is a punishment in judaism and christianity as well. The difference between us and them is that they dont follow their holy scriptures like we follow ours.

  30. manik on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:31 AM 

    This is pure COMEDY. It is like Spy vs Spy. As MM said, who is attacking Islam? All are defending Islam and why are they defending it if no one is attacking it?

    These people are raving lunatics. All these MPs. are not fit to be in The Majlis and should be in a mental asylum. Do they think that the Ismali Marukauze is going to be a Church and Hukuru Miskky is going to be a temple? If they think so they absolutely mad.

    How on Earth can any sane person think that there would be any other religion in Maldives when the majority of the people( maybe 99.99%) believe in Islam?
    Would I accept, stoning to death and cutting people’s hand in Maldives? Absolutely not.

    Your religion is between you and Allah. It is not between You, Allah and Seiku Shaheem.
    These people are destroying the country of Maldives and taking us to the dark ages. If they want to live in that kind of life I am sure they can go to Afhganistan and live there.

    Leave Maldives alone. We have been Muslims since the 10th Century and we have been good moderate Muslims and before these lunatics came to Maldives after studying in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia we never had this kind of ” Fithuna” in the Maldives.

  31. SAAI on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:39 AM 

    STEVEN.. ISLAM IS NOT THE ONLY RELIGION WHICH PRACTICE FLOGGING OR STONING..ACCORDING TO MOSAIC LAW WHEN ANY ONE CAUGHT IN THE ACT OF ADULTERY MUST BE STONED TO DEATH . Adultery is strictly forbidden by Christianity as well, as both the Old and New Testaments make absolutely clear.

    The seventh commandment given to Moses states: “You shall not commit aduAdultery is strictly forbidden by Christianity as well, as both the Old and New Testaments make absolutely clear.

    The seventh commandment given to Moses states: “You shall not commit adulte~y”, while the Old Testament says, “He who commits adultery has no sense,” (Proverbs:32). In the Book of Matthew, Jesus is quoted as saying, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew: 5, 28).lte~y”, while the Old Testament says, “He who commits adultery has no sense,” (Proverbs:32). In the Book of Matthew, Jesus is quoted as saying, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew: 5, 28)..AS ISLAM IS THE DIVINE LAW OF ALMIGHTY GOD THERE ARE PERMISSIBLE WAYS TO ENJOY LIFE.QURAN STATES”IF HAVE FEAR OF FORNICATION OR ADULTERY URGED BY GOD TO GET MARRIED” WHEN THERE IS A LAWFUL WAY WHY UNLAWFUL MEANS?

  32. tsk tsk on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:45 AM 

    People rest easy.

    Islam is the language of this revolution. Calling for Civil and Political rights when the country needed focus on economic issues was equally idiotic in 2008.

    A lot of us felt so and some of you are only able to realize the ceremonial nature of languages when it comes to expressing revolutionary sentiments.

    Nasheed needs to step down and allow this country to reach some sort of equilibrium. His insistence on coloring everything yellow and trying to impose his will on a people who do not accept him is driving this country to a breaking point.

    Fear not however, Maldives demonstrated its peaceful nature through the mass protests held tonight. I urge Nasheed to step back and return to his element. Social activism. Religious freedom is too much for our people to stomach at the moment. The organized attempts by Khillath, Nazim et. al. threaten to disrupt social order.

    Stability is what we need Nasheed. Do this for our country and stop pursuing your mad lust for power. Or else the situation will only worsen.

    I have always commented on issues based on my standpoint without using emotion or normative discourse to justify my opinions. The wider majority opposed to Nasheed cannot accept his rule due to the novelty and unfeasible nature of some of his plans. Most of the masses are unable to make ends meet while expanding State budgets aimed at raising MDPs political capital threatens our fragile import-driven sustenance. I urge those in the MDP with sound minds and clear heads to distance themselves from Nasheed if he insists on holding on to power against the will of the Maldivian people.

    I never thought to see this day but Nasheed is truly a dictator. When he first began to drive out competitors and silence intellectuals within the reform movement we were all concerned. However what a lot of us thought to be youthful vigor has turned out to be megalomania. Think Nasheed-supporters. No matter what anyone says the masses would not have stood fast for 8 hours unless they had a reason.

    If you find the idea of religion as a tool for unity distasteful cast aside your own prejudices and think about the Maldivian masses. They cannot change at the speed of light to meet one organizations expectations and demands. Think hard and make your choice. A national unity government would be the wisest choice for us now however certain foreign policy decisions made by Nasheed and his government need to be sacrificed if all are to come to the negotiating table. The MDP is weakened now. What was once an ambitious vehicle for change turned into an Orwellian nightmare with activists growing fat on the excess provided to them from government funds. Once proud heroes of a revolution evolved overnight into wannabe-fatcats sneering at the hunger and destitution of the common folk.

    Who gets what and how much became the talk of the day. MDP is corrupted my friends and cannot withstand a popular revolt anymore. The average MDP activist has nothing to fight for but a government of leeches and parasites who are merely afraid of financial loss. Stand down and let nature take its course. History repeats itself. A government that came to power through deceit cannot hold on to it through the conceit and self-righteousness alone.

  33. K on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:59 AM 

    @ A Samad on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:56 PM 
    Well said!!! You seem to be the only sensible voice here!

  34. Liars on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 5:06 AM 

    You can say whatever you want. We are a moderate Islamic nation. We do not have Sharia law in it’s EXTREME position. People out there to Protect Islam failed to answer the question that the president paused.

  35. Who are we fooling? on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 5:28 AM 

    “We don’t know there is a moderate, higher or lower Islam. We only know Islam, which is above all the religion. The only road we must follow is based of Allah’s callings,” GASIM IBRAHIM. (Hello we have been a middle tolerant Islamic nation. But why would you know?)

    ”We are here to show that will not support those policies yet we are not extremist…We will stay forever as an Islamic nation.” THASMEEN (see Thasmeen implies he’s moderate but of course he has to be near the Tsunami binaa)

    ”Today they are asking whether churches could be built and idols could be kept,” YAAMIN (lies)

    He asked to discuss the inclusion of Sharia punishments in a revised penal code without calling each other unbelievers. “Should we ban music? Should we circumcise girls? Should we allow 9 year-olds to be married; is art and drawing forbidden? Should we be allowed to have concubines? We have to ask is this nation building? Because we won’t allow these things, we are being accused of moving away from religion.”

    If they have not asked for any of these in there rally to defend Islam, I’d say they support a moderate Islam.

    Who are we fooling?

  36. Ahmed Kareem on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 5:44 AM 

    A lot showed up. Why?

    Certainly they don’t want flogged, stoned to death, beheaded. They know they ought to be. Most have committed adultery, bribery, stealing, sown discord among family, visit massage parlours, swindle everyone they can… Everything that they can do to achieve their immediate requirements.

    Their immediate needs are
    1: entertainment. Lack of any form of entertainment will draw everyone in, even to a fixing trip. Look at the crowd at redbull air show.
    2: politics is the only ccoffee talk here. Everyone like to spice it up.
    3: no body will abide by, and in fact will abhorr any government that bans tv, Internet, photography, execute by public stoning to death, marry off 9y olds etc.
    4: it’d really be easy for Anni to ask mullahs to propose zero tolerance clauses to constitution. I bet it will be resort owners who will object to them first. The public will be slow to respond; they don’t realize the gravity of the harsh laws of Islam, until one of their family gets executed, Islam style.
    5: Maldives is doomed.

  37. Shahid on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 7:51 AM 

    To give in to this lot is like saying “I wish to be a slave”. We will be a suburb of Pakistan.

    This is just a last gaspse tool by Gayoom to regain power, every one can see that.

  38. Maldivian Muslim Youth on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 8:16 AM 

    @ MM: Exactly! Coalition protestors are the ones trying to jeapodize the muslimhood we have been living for the past 800 years. We are living right as Muslims. Allah (s.w.t) would not make our lives successful if we are living against the religion and the Holy Quran. And to-date we have achieved nothing but DEFINITE SUCCESS. We don’t need Maldivian sheikhs to preach in favour to extreme Islamic practices and encourage terrorism. Allah (s.w.t) does not like anything if it is used in excess (refer to Ayah’s in Quran). Religion is no exception. How could they not know this when an average person like me knows of it?

    They recited verses regarding the overthrowing of government and such others in last night’s gathering which in the my opinion is pointless to recite in the first place. Coz without doubt ME and EVERYONE WITH SIMILAR IDEOLOGY would stand to protect Islam if any act of ill-treating Islam and Allah (s.w.t) is practiced in the Maldives which is not the case. We have been respecting all religions and above all ISLAM from the very beginning. Currently, there is nothing the government has done to deserve such accussations.

    If the life we are living as Muslims currently in the Maldives is WRONG, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries must urge for the execution of the former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, his advisors, his cabinet ministers and those who encouraged and educated us to practice Islam in the Moderate way since childhood. Let him be the first to be executed if what Sheikh Ilyas, Sheikh Shaheem, Sheikh Imran and others are saying is true about Islamic practices. Because Maumoon himself was the one who decides on religious issues apart from being the president and who showed us the wrong path of Islam for the past 30 years of his long regime. Unless or otherwise this is clear, we would not follow those Maldivian Sheikhs who made a total mockery out of themselves in yesterday’s protest.

    Amongst the political parties participated in the coalition protest includes the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) which is lead by the former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. What a sick joke. Aren’t they Munaafiqs. They are the ones who created moderate Islam which we currently practice and now they are acting against it saying that is the wrong way. What a joke. How dumb do they think the Maldivians are? Using religion to gain power crossed the line. You have played with what we love the most i.e. ALLAH (s.w.t) and Islam!

    Allah (s.w.t) knows all hidden secrets without doubt. Allah Akbar!

  39. Z. on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 8:24 AM 

    What is with the headline MV? What about the silent majority who are sick of these narrow minded politically sponsored people. The majority in the beautiful country are not evil extremists !

  40. Aishath on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 8:39 AM 

    What the people defending islam called for had nothing to do ith Islam. Had they called the President to stop 1) child abuse in the country 2) address cases of rape of vulnerable women 3) Called for cutting the hands to thiefs like the ones we know, then I would have beleived that the gathering was for defending Islam. The credibility of the Gathering was lost when 1) Gasim showed up 2) Yaamin showed up and 3) Thasmeen showed up. I have also heard that Imraan deserves flogging as for Mauroof was it not a Hindu University he got educated in? Is that why he does not call for all the Hindu worhsipping channels in their households be closed.

  41. yaamyn on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 9:57 AM 

    I am very disappointed.

  42. ahumaad on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 10:32 AM 

    Awesome :)

  43. Anees on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 11:17 AM 

    Actually, there is no fear of any other religion being introduced in the Maldives with the Constitution stating clearly that Islam is the State Religion of the Maldives and that no non-Moslem will be a Citizen of this country. Then what is the protection of Islam about?

    The protest leaders are all seekig power. Most of the leaders who took part in the mass demonstration led by the Adalath spoke about government policy obviously unrelated to Islam and personal attacks against the president Nasheed. Protests are not of Islamic design. Because it’s peace no violence that is employed to spread Allah’s word. So, it’s un-Islamic to raise voice for Islam in the Western style of public reactions or civil disobedience.

    If the protests are truely meant for protection of Islam, the religious scholars must have opted to educate the puplic since only this can take care of the survival of the religion.

    The government may not have put up an idol at a junction of a cross road, but it may be the idolator who has one in his drawing room or bed room. If the object of the protesters were protection and spreading Islam, education in Islam must be the focus rather than politics. Government plays a little or no role in influencing the individual as far as religion and faith are concerned.

    Allah knows best to us. Why do we then pray for things like leading us to the path of Islam? Does it mean He may mislead us if we don’t specifically ask for that? Does it mean that Allah made an empty promise of protecting Islam that we have to force the government and people to protect it?

  44. Hijabi on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 11:28 AM 

    I call for a tourism boycott. Let’s see how Maldivians live without money from Kaffir Laadheenee people. If you want 7th century values and customs then by God you shall have the 7th century living conditions to go along with it.

    If you are a foreigner please spread the word. Tell everyone about the intolerant hellhole that this place has become and ask them to keep away.

  45. earthling on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 11:40 AM 

    im glad the opposition using religion as a tool came out to streets and used the masses in the most hedious of ways. at one point making them swear with their index fingers up in the air to not allow any human to be a non-muslim in this nation.
    but thats not why im glad, im glad at least a little bit MDP is awaken and vocal abt religion and ways of life we have been following for centuries and obvious fundamentalization of this nation. hope MDP and everyone else, good muslims will be more vocal and outspoken to depend the good values of islam and do not give in to the fanatics.

  46. Mydhevadhoo on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 11:54 AM

    A miracle in yesterdays protest. There were not a single women who was having period/unclean. they all performed prayer:)

  47. Mohamed Jaiz on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:25 PM 

    First of all Qasim should stop selling alcohol, with that how could he says such a fake word. I think they are doing campaign stuff for 2013.

  48. Indira NewDelhi on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 12:29 PM 

    Islam needs to be defended………not from jews and non believers……….but from sunni muslim fundamentalists who have hijacked moderate islam in most islamic countries and are now terrorizing not only people of other faiths but also other muslims (shias, ahmadiyyas, sufis)
    Look at what is happening in Pakistan today and you will see Maldives in 2021……….scary!!

  49. Hassankoi on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:00 PM 

    Next the Adhalath party will ban girls and women from education, and from working like the Taliban did in Afganistan.

    What is shocking is that till today we have not heard a word from the Mullahs about the violence being committed by men against women and children in our country and the judges who do not allow justice for victims of crime.

    It appears Adhalath party has nothing to say about the violation of the rights of muslim women and children in our country.

    Never will we allow the taliban to rule our country.

  50. kila on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:13 PM 

    yeserday we saw: typical terrorist tactic all over the world… using children and civilians as shields…:(

  51. TRUE MALDIVIAN on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:14 PM 

    to attn of Mr Well Done on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:10 AM,

    What you are saying is that is UK is destroying itself by folowing cristianity, isreal is destroying it self by being jewish and vectican city is already done for. you are talking noncence my friend

    gues we can decide from your comments that you are the one being hypocritical not us, try and control your padres and church poweres and let us be, your internal mental conflict is very aperant in the coments and is best left unshared with us.

  52. Sobah on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 1:51 PM 

    this is all nonsense. first off, anni has not failed. look around you, you fools! the very act of protesting was a right secured to you by his gonvernment. If this was seven years ago, you would all be in jail rotting to your last breath. moderate islam IS what maldives has ALWAYS had. it is YOU who are trying to “change” religion here.

    secondly, the purpose of this whole thing was rather obvious. those demands were all political. where were the mullahs when all the children were raped? what brothels? where are the quran centers? why did you not demand for better education? why did you not demand the government look harder for fornicators and adulterers? I’ll tell you why. because they are hypocrites.. the whole lot of them… this imran raped his own sister in law. I will die before I believe a word from any of these harlots.

  53. Mohamed Rasheed on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 2:16 PM 

    The opposition Political Parties only have Religion?Pathetic!

    To the Religious NGOs, this country needs to practice Islam not decent it. It is tough to find a decent Quran teacher who is reliable. The criminals roaming the streets need help, spiritually!

  54. Like wise on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:03 PM 

    sorry but

    No to underage marriage (6 or 9 or 12)

    No to stoning people to death

    No to banning music

    No to banning art

    No decapitating or amputation

    No to smashing rocks (muslims VS nature)

    No to billy goats

    and no to all the politicians who talked about booze when they have private bars at home.


    and now Maldivians are clear on the fact that moderate muslims are not muslims according to real muslims. so wake up!!!

  55. Like wise on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:08 PM 

    and the funniest thing about the protest is, they are using democracy to go against democracy.

    democracy is what gives them the right to protest and take public votes. but they are all gathered to bring it down, how ironic.

    they love to do this. they use the very freedom provided for them to fight against it, this is the stupidity that we fail to notice.

  56. Ahmed Kareem on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 3:46 PM 

    Anni, I implore you to exercise harshest islamic punishments, may be just for a few months, to those convicted of crimes. Then the public would really see first hand, what happens when one is stoned to death, and/or beheaded. Most will throw up and cry to stop!

    Or better, let’s show some real video footage from Iran and afghan.

  57. End Game on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 4:29 PM 

    The beginning of the Climax!

  58. Mohamed on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 4:54 PM 

    a true muslim believes that the sustanance comes only from Allah, however the government and most of its supporters are afraid that the european coutries might issue trave adversory because of this protest and tourists might not come here but they are not afraid that Allah might send a punishment upon us for all the faahish things happening in this country– think man we might die even this moment

  59. Ibrahim Mufeed on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 8:57 PM 

    I guess Buruma gasim thinks he won the 2013 Presidential election today. He financed this massive demonstration. The government is going to do the something, defend Islam and bring these crooks to justice.

  60. dheyo on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 9:51 PM 

    The majority isn’t defending Islam. This protest isn’t about protecting Islam. Its got nothing to do with Islam. Its about winning the next election. Come the election the whatever party that supported the religion the most, will win, is the maxim of the day. The dumb, simple minded and good hearted people follow these crazies because they think what they are saying is remotely true. No, not even that but because of the slogans they use…”PROTECT ISLAM” (wtf) surely they will gather to that.
    But I digress, the ones who are at neither of the protests are the true majority. They are the ones who don’t give a monkeys buttocks about what the politicians are saying, but will come around when the feces hit the fan. Unfortunately it will be too late.
    Religions are a thing of the past. I say. But no one listens.
    Now the more important questions are at hand.
    Like: “What will Mahdi (ge faanu) will use to direct his disciples, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter?”

  61. Sheikh Imran Abdullah on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 11:08 PM 

    Adhaalath Party will win the next election by a 90% land slide, and I know this because of the numbers which attended yesterday. This is just a preview. We will make Shaheem our next president, and enforce Islamic Shariah to the full extent in 2013. People shall be flogged, their limbs amputated, and fornicating women stoned. All windows will be tinted to prevent unrelated men from seeing women inside their homes. It will be obligatory for women to wear the niqab (not the jewish thing dhivehi women wear and call hijab), and music, art, dancing and all these Jewish activities will be banned.

    By the grace of Allah SWT, we will accomplish what the Taliban failed to implement in their country, and lead our brethren to paradise.

  62. Alibeyya on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 11:49 PM 

    What was there to defend when nobody was attacking? what we saw on display of cheap politics representative of 3rd world countries.

    what was unusual the wowing of oath read out by sheikh shaheem. He read out the owed and the crowd followed him without having a slightest idea as to what they were taking an oath for.

    Agitated as he was Hassan Saeed could not recall the Arabic words while attempting to glorify Islam and had to be helped by other Mullahs behind.

    Unless a referendum is held, there is no way anybody can tell what majority’s position is on a given issue.

    Claiming that they achieved 100,000 target is deceitful if the figured is not proved by detailed statistics. It is certainly against Islam to lie and mislead.

  63. Aishath on Sun, 25th Dec 2011 7:02 AM 

    Religion is the root of all evil. Invented by man, to control man!

  64. James on Sun, 25th Dec 2011 8:56 AM 

    Mr. President let me suggest you some advise.

    MDP needs to integrate an islamic marketing campaign into your strategic marketing strategy if we are to win this battle , thus Mr Baree just became your new best friend.a few resources ought to be dumped into islamic portofolio , and then the plan should liquify into marketing activities such as having adult qua ran classes , courses for hajj performers, such activities should also be aimed to strengthen the status quo of the nation on Islamic frontier .. the public should be hit with this information 24/7 for the next 1 year or so , from channels such as TV , Radio , telephone , internet . The grass rout needs to deliver the message by word of mouth.

    Point Number 2 – You also need to attack the opposition on this ground as well , aim for their weakness , attack on these carefully selected areas.and there seem to be a lot .

    we will win . inshaa allah

  65. Ibrahim Mufeed on Sun, 25th Dec 2011 11:35 AM 


  66. mazin on Sun, 25th Dec 2011 12:37 PM 

    I will never let these bearded wahabis take over this country and turn it into the dark ages, thasmeen and Gasim, surely u can do better than team up with these idiots for political reason, all your resorts will be gone if they get power, they will slaughter you once they deal with anni,

  67. Latheefa Moosa on Sun, 25th Dec 2011 1:32 PM 

    MDP should more women for Haj. Government should revive the old Haj of tax payers account and send prominent islanders through council nominations.

  68. Dhivehin on Sun, 25th Dec 2011 2:34 PM 

    Minivan news ge project fail vi dho.mi gamuge dharin adhi thibee heyla ey. Ahanah Verikan libey dhuvahakun kaley menn ge mi site block aruvaalaanan hurey.kaley me nah heehavee dho thithaa ingireysinge eheegaa konme kameh kurevidhaane ye.bala emeehunna kah ves mi rajjeyge rayyithun naa dhe kolha kah nukureveyne evves kameh…huvafenun theduvey…enooni huvafenun nutheduvi ovvaa nethi nimidhaane.

  69. Maldivious on Sun, 25th Dec 2011 6:34 PM 

    @tsk tsk

    Well said, I couldnt have articulated my thoughts as well as you did.

  70. Maldives Expat on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 4:47 AM 

    @ A Samad on Fri, 23rd Dec 2011 11:56 PM – well said…

    It’s great to hear that all the problems in Maldives will be saved by a 100% Islamic state. What a great solution! Here is what could be an alternative 10 step action plan…

    1. The government would just need to stop the tourism, which president allowed it in the first place?! Of course, true Muslim tourists would be welcome… I guess that’s easy to screen at the airport…

    2. The government can stop the introduction of tourism taxes. No tourists, no taxes right? And if not tourism flow of cash, who can afford taxes anyway so stop all taxes. Full stop. Everyone can pay for everything by themselves: medicals, medicine, schooling, dental care etc.

    3. The government would need no foreign workers and no expats in the country… That way there would be no impact from any other person or religion outside… Plus there would be so many jobs available for all the Maldivians! Most of them pay like USD 100 per month, but better than nothing right?

    4. Ask all the resort owners and Maldivian expats to move back to Maldives and give the money they have made in the last 30 years back to the people. You cannot allow Maldivians live, work and study abroad anyway, they will get influenced by other religions. Actually, just withdraw all passports for immidate stop. Exit from the country can only be approved by the president or the Islamic Centre in Male.

    5. Also ask all the house owners to live in their own houses and give the one’s they are renting out to the people who currently have nowhere to live. Who needs a 10-story house when you live only in 01 appartment? Of course, unless you have 4 wifes, cause then you can keep 4 stories for family peace. That’s giving to the community true Zakat style!

    6. Stop educating students in Dhivehi and English or any other language. Arabic is the true Islamic language, shouldn’t the country be all Arabic speaking anyway by now? And since no-one can leave the country as they might get influenced, you would not need any other language anyway. They speak Arabic in Saudi for the pilgrimage, which by the way is mandatory… Money will be no issue anyway with all those construction jobs available in Male’.

    7. Whilst the government are at it, forbid all TV channels and only broadcast recitations of the Holy Book on TV and radio.. Also cut the satellite connections for internet and that big cable over to Sri Lanka… no internet, no influence. Oh, and close all book stores and stop free speach. Only publications from the Islamic Centre is allowed.

    8. Ban mobile phones, iPads and laptops… that would put about 100 stores out of business in Male’ alone… no worries, they can take the jobs all expats and Bangali labour are currently doing..

    9. Focus on People’s Majlis… who all earn way too much money anyway… just give them like all the resort workers, about USD 200-400 per month + service charge if they have actually done their job… and not been on strike… or holiday… or protesting in the streets like the common man… That could be their Zakat… and if they don’t pray 5 times per day, deduct from the salary…

    10. If all else fails, be prepared to build an ark or emigrate to that piece of land that the government has bought somewhere for the Maldivian people. Let’s just hope it’s somewhere in a Muslim country.

    For those who don’t get irony/sacrasm, start whining..

    Maldives is a fantastic country and I miss it dearly… For the normal people, good luck for the future – I really mean it.

  71. Mohammad on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 4:52 AM 

    Sheikh Imran Abdullah on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 11:08 PM – I guess your tongue will be amputated for telling lies.

  72. moyameeha on Mon, 26th Dec 2011 9:54 PM 

    @ my dear infidel friends.
    Please lets stop insulting Islam for a few days. I think we have done enough damage for our cause which is to establish an atheist kleptocracy in this country asap. But we are going too fast. the silly Muslim population is slowly realizing our plot and they are discerning our designs. So lets put a brake to our plans for a few weeks dho? What do you think? I think we shall give Anni some time to catch up on all these politcal fallouts from our failed medhumin muzaahiraa.

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