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Page added on December 10, 2011

Protesters calling for religious tolerance attacked with stones, threatened with death

Protesters calling for religious tolerance attacked with stones, threatened with death thumbnail

Police are investigating a violent attack on a ‘silent protest’ calling for religious tolerance, held at the Artificial Beach to mark Human Rights Day.

Witnesses said a group of men threw rocks at the 15-30 demonstrators, calling out threats and vowing to kill them.

One witness who took photos of the attacked said he was “threatened with death if these pictures were leaked. He said we should never been seen in the streets or we will be sorry.”

Among those injured in the attack was Ismail ‘Khilath’ Rasheed, a controverisal blogger whose website was recently blocked by the Communications Authority of the Maldives (CAM) on the order of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Rasheed suffered a head injury and was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

“They started hitting us with bricks. They were aiming at our heads – we could tell they were serious and wanted to kill us,” Rasheed told Minivan News from hospital. “I was taken on a motorcycle to IGMH, but I could see them behind me still hitting my friends.”

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said police attended the scene after the attackers had departed, and were currently investigating the cause of the violence. No arrests had yet been made, he added.

The protesters, calling themselves ‘Silent Solidarity’, had earlier issued a press release stating that their intention was to “make the Maldives and the international community aware of the rising religious intolerance in the Maldives, and to condemn the Constitutionally endorsed suppression of religious freedom. We also denounce the increasing use being made of Islam as a tool of political power.”

“Silent Solidarity will be protesting against discrimination of all races, gender, sexual preferences and religious beliefs and supporting freedom of thought and expression. In our silence, we speak volumes,” the group’s statement said.

The Maldives has come under increasing international scrutiny following an apparent rise in religious intolerance.

Several monuments gifted to the Maldives by other SAARC countries during the recent summit in Addu have been defaced or stolen on the grounds that they are idolatrous. Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has condemned the monuments while the opposition has hailed the vandals as “national heroes”.

Protests also erupted last month after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spoke in parliament calling for the government and the judiciary to issue a moratorium and debate on flogging as a punishment for extra-marital sex.

“This practice constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country,” Pillay said.

“The issue needs to be examined, and therefore I called for a countrywide discussion. It is much better if the issue is transparent and debated.”

Pillay also stated that requirement under the Maldivian constitution that all Maldivians be Muslim ”is discriminatory, and does not comply with international standards. I would urge a debate again on the issue to open up entrance of the constitution to all.”

Challenged by a local journalist that the Maldives was both obliged to protect the religion of Islam, she replied: “You have a constitution which conforms in many respects to universal human rights. Let me assure you that these human rights conform with Islam.”

She added that the Maldives had signed international treaties that are legally-binding obligations, “and such a practice conflicts with these obligations undertaken by the Maldives.”

The following day protesters gathered outside the UN building, carrying placards stating “Islam is not a toy”, “Ban UN” and “Flog Pillay”, and called on authorities to arrest the UN High Commissioner.

MPs roundly condemned Pillay’s statements.

‘”What we should be worried about holding discussions against the fundamentals of Islam in a 100 percent Muslim country such as the Maldives is that we may start questioning about worshipping God Almighty tomorrow,” said opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrashim Ali.

Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed said the Maldives “will never ever open doors for religions other than Islam in the Maldives. We’ll not give the opportunity to speak against the fundamentals and principles of Islam in the parliament.”

MP Riyaz Rasheed, from the opposition-aligen Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) condemned the Speaker Abdulla Shahid from allowing Pillay to complete her address.

“There is a good chance for us to directly say that Abdulla Shahid has made a good deal with this government to wipe out the religion of Islam from this country,” MP Rasheed said.

President Mohamed Nasheed has meanwhile said that Maldivians “should have the self-belief and resolve not to have our faith shaken by listening to statements or opinions expressed by others.”

“That the punishments and rulings of Islamic Sharia are not inhumane is very clear to us,” Nasheed said. “We have the opportunity to show the whole world how noble and civilised Sharia is. That is because we are the only Islamic nation with a democratically-elected government.

“Wasting that opportunity in a Jihadi spirit” with the claim of “defending Islam” was unacceptable, Nasheed said. “Opposition parties will always attack us by using religion as a weapon. [But] I believe that this country is the only Islamic nation where Islamic Sharia has been practiced uninterrupted for 700 years.”

Religious sentiment in the Maldives can often be vocal and heated, but has rarely led to physical violence.

In late May 2010, well-known Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik visited the Maldives and delivered a sermon in the capital Male’. During a question-and-answer session 37 year-old Mohamed Nazim stood up and declared himself “Maldivian and not a Muslim”.

Nazim’s declaration angered the 11,000 strong crowd, and he was escorted from the venue by police and officials from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs amid calls for his execution.

After two days of religious counselling in police custody, Nazim appeared before television cameras at an Islamic Ministry press conference and gave Shahada – the Muslim testimony of belief – and apologised for causing “agony for the Maldivian people” and requested that the community accept him back into society.

In July 2010, 25 year-old air traffic controller Ismail Mohamed Didi was found hanged from the control tower of Male’ International Airport in an apparent suicide, after seeking asylum in the UK for fear of persecution over his stated lack of religious belief.

“Maldivians are proud of their religious homogeneity and I am learning the hard way that there is no place for non-Muslim Maldivians in this society,” Didi wrote in a letter to an international humanitarian organisation, prior to his death.

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105 Comments on "Protesters calling for religious tolerance attacked with stones, threatened with death"

  1. Hamdhoon on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:18 AM 

    I think the government and police must take this very seriously. We cannot allow the extreme religious fanatics to hijack our democracy and run havoc in the country. These guys must be brought to justice. If we continue this path no one is going to invest in the country. We are going to become a banana republic

  2. Ibrahim Mohamed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:23 AM 

    We cannot allow these type of things in the name of Islam. What is the difference between Taliban and Maldivians. I guess we have to keep a close watch on Pakistani educated gangs hanging around. These stories are all over the news today in the western world. This is bad for the country. I urge the government to take actions against anyone who cannot accept views of others. We cannot take law into our hands in the name of Islam. This is wrong then and this wrong now

  3. yaamyn on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:56 AM 

    Absolutely shameful.

    But I absolutely expect the government to turn a blind eye to this violence.

    If you’re a thug, a terrorist or a politician in the Maldives, you can always get away with anything in the name of religion.

    According to eye-witnesses, the hired bearded hoodlums that attacked this silent gathering threatened and abused the people right in front of the Police, who just watched in silence.

  4. hassan on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:10 AM 

    The government of Maldives supports this acts of new religion within the country, well if we try to stop these types of religious beliefs around male’ we are called terrorist or criminals , Well.. this has never happen over the years for freedom of religion

  5. Haleem on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:29 AM 

    not tolerating other religions is not an Islamic ideology. It’s rather a nationalist ideology and these ignorant, lentil soup-fed mullah should be brought to justice.

  6. Markaz on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:30 AM 

    I applaud the brave Mujaaheddeen for bravely standing up to vile Islamophobic bigots.

  7. Mazin on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:45 AM 

    I hope they have more protests like this, there are so many maldivians with similar views but forced to be silent but social stigmas,
    I support religious freedom in maldives!!!!

    (and no that doesnt mean no islam)

  8. Jesmine on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 2:44 AM 

    a non moslim cann’t be called as a Maldivian person. Majority of Maldivian people don’t want that statement to be changed; welcome to western decmocracy. Always majority wins. Hilath claims he is a sufi muslim, but is he really? Does he pray five times a day and practice his religion? If not Why i or anyone Should be listening to him. Oh and the group of men who threw rocks! Are they really good moslims?

  9. n.didi on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 3:30 AM 

    Well what they were protesting was against the constitution .. so those protesters should be brought to justice ….

  10. kst kst on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 3:49 AM 

    These Habee maniacs always go the potentially fatal blow, don’t they? I hope they have fun in jail.

  11. Ahmed Aliased on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 4:37 AM 

    Poor islam – reduced to hiring thugs to enforce its laws. This is the day islam was truly destroyed to serve the needs of some greedy arab-wannabes.

  12. Ibrahim Mohamed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 5:43 AM 

    Today you have a choice. Join Taliban or live a fee democratic life. Unfortunately there is no middle ground. All this is done by Maumoon A Gayoom and Yaameen. They think this is the only road to get into power to replenish the dwindling bank accounts.

  13. Indira NewDelhi on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 5:56 AM 

    I think it is about time India severed all links with the backward intolerant 100% muslim Republic of Maldives. Why is it that when Maldivians travel abroad they expect to take their islamic faith and culture with them but deny other faiths the same rights in the Maldives?……..I thought islam was a religion of peace and tolerance?Clearly Maldivians are very insecure in their faith…….the mere sight of an ‘idolatrous’ monument might send them rushing to convert to christianity and hinduism……even one non believer in Maldives will send the mad mullahs in an apoplectic fit.
    I would like to see all flights from Maldives to Trivandrum, Kochi, Hyderabad and Bangalore discontinued and all Maldivians in these cities rounded up and sent back to their primitive ’100% muslim’ atolls.
    Please, please, please………don’t pollute our happy heathen secular environment with your intolerant faith. Go to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Turkey for medical treatment and higher studies……….anywhere but India…….Give us idol worshippers a break.

  14. dave on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 6:26 AM 

    I WILL NOT be travelling to the Maldives…not now after hearing what has been happening. And now that I know it’s 100% muslim rule…NO WAY!!! I’ll stick to a civilized CHRISTIAN society in my travels.

    Dave The Canadian Capitalist

  15. Fazu on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 7:14 AM 

    I seriously want to know what Azra, the Human Right Commissioner has to say about this. I hope you will not opt for the easy way out and remain silent.

  16. democracy on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 7:21 AM 

    The so called protestors simply want to create divisions in the country.. I totally support to stop these people before they poison the society.

  17. aisthath on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 7:27 AM 

    Most of us know who Hilath is and what he wants. But I think we should respect what the majority wants. Majority supports neither sexual freedom (to practise homosexuality) nor religious freedom ( to practise religions other than Islam). So I call on Hilath and other perverts to stop this nonsense.

  18. Freako Moosa on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 8:32 AM 

    Freedom of religion is inevitable. Today there were 30 protesters tomorrow there will be 300. Wait and see, by 2020 there will be freedom of religion in this country whether mullah’s like it or not.

  19. Ilham on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 8:42 AM 

    Forbidding religious freedom is the original sin in our constitution.

  20. rambe on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:02 AM 

    If there is any civilized Maldivian out there, they should not go in front of this monkey brained people of this country. They are more dangerous than any predator in the wild. They are the most dangerous animals who can use their brain to carryout complex hand movement with the intention of harming others and motivated by fanatic ideas. It is not intelligent thing to go in a cage where animals are locked and tease them. Those few who are educated should be thankful that they are free people who can live a better life, and let this ignorant brain dead mass live in a hollow world and die an animal life with wish of eternal life waiting there with all material lust.

  21. Maldives Defenders League on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:09 AM 

    Agree with markaz.
    Those who ‘protested’ in defiance to our constitution should be locked up and procecuted immediately so that these type of things do not happen again.
    Maldives will always remain 100% Muslim country and we will never give freedom of apostacy in Maldives. Those that cant digest this, should get their citizenship revoked and leave us in peace for us and our future generations.

  22. Ahmed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:10 AM 

    There is NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION…this is categorically spelt out in Soora Bagara Verse 256.

    One of the fundamental truths established by the sacred texts is that no one can be compelled to accept Islam. It is the duty of Muslims to establish the proof of Islam to the people so that truth can be made clear from falsehood. After that, whoever wishes to accept Islam may do so and whoever wishes to continue upon unbelief may do so. No one should be threatened or harmed in any way if he does not wish to accept Islam.

  23. Ali on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:12 AM 

    Any attack on his head will be an improvement to his current mental state. lol

  24. Aminath on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:17 AM 

    I condem the police for not preventing this illegal gathering from taking place. It is sad that ordinary citizens have to take law into their own hands in order to protect the constitution.

  25. dhivehin on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:24 AM 

    When will these 30 idiots learn democracy?
    The over whelming majority of maldivians doesnt want ‘freedom’ of religion.
    And the ‘discriminatory’ constitution which you were talking about was passed unanimously by the peoples representatives of the parliment.

  26. ainth on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:38 AM 

    standing shoulder to shoulder to the brave maldivians who stood for maldives and our religion.
    we have been tolerating these actions, threats and mockings from these crooked secular thugs for too long.

  27. ... on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:44 AM 

    Where is our president Mohamed Nasheed who became president after taking an oath which states that “I promise to protect the religion Islam in maldives”.
    Mr. president, full fill your oath!

  28. ainthu on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:44 AM 

    the protesters actions are illegal according to our constitution.. The government should arrest these thugs apply the law on them..

  29. Ali on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:00 AM 

    first of all this protest is against the constitution.

    if you want to be a cristian or gay, lesbian go some where else, try abroad (america or india etc) we live in maldives and we accept the religion and its concepts

    freedome of speeh does not mean that you go against the religion and try to allow other religions in to this small community

  30. sira on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:18 AM 

    This is neither a political nor a religious issue. Majority maldivians support the status quo. Hilath and his supporters are not outside the maldivian law. They cannot just break the law to pursue their agenda.

  31. Kareemuddin on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:20 AM 

    Hillath is president’s relative. So he can apply for assylum in UK. I think Prince Andrew can do the needful for him.

  32. Dhona on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:24 AM 

    @ Ali
    good one. hehe.

  33. peasant on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:33 AM 

    Oh the irony, the defenders of the religion of peace, love and humanity, expressing such tolerance.

    I blame the the crazy ass “secularists” for bringing this upon themselves. They were looking to reason with diseased rabid dogs, what did they expect?

    It takes cunning and a more systematic approach people. The good news is in the name of Allah along with their humanity, they have given up their intelligence and the instinct of self preservation…..lets take it from there.

  34. Maldivian loner on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:41 AM 

    I thought Islam permits Thaqiyaa( hide their faith) a preference to life than the death. In a predominantly secular tolerant world, small vulnerable rats like Maldivian whose survival is only guaranteed by modern world, these zombies still think they can act like savages. If the rest of the world that is secular behave same way like these zombies, than we will see how their Thaqiyaa will function. Survival instinct….

  35. Hani on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:43 AM 

    So religious fanatics are above the law? It is legal for them to kill and murder their fellow Maldivians because of their beliefs?

    The foreign commentators on this article are even more hilarious. Saying we’re intolerant and then grouping all of us together and saying you’ll never visit our beautiful country. We are all not like that. The people that got attacked were Maldivians too. If you actually gave a crap rather than being all high and mighty about how civilised your own country is you would have a different attitude.

    There should be freedom of religion in the Maldives. The notion that 100% of Maldivians are Muslims is a total and utter lie.

    Hate can be a powerful tool for control and radicals are easy to manipulate. It’s no surprise that most of the fanatics are led by politicians.

    Islam doesn’t need protection and it’s pretty obvious the people trying are just destroying it with their misguided jihad.

  36. .... on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 11:46 AM 

    I thought Islam let people choose religions for themselves and we can only advise them and explain to them about Islam, if they have thoughts about leaving Islam or becoming an atheist or what-not…=S at least that’s what i was taught when i was in school. (I am a Muslim btw, no hate towards me please! Just letting out my thoughts =/)

  37. alibeyya on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 11:52 AM 

    The Maldives is 100% Muslim but the people or the citizens are not 100% and it is a fact.

    For Muslims Quruan commands more authority than the constitution. The point is Allah doesn’t force a particular religion on anyone!

    Islam is peace and the violence seen is contrary to Islamic principles.

    There is no religious unity in Maldives. There are various faction of Islam itself operating in maldives.

    It is in the interest of the country to encourage a tolerant society. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism and tourists are mainly kaafirs. If Allah blessed us with oil wells, we could have prohibited tourists of other faiths from arriving to Maldives.

    Besides Hilath and his group voiced their concern over the growing intolerance of the Mullahs.

  38. hanged air trafic controler on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 11:53 AM 

    this is what happens when president let criminals out of jails for simply being his relative. we all know that hilath was found with a drug overdose and with illegal narcotics and he was arrested. but the president let him go as he is a relative of him.
    the only freedom hilath deserves is to be in jail where he belongs.

  39. Impartial Comments on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:08 PM 

    There always is a hidden motive behind all these fundamental attacks. Maybe people should stop fire-fighting and sit down to pick at the root of the problem.

  40. Mohamed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:17 PM 

    no one is above the law, let it be the mullas or anyone else. there is no religious freedom given the maldivian constitution nor is it provided in the constitution allowing for people to take the law in to their own hands and cause physical harm to others.

  41. Hasan on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:23 PM 

    hilath should be thankful he didnt get killed.. next time we gonna not only injure your head..

  42. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:25 PM 

    those so called habiee are criminals who took the form of “Habiee” in jail or when released, its a cover they put on. they are violent uncivilized barbarians, who is using islam as an excuse for violence. and they believe they are defending islam but brutally attacking civilians. they are violent and intolerant people. and what can i say, they fit right into islam as islam promotes such violence by asking followers to kill those who oppose islam or leave it. this is the reality.

    to all the so called moderate muslims, GO TO (YOUR IMAGINARY) HELL!!! there is no such thing as moderate muslims, islam is islam, its based on what the Quran and Hadith sasy. your liberal ideas or moderate idea will fly out the window the moment you have to put it into action. your nothing but hypocrites who thinks you can pick and choose what to believe in islam, you are FOOLS!!!

    as for apostates, this is the reality, do not ever be fooled to think that islam is a religion of peace and its followers are peaceful humans, no sir!! yesterday was just the tip of the ice berg. be safe and careful who you speak to and where you speak regarding your beliefs. its not easy to be against a bunch of primitive thinking barbarian who thinks 72 virgins are waiting for them if they die in the process of trying to kill us apostates.

  43. basher on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:38 PM 

    @Markaz
    “brave Mujaaheddeen for bravely standing up to vile Islamophobic bigots”
    What’s brave about throwing bricks at silent peaceful protesters? How is using violence against defenseless members of society a brave action?
    How does a silent protest, protesting for freedom of religion equate to islamophobic bigotry? With democracy, wahabis have been allowed to spread their own extreme Islamic beliefs from the podium in a way that they believe to be true, using freedom of speech. So why shouldn’t these protesters be allowed to express what form of Islam they believe in, a religion which has existed peacefully in this country for 100s of years, until I may add these wahabis have infiltrated society?

    @democracy
    So a silent protest by 30 young protesters can poison society huh? What about the relentless fear-mongering by these extreme mullahs? We all have to bear their extreme views on a daily basis. Just switch on the TV, turn on the radio, sit waiting for a ferry, get a taxi, poison coming from every direction, poison that did not exist 10 years ago. And now all of a sudden, we are all subjected to it as this is the “true” Islam. What nonsense. Wake up and smell the reality.

    @aisthath
    “Majority supports neither sexual freedom (to practise homosexuality) nor religious freedom ( to practise religions other than Islam).” Oh really? Please provide the stats? I beg to differ. Every single person born as a Maldivian is automatically forced to be a Muslim as is stated in the constitution. This does not mean they will forever refuse to support religious freedom.

    @Ali
    Your ignorance and lack of wit is absolutely astounding. May Allah bless you some day and develop that little pea-sized object inside your head.

    @dhivehin
    “The over whelming majority of maldivians doesnt want ‘freedom’ of religion.” I’m looking forward to seeing those stats which you have based this on.

  44. Fake mullah on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:39 PM 

    Decmocracy was initially at this level. People thought it was impossible and many were injured and put into solitary confinement. History is repeating with a bigger challange whether you like it or not. This time will see how tolerant you faith heads really are. Enjoy the show.

  45. visham on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:41 PM 

    for someone who goes on issuing threats against others in his blog, he deserve what happened to him.

  46. Flogmiester on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:56 PM 

    Fellow Maldivians.

    Do you see how these apostates are trying to convert our country? Why? Because we have not done our religious duty.

    All these guys need is a healthy amount of flogging to cure them of their desire for religious freedom.

    We need to start carrying out more flogging to correct society. Hilath needs a weekly/monthly dose of flogging, then we can all sleep much better.

    Thank god for flogging.

  47. Flogmiester on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 12:58 PM 

    Praise Allah for giveth us flogging. He is all wise and all knowing!

  48. muslim on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:10 PM 

    democracy = majority wins.
    sorry guys, majority wont allow you few bunch of people to carry on those silent or non silent protests.

  49. Mikaloa-O on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:10 PM 

    To my belief, Allah and Islam allows anyone and everyone to believe what ever one may want to believe.
    If not Allah would not be feeding and granting life to them unbelievers who form the majority of this planet!
    Surath Al Kaafiroon is sufficient for one to know this truth!
    Fanatic scholars cannot, or do not want to believe this truth!
    Islam, does not need no protection from no one.
    And there can be no one more tolerant than Allah Almighty and HIS Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) who has “completed” Islam, as he was ordered to.
    Being together as true believers would make us stronger for sure. Divided, we definitely will be weaker in all respect.
    The mere truth is that it is not democracy that is prevailing today!!!!

  50. saadha on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:11 PM 

    yes! i vote for the extremist….. pls next time just kill da bastard….i am so sick of this ‘heelath’ and all his stupid friends…

  51. Mohamed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:13 PM 

    i support freedom of religion
    anyone who says its unconstitutional is fighting against islam

    maldives should try honesty for once

  52. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:15 PM 

    we are not trying to convert or bring in another religion into Maldives, we simply want to be free from islam, and not call our self muslims, me personally disregard religions. i believe all religions are fabrication of mankind.

    we just want our space. we have the right to live in the country we were bo0rn into, and as individuals we have the right to freedom of thoughts.

    again. we are not trying to introduce religions into Maldives, but simply leave islam and be non muslims.

    we are not looking for violence but a peaceful solution that we all can agree on to live together as Maldivians.

    why is it so hard when in male we have people of different religions, and we work together, why cant non muslim Maldivians be treated the same?

    this is the 21st century, lets live up to it and let stone age ideology be a thing of the past.

  53. saadha on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 1:18 PM 

    @ dave.

    pls do us a favor and dont come here! like we dont give a damn abt you….who cares if u come here or not….its better if u dont come here

  54. Mohamed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 2:03 PM 

    “Lakum dheenukum Valiyadheen” as simple as that. lets stick to it guys…

  55. Zeena on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 2:06 PM 

    MDP just lost my vote.

  56. mohammed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 2:18 PM 

    MDP is dumb or what – this is just political suicide for them… they should respect democracy and learn what the majority wants – i.e. if they want to win in 2013

  57. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 3:02 PM 

    this movement has nothing to do with MDP so stop trying to make this about your political game, this is the movement of the minority of Maldives, the Apostates.

    this is not a political agenda!! STOP TRYING TO DIVERT THIS WHOLE THING!!

    this is about the few brave people who are strong enough to stand for whats right.

  58. Mohamed on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 3:02 PM 

    signs of end of the world. this is an example in Maldives.

    to all atheists, make sure you change your names than using names of our holy prophets. Its a shame.

  59. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 3:30 PM 

    Arabic is just another language, and we will be more than happy to change our names.

    and we would be more than happy to remove our head count from the islamic population, and also to remove the 100% islam statues this country so wrongfully uphold. just let us leave, no violence. please

  60. shukooru on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 4:32 PM 

    hilath is a mentally challenged kid,we all know that. we shouldn’t care about what he do, we have a tolerance community and till now we are living in peace. lets keep it this way.when you are fighting for religious freedom i wonder how many Christian or Hindu’s follow there religion truly. these people using religion as a tool to make violence in peaceful communities.

  61. Steve on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 4:39 PM 

    Saahda. If the Indian Ocean rises a few more feet then there will be no more Maldives to visit:)

  62. common sense on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 4:58 PM 

    Let’s think fairly, religion is not something that we are born with it. We are born with flesh and bones we all share. Religion is just like our cloths that we put on to individuals liking. People who are attached with a religion for generations it becomes part of their psyche and becomes an emotional attachment like love. Is religion good? If religion is good thing it should unite human being, but we see religion divides people and is the source of all evil thing we see today. If any one religion is good why all are not following that religion, are human being are so dumb they can’t identify one good religion and everyone follows it. Why do we have to be so fanatic about something that does not do any good to us? It only destroys us by creating division, hatred and all envies. If someone has the ability to justify religions with critical mindset who do not want follow something blindly, why others are so mad about him because he is different and has courage to detach from his emotional bondage?. Anyone who cannot see a very simple logic as this probably is not a fully evolved human being. Are Maldivian are not fully eve loved. It is shame to be Maldivian.

  63. hassan on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 4:59 PM 

    steve

    it could happen to your country too. if a asteroid hit earth all us will be dead. so shut up. don’t try to create violence in our country go back to where your from.

  64. Saadha on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 6:11 PM 

    @steve

    You know anything could can happen to anyone or any place.. We have faith in our god… Our god will protect us. So we’re not least bit worried abt ocean rising, global warming or any of those bullshit that you guys tok abt (which you have no clue of)

  65. Rihaakuru Dhon Kaleifaanu on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 6:39 PM 

    look if you want us non-muslims to leave the country we will be most happy to, but keep in mind that not everyone of has the money or the means to just up and leave… so here is what i propose… provide us all with tickets and safe (and i can’t stress enough the word) SAFE passage out of the country without any hate or animosity toward us, we shall leave with a smile on our face and that’s a promise.

  66. Aicha on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 7:08 PM 

    Its amazing that in cases like this the religious fanatics and their supporters shout saying that this is against our constitution. When it suits them constitution is higher then religion and when it suits them its religion that is higher than the constitution. Islam does allow freedom of religion and our constitution is completely against this aspect of our religion.
    We should not let our country and our religion be hijacked by a bunch of radicals, Maldives should have room for all Maldivians.
    Its a pity that the way this country is going we do not even have room for freedom to practise our own religion the way we want. Wahabism is constantly pushed down our throats as the only way to practice Islam. I urge the government to do something about these brainwashed fanatics.

  67. tsk tsk on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 7:18 PM 

    Global warming Climate change – whatever you call it – come soon and drown these freak camel riders!

  68. suja on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 7:22 PM 

    should have killed these people.. We would never allow any other religion to be practiced in Maldives.. We always want to remain as 100% Muslims .. We will respect other religions..

  69. Ziyan on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 7:58 PM 

    I think we have all been too over reacting to this issue: The Hilath and his fellow protesters, the people who opposed him and his attackers and our fellow commentators here.
    First I don’t believe Hilath chosed the right approach to bring out his concerns. His religious freedom concerns could have been brought out in a more peaceful way. Instead of shouting his guts out on artificial beach, he could have decided to meet in peace with the president and the religious scholars in the country for a dialogue regarding this issue.
    For the attackers of hilath, I have to say Islam was never a religion of force and fear. Islam was always tolerant and peaceful and infact the main reason why islam was spread was due to its tolerance and beautiful teaching. If you feel there shouldn’t be any other religion in Maldives other than islam, you should prove it to your fellow citizens by respective teachings, hidhaayath, counselling, actions etc etc. Throwing stones at their heads will never make them come to your sides. Prophet Muhammad never forced islam on anyone, infact the little boy who made him tea everyday was a jewish boy and he himself got married to a jewish and a christian lady too. He spread islam by dawa and its peaceful teachings. This is what our people should adopt. As for the commentators here I have to say all you guys are doing is just spraying pepper on a bleeding wound. Theres a lot of hatred from you guys coming out regarding this issue. Both from those with and against this issue. It might be better if we all talk about how can we look for things common between us. I am not saying we should allow hilath have what he wants, but can we stop him from changing his belief? We have aonly two options as to how to deal with him. Either give him his freedom which is is seeking or either prove him that our belief is better than what he is believing. And for the latter, you do not need stones, you need guidance, respect, dawa and intelectuals. And in both options, we have to show him respect as long as he doesnt cross limits, eg: going kufr or say something which humiliates our prophet, our family or our livestocks. Just because he wants a religious freedom doesnt mean we should kill him. He is after all a human and in the Quran it says any one who kills a human has killed the whole of humanity. Their are many muslim countries where people of different religious beliefs are living in harmony and together, if Maldives doesnt want to be one of them, it has to first find out how this could be achieved. And it can never be achived by force, fear and violence.

  70. Maldivian Apostate on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 8:22 PM 

    Suja

    You contradict yourself. Also, this event has nothing to do with MDP. That’s just a label used by the opposition to blame everything on the government to gain more support. Our numbers are growing, and this is just the beginning. We can live side by side, as long as we can tolerate each other. But looks like the mullahs apparently can’t do that.

  71. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 8:39 PM 

    The organisers of this event knew full well the reaction they were going to get. This was a deliberate attempt at bringing out the fanatics on to the streets once again. I believe the whole purpose of this protest was exactly to bring out the reaction they got. Now, they can say to the world how intolerant Maldivians are.

    To be honest, most Maldivians really don’t care about Hilath and his mates. They can eat pork sandwiches and drink wine all day. Who gives a rats arse? However, Hilath and co aren’t happy with that. They want to make this into a political game and play it out like that. I’m warning that this will get more and more nasty.

    I am 100% sure that, for the forseeable future, the Maldivian Consitution will not change one bit regarding the status of Islam in the country no matter how badly some want to change that. That change may happen at some unspecified future date, but not in our lifetime. This is not just crystal ball gazing. Let’s look at the facts.

    We have enough difficulty tolerating people with different ideas, such as different political views and different views within the same religion of Islam. We have daily occurrences of verbal and physical violence towards people expressing different political views. Within this climate, how would you expect different religions to co-exist? Impossible.

    Lastly, there seem to be an obsession about “religious intolerance” of Maldivians. Truth is that Maldivians are intolerant to almost anything! They cannot stand someone expressing a different opinion on any subject matter! Again, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given that the vast majority of Maldivians grow up and die within the confines of an area less than a square mile. Throughout history, we have been a hostile and intolerant group of people and are known for our lack of emotion etc. This is a sociological issue and I’d argue that the first large scale research project by the Maldivian National University should be on this very subject of sociology and the “Tolerance of the Maldivian”!

  72. Retro on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 8:45 PM 

    I would request Indira NewDelhi to practice your so called “religion” in india and not in Maldives.I personally dont care whether all the maldivians are sent back to Maldives. we are not going to loose anything.you beggers only wil suffer.We will not let you guys to practice your religion in our motherland

  73. egnaalaK on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:35 PM 

    You can declare all you want that Maldives is a 100% Muslim country, but you already know for a fact that it is false. There is a significant minority of atheists and agnostics here. There are a few Buddhists and Christians too.

    If forced we will be silent about our apostasy. However that doesn’t mean we won’t be spreading our ideas. Our ideas are already spreading through the country. In a generation or two it will be the Muslims who will be the minority here. And then, you will find the value of tolerance and secularism, just like all minority Muslim populations.

  74. Eiliyah on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:37 PM 

    For all those people who has forgotten what Islam is,

    The word ‘Islam’ means, voluntary submission to God.. voluntary! By writing in the constitution that all Maldivians have to be Muslims does not make it voluntary. By telling children they will go to hell for not abiding by the 5 pillars and not explaining to them why is not voluntary. By silencing those of whom you cannot answer the questions is not voluntary.

    Name one instance in history the Prophet (PBUH) forced His people to listen, threw rocks at the disbelievers, threatened them to believe Islam.

    Islam is not a religion of compulsion. It is a religion of peace, of forgiveness, of love, of care, of humanity, of tolerance. Where have these gone? These words are just words now, no one truly seems to understand the power of them.

    There is a reason why the word ‘PEACE’ was derived from Arab, look up the meaning sometime.

    Yours sincerely,
    Eiliyah

  75. Ramzan on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 9:52 PM 

    Dear Eiliyah, You have said all that I have wanted to say already. Why is it that all most all maldivian people are terrorist minded and cannot think rationally? why cant you just mind your own business!

  76. Ahmed Nafiz on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:12 PM 

    Kill him. Kill them all. Kill all apostates!!

    This is Maldives. I want to take the country with me to Heaven. I want all the palm trees and the beaches in Heaven. Including the Tunas and mushimas. But I dont want the beardees though. They will not allow me to enjoy the 72 virgins. They will steal 4 times of virgins too!

    By voicing against the religion, we will incur yet another wrath from God. The last Tsunami happened in Indonesia, was due to scantily clothed women on the beaches of Reethi Rah Island. Arabians mullahs told us that!

    I fear for the wrath of God, if anyone says ‘Freedom of Religion’ on Maldivian Soil. You see God has a thing for Maldives. Anyone can say anything on any other land and God would not care, but not here in Maldives. He will rip us apart!!!

  77. Mullah on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:20 PM 

    Freedom to choose one’s own religions conviction is a fundamental human right.In Maldives, in America, Saudi Arabia or even Mars is should be the same. Tolerance and respect towards one another is the key to peace and progress. History has shown it to us. Humanity will ultimately learn to accept this fact. Love shall win over hate. Freedom shall overrun oppression. So stop wasting your time fighting and shedding blood. Find your own heaven without gutting others. Accept to one another as a human being rather than labeling by race, religions etc.

  78. mooray on Sun, 11th Dec 2011 10:38 PM 

    I wish I was there to throw a stone…so sad….

  79. Paxl on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 1:54 AM 

    We will never allow any other religion than islam to be prevailed on our soil… if you wannna do that go over our dead bodies… i am 100% sure this will be every Maldivians decision. (so to hell with the 10 to 15 Atheists here….)

  80. HassanK on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 3:04 AM 

    Here is a question to the in-three-years-know-it-all lawyers of the Maldives. If a Maldivian leaves the religion of Islam, what happens first? Does he relinquish his citizenship before or after he receives the punishment. If the act of apostasy automatically makes the person a non-citizen, how can the state punish a non-citizen for practising other religions. OK he is now in Maldives illegally. But good luck finding a place to deport them to…

  81. Riban on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 10:20 AM 

    These bunch of homosexuals did not respect our religion, so why we respect them?

  82. hassan ahmed on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 10:30 AM 

    The Mullahs are raving in mosque and spreading hate massages against other religions.
    Maldives state run media too spreading hate massages against other religion.
    What a creepy religion is Islam and what creepy god is Allah who needs mortal thugs to protect his so called the only true religion.

  83. Riban on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 10:34 AM 

    I am just sick of those calling fr religious freedom. We have the freedom of religion; that is the righteous religion of Islam.

  84. dHeviL on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 12:05 PM 

    ironic how parallel this is to those stories about prophets & their followers. Hilath, deliver us from these intolerant people who turn their backs on your message. Rising sea levels, failing economy, soaring crime rates will be the doom they rightfully deserve. We have seen your messages of impending doom on flickR. Amen!

  85. varah nubai on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 12:26 PM 

    To all the people who keep parroting “democracy = majority rules”: THAT’S NOT THE WAY A DEMOCRACY WORKS! I’ve had it with you people!

    Democracy means the rule of a majority party WHILE PROTECTING AND GIVING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO ALL CITIZEN MINORITIES. THIS WAY EVERYBODY WILL HAVE THEIR SAY AND THE TRUE DEMOCRATIC GOAL CAN BE ACHIEVED!

    Maldives is by definition NOT a democracy. We call ourselves a democracy so we will fit in with the international community, but you’re not fooling anybody. In practice, maldives is a full blown theocracy.

    If you don’t know what you’re talking about, just shut up!

  86. Ben Plewright on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 1:26 PM 

    These 15 to 30 protestors are my heroes.

    The violent repression of innocence should cause pain to any human being with a heart.

    The pain of these heroes shall produce the fruit of change.

  87. Ben Plewright on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 2:28 PM 

    @varah nubai, just to back up your statement.

    Democacy, two Greek words, Demo (People) and Cracy (Power), rule for and by the people. In Greek demcracy it was rule DIRECTLY by the people, which actually resulted in a tyranny of the majority which did not equate with democracy. The loudest would take over and he would feed the lower nature, a “demagogue…” Consequentially, the masses would go along with the most aggressive out of either fear or inability to control their lower self (the wave.)

    However, this tyranny of the majority, in repressing minority rights, (non-citizens i.e. women and slaves, foreign workers, those who did not worship the Greek Pantheon of Gods or one of the Greek Gods) AND in repressing the democratic will of those too afraid too stand up against the expression of hatred, meant that there were more who did not have their will realized than did not.

    The undemocratic nature of ‘direct deocracy’ was why in the West, indirect rule by the people (through a representative who is constrained by laws which aim to protect all) is expressed. Pure democracy is not democratic.

    What we see in Maldives, is, rule by the people directly. It is primitive democracy. The demagogues who tell Anni your President what to do through controlling the will of the majority whom he is too frightened to offend are the religious preachers, from Maumoon down to the Salafi’s, and the power brokers behind the gangs, a few politicians and business men who contrl the heart and minds of their ppl through cash!

    Most Maldivians are too afraid to stand up against the will of the tyrants, because, their welfare (house, hospital bill, food, water, childrens and families afety depends on patronizing the status quo…)

    The Maldivian culture, through fear, represses the realization of true democracy, and, to break that fear, a sacrifice of resistance must be made.

    These 17 protestors are the true democrats of the Maldives, only THEY deserve the name Maldivian Democratic Party.

  88. jameel jadhullah on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 3:15 PM 

    Maldives had freedom of religion all these days. Whats meant by this is any body can hide there faith and live a happy life. Faith needs no advertisement with in four corners of male. And also most of the people who claim freedom of religion are Atheists and they need no temple neither a church. So in my opinion forcing to make maldives a percent or more down of there 100% muslim slogan is a waste of time.

    Also people who think that islam supports and give freedom to multiple beliefs, thats a very kiddy idea after quoting the verse ” Lakum dheenukum valiya dheen” and “islam has no compulsion”. Islam never gives rights to other religions and never will because that is the universal religion and thats the only guided right way in the presence of Allah SWT. no compulsion means they dont force you to accept islam and never will, because its a belief and no one can make you believe in the unseen unless anyone accepts it. and pls note down that this doesnt give any other religion to practice specially in maldives.

    and to the people who hide there faith after my good advice please obey the constitution of any country. majority wants no religion other than islam. And please dont teach others how islam is when you dont believe and practice it while pretending you are a muslim.

  89. Name on Mon, 12th Dec 2011 8:24 PM 

    For those who are quoting ”Lakum dheenukum valiya dheen”: No one forced you to be a citizen of this Nation! The constitution of this Nation states clearly that all citizens should be Muslims. So, the story is, if you want to be Maldivian you have to be Muslim. Since no one forced you to be Maldivian ie, there is no compulsion to be Maldivian and thus no compulsion is believing islam either. Hilath needs to be stoned to death. He’s been spreading anti-islamic agenda for quite sometime, tryin to produce divisions in this Nation.

  90. Faizaan on Tue, 13th Dec 2011 12:27 AM 

    Some Maldivians think that only they are human beings and others are ……. who still neesds a lot of guigance. This is totally wrong.Where as some think that “Evenif I go to hell, I should send everyone else to heaven” GREAT……

  91. JoelB on Tue, 13th Dec 2011 3:10 AM 

    The Maldivian government is among the most retrograde, repressive states on earth, forcing it’s people to live in the equivalent of the dark ages. Of course it is Muslim so that is no surprise.

  92. ali on Tue, 13th Dec 2011 7:24 AM 

    @Name.

    If the Quraan states “Lakum Dheenakum Valiyadheen”, our constitution contradicts the Quraan. Can you comment?

  93. B on Tue, 13th Dec 2011 1:20 PM 

    allow me to quote Name (4 posts up): “…No one forced you to be a citizen of this Nation!…”

    all of us were born here on the same Maldivian soil, and were all citizens long before we were muslim, atheist or of any other belief. Chances are, with the high degree of educational homogeneity and similarity in social norms across the nation, we were all brought up as muslims.

    If as adults, we then choose to believe differently than what we were thought, do we no longer hold a birth-right to this soil?

    Moreover, regardless of religious belief, don’t ALL Maldivians give back to their nation? It’s a simple case of investment and returns, if you are investing in this nation, and you do so legally and in a manner that the nation progresses, does it matter what you believe in a flying teapot in the sky or not? does that belief hold greater weight than the simple fact that you are of Maldivian blood and every day you give your life to make the Maldives a better home for yourself and your dependants?

  94. ahimsa on Tue, 13th Dec 2011 1:21 PM 

    Another Crime in the name of islam

  95. charlie on Tue, 13th Dec 2011 2:02 PM 

    After acknowledging what is happening in these “paradisiac islands”, I shall inform all my clients and prospects to change their holidays plans and rather select a more civilized destination. I hope the raising sea level will wash away all these muslim bigots.

  96. Maldivian Apostate on Tue, 13th Dec 2011 4:02 PM 

    Allahuakbaru!! now lets spill some blood.

    and editor, i know your edited this line out of the comment i made, could you please post this? cos this is the truth. please

  97. Markaz on Wed, 14th Dec 2011 9:38 PM 

    Kratos is power in Greek Ben. Not ‘Cracy’

    Demo-Kratos.

    The Ayatullah Khomeini, may his name ever be praised, would have none of it – and would have had the advocates of such a bizzare political system garroted on the spot!

    Power belongs to God, and God alone!

  98. Ahmed on Thu, 15th Dec 2011 1:53 PM 

    we all need to get educated from the great islamic leader in the islamic history after the prophet mohamed s.a.w.
    That is Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab.

    proper human rights were practiced then.
    Specially the leaders should follow and learn from his practices in order to maintain law and order in the society.
    “The awe and fear that Umar commanded was because of his high moral character. People feared him because he feared God.”

  99. Ben Plewright on Sat, 17th Dec 2011 12:42 PM 

    @Markaz: thanks for reminding me

    Demos – people kratos – power

    sorry, went from memory

  100. Ben Plewright on Sat, 17th Dec 2011 12:43 PM 

    demos means the ppl

    kratos means power

    knew that, my memory failed me

  101. July on Thu, 5th Jan 2012 8:41 PM 

    The truth is that it’s sad to see religious intolerance, whenever and wherever it appears. This is not Islam, this is fanatism. People, read, get educated, understand with your mind open and only then will you see what religion is all about. Read about Sultan Mohammed Fatih who conquered Constantinople and who wanted to make his prayer. And, since in Constantinople there was no mosque, he humbly asked the permission of Christian popes to perform his prayer in the Agia Sophia Christian cathedral. He is an example. Who are you people to impose fanatism instead of religion? Read! Study! Open your brains!

  102. Ingushetiya Russia on Fri, 13th Jan 2012 7:55 PM 

    Maldives need шариат.Как and all muslim countries. You don’t need anyone to hammer the stones,they have to pay djizya. commanded our Prophet САВС So the Prophet bequeathed. Democracy will make you a brief company.Allahu Akbar

  103. rajamohamed on Wed, 8th Feb 2012 11:26 AM 

    i would like to share my concern pls dont play with islam dis UN is keeping up the sielence over palestiene,iraq,afgan,and somalia they unable to stop america,isrel’s opressions over islamic contries so islamic contries should learn lessons and eradicate the zieonism(isreli agendas) and welcome the islamic revolution islam is d remedy for whole mankind may allah bless all

  104. Sandy (Dubai) on Thu, 1st Mar 2012 3:33 PM 

    Dear Maldivian Friends
    I am NON Muslim living in a Muslim country of UAE.
    I have been here since 19 years and this country has been very great.
    Its Official Religion is ISLAM and it wants all its CITIZEN practice the religion.
    Non Muslims and Foreigners have to respect ISLAM and we all abide by this as all religion beliefs leads one to GOD.
    The good thing about here is that the LOCALS do respect foreigners who are here and are allowed to privately practice their releigion and we have Temples, Churches here and all one has to ensure is peace, PEACE and LOVE is fundamental of GOD.
    There is no forceful conversion by any one which is good. Many people embrace islam by choice, which is good too.
    In today’s world this country has achieved great success and allowed foreigners to invest and grow.
    LAW is same for every one and police will protect all irrespective of their faith as duty of Officer.
    GOD has been very kind to all who live here in DUBAI and UAE.
    Key to all sysnergy is tolerance and friendship between all.
    Is this not what GOD wants us Humans.
    PEACE TO ALL Faiths and Love to all

  105. Gaand e rasool on Sat, 17th Mar 2012 2:07 AM 

    Maldive’s constitution is in conflict with Islam. Islam gaurantees freedom of religion. Maldive’s constitution thus unilsamic. Imam e Kaaba should declare Maldives as unilslamic and forbid Maldivians from performing Haaj or Umra!


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