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Slashed journalist claims attack was targeted assassination by Islamic radicals

Slashed journalist claims attack was targeted assassination by Islamic radicals thumbnail

Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed got out his mobile phone and called for a taxi, but no sound came from his throat.

Instead the Maldivian blogger, journalist and former Amnesty prisoner of conscience, infamous for his willingness to tackle taboo subjects, particularly religious tolerance – felt air escaping from his neck.

“A very bad kind of panic came at that moment. I knew my trachea was cut. I knew it was a deep cut, and not just on the surface of the skin,” the journalist told Minivan News, prior to fleeing his own country in fear of his life.

Moments before, on the evening of June 4, Rasheed had turned into the dark alleyway leading to the door of his apartment block to find a man in a yellow shirt waiting for him.

“Then I heard someone call me by name from behind, and two more entered the alley. As I was turning the guy in a yellow T-shirt came up beside me, grabbed me from behind, put a mid-size box cutter to my neck and started slashing.

“I put my hand up to try and stop him, but he kept slashing.”

Rasheed holds up his hand – besides the jagged slash mark across his neck that almost claimed his life, the blogger lost a digit of his index finger trying to protect himself from the knife.

“That was why they missed a vital artery. I tried to prevent it – they cut the finger to the bone.”

Job done, the three men walked “very calmly” out of the alley in separate directions, leaving Rasheed to bleed to death in the alley.

“I got a look at their faces, but it was too dark to identify them,” he says. “They all had beards, and they were very young – I would say between 18 and 24. When the man in the yellow shirt was slashing my throat I smelled his breath – it smelled of alcohol.”

Acting on instinct, Rasheed held his neck and did not let go.

“I didn’t know how bad it was – because it was a box cutter, it was a very clean cut – it wasn’t painful,” he says.

“I thought about going upstairs to inform my parents, but I thought I better go straight to hospital rather than go up all the stairs.”

Leaving the alleyway, holding his head down to prevent blood loss, Rasheed tried to flag down a passing motorcycle. In the distance, he saw two of his attackers ride away on a motorcycle, while the walked round the corner.

“I knew it was pointless to go after them as I needed to get to the hospital,” he recalls.

Three motorcycles passed without stopping to help him, even though the front of his shirt and trousers were by now drenched in blood. That was when he tried to call the taxi, only to realise the extent of his injury.

“Even at that moment, a thought came into my mind. All the people who brought change to the world, most of them died for that cause – they didn’t live to see the fruits of their effort.

“When this thought came into my mind, survival instinct took over and I felt a rage: ‘I am going to survive, I want to live to see the fruits of my work – the fight for human rights,’” he tells Minivan News.

A young couple walking down the street noticed him – and the girl began screaming. A young man on a motorcycle motorcyclist heard the sound as he came around the corner, and stopped so Rasheed could get on behind him.

“I was still holding my neck, and not talking, and pointed in the direction of the hospital. With my right hand I held onto his shoulder – I was afraid I might faint because of the blood loss and fall off. There was so much blood – there was a pool forming in front of me.”

Fighting off unconsciousness, Rasheed stumbled into the lobby of ADK hospital, the young man behind him.

“I was very appreciative but I couldn’t talk to thank him,” Rasheed says. “Because I couldn’t say thank you I just gave him a thumbs up and walked into the hospital. A doctor later said the guy promptly fainted in the doorway.”

Still holding his neck, Rasheed walked into the the emergency room: “The people waiting in the lobby started screaming as I went passed – I think they were shocked,” he says.

A Maldivian girl and a couple of foreign nurses took Rasheed to a bed – “I saw a lot of ADK officials and police officers coming in. The Maldivian girl asked me to show them the injury. I knew I had to show them the extent of the damage so they knew what kind of treatment was needed,” he says.

“I lifted my head all the way back. And quickly back down. A doctor later told me that a nurse and a police officer fainted.”

The foreign nurses quickly inserted a tube into his neck so he could breathe, and pressed bandages to his neck to try and stem the blood loss.

The staff put him on a bed and rushed him to the operating theatre.

“They gave me anaesthetic. It took a while for it to work, but I didn’t feel any pain. I could see them opening my neck, putting their hand inside. I knew they were trying to assess the damage and from what they were saying, that my trachea was severed.”

The hospital kept Rasheed under anesthetic for 48 hours – “they didn’t want to wake me up,” he says.

“My father later told me that I happened to go into the hospital when the new shift was coming in All the old shift doctors stayed on – there were 6-8 of them. My father said at that moment they told him that I had a less than one percent chance of survival, but that they would try everything they could.”

Rasheed was later told by friends who had gathered outside the operating theatre that while he was undergoing emergency surgery, one of the men who had attacked and hospitalised him during a protest for religious tolerance on December 10 – Human Rights Day – came and waited outside the emergency room.

“A relative spotted him and asked him what he was doing there – he said he was there for scans – so the relative asked him why he was waiting in front of emergency. He was the guy who attacked me with a stone on December 10 and fractured my skull, and his excuse was that he was there for a scan,” Rasheed says.

That was the first of several unsettling incidents to happen while Rasheed was in hospital. Conscious of security concerns, ADK staff forbade access to Rasheed for all apart from his parents.

“While I was under anesthetic, I was told by a friend of a friend – a gang member – that someone had been sent into the hospital to kill me – to pull the plug. Nobody would have noticed,” Rasheed says.

“This bearded guy came into the Intensive Care Unit posing as my father. While he was near me a doctor who knew my father just happened to come into the ICU. The doctor was suspicious, and asked him who he was – he said he was my father. The doctor said ‘I know Hilath’s father, you are not his father,’ and called security to have him thrown out. He’s on the hospital’s CCTV footage.”

Four days later, Rasheed woke up on a ventilator, astounding doctors at his miraculous recovery.

“They said they had never seen anyone recover so fast from such an injury,” he says.

Rasheed has no doubt in his mind as to the motivation behind his attack – the third in just a few months. The attack was unusual in that most of the wave of recent gang stabbings in the Maldives have involved multiple stab wounds to different parts of the body – targeted throat slashing is new.

In July 2009, Rasheed broke news of a story on his blog concerning an under-age girl allegedly being kept by a family as a ‘jaariya’ – a concubine. Concerns were initially raised when the girl was taken to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and was found to be pregnant.

“Ever since I reported the story on my blog I have received death threats. Things like: ‘If we see you on street we will slash your throat’, ‘we will behead you’, ‘don’t walk in a dark alley,’ things like that,” says Rasheed.

One of only several Maldivian bloggers to write under his own name, Rasheed courted controversy by continuing to tackle taboo subjects in the Maldives – particularly religious intolerance, and the constitutional provision that all Maldivians were required to be ‘100 percent Sunni Muslim’. This was at odds, Rasheed argued, with the country’s Sufi history and new-found commitment to freedom of expression – which had ironically, he argued, also given a voice to more extreme interpretations of the religion.

The attitude of many to Rasheed’s work was summarised in comments made by spokesperson for former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and newly-appointed Minister for Human Resources, Mohamed ‘Mundhu’ Shareef, who told AFP following the attempt on the blogger’s life that while the government condemned the attack, “Hilath must have known that he had become a target of a few extremists.”

“We are not a secular country. When you talk about religion there will always be a few people who do not agree,” Shareef said.

Both the administrations of Nasheed and Waheed showed little interest in prosecuting those who threatened and attacked Rasheed – regardless of the number of photos and witnesses.

“I reported the threats to police. In fact an intelligence officer met me after the concubine story. Nothing came of it. The man who attacked me with the stone on December 10 – there were photos of him, I gave his identity and everything. Police never arrested him, and as far as I know he’s still roaming free around Male.”

Police are investigating the latest attack on Rasheed, but despite claiming to have access to CCTV footage of the area, no arrests had been made at time of press. Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that while the investigation was proceeding, the case was “sensitive”.

The reason for that, Rasheed says, “is very obvious.”

“This coup government is collaborating with Islamic extremists. The extremists together with the Adhaalath party are now in power. I don’t think they will arrest my three attackers, even this time, and I don’t think I will get justice as long as Waheed’s coup government is in power,” the blogger says.

Days before the attempt on his life, Rasheed and a friend were passing the Furqan mosque in Male’ on their way to the swimming tracks. Six members of the same gang who attacked him on December 10 – who were inside setting up a sermon – came out and began punching him in the face.

“They cornered me, and pushed me into the wall. And started punching my face. As they were punching me I told them I had repented and was a Muslim. One of them said: ‘We don’t know that. You have to make a public announcement that you are a Muslim. Otherwise we will kill you.’”

The sight of a passing police jeep caused the group to cease their attack and scatter – “apart from one. He was one of those who threw stones on December 10,” Rasheed says. “Right in front of the police, he punched me in the face.”

The police saw the incident, came out of the jeep and arrested his attacker, says Rasheed.

“They asked me and my friend to come to the police station. We filed a case. That night they took him to court and extended his detention by five days.”

However while Rasheed was at home one of the gang members “called me, and told me to withdraw the case, and that in return I would never be attacked by Maldivian Wahabis again.”

The following morning Rasheed went to the police station and withdrew the case. He rang the gang member, “who said he was very happy.”

“A few days later this happened,” says Rasheed, pointing to his scarred throat. “I guess they are not good at keeping their word,” he laughs bitterly.

While Rasheed cannot identify his attackers in the June 4 attack, he claims that besides calling out his name, the assailants told him the attack was “compliments” of three senior political and religious figures in the country.

“I was told by a friend of these gang members that [two of these figures] met this gang and told them to murder me, and that it would not be a sin, and that in fact they would go to heaven because I had blogged about freedom of religion and gay rights,” Rasheed says.

“The friend also told me via the gang member that the extremists have drawn up a list of MDP members and supporters who are advocating secularism on Facebook and Twitter. I haven’t seen this list, but I’m told it exists. I have advised all my friends to be extra careful about their personal safety.”

Both sides of the political spectrum in the Maldives have on occasion accused the other of employing gangs for political purposes, such as attending and disrupting political rallies, in exchange for money and alcohol. However, Rasheed’s allegation that radicalisation is now being used as a control technique is new.

“These gangs are very easy to radicalise,” Rasheed explains. “They have committed all kinds of evil acts and sins, and it is very easy to brainwash them. These Sheikhs go and tell them that because they have done all these activities, the only way for them to get salvation is to subordinate themselves to Allah and undertake jihad against secularists and unbelievers. It is very easy.

“I think because the Islamists are now in power these people feel powerful and immune, and protected by this new culture of impunity. They are doing what they want to do, and what they are told to do. As long as this coup government is in power, this country will be lawless with gangs and Islamic extremists dictating our lives and murdering their opponents who disagree with them.”

Some of the more conservative Sheikhs have even privately expressed concern about the growing radicalisation of gang members, Rasheed says.

“One of them told a relative of mine that it was a disgrace – that these were gang members, taking heroin, abusing alcohol, that they were just criminals posing as Salafis,” says Rasheed.

“He said he was really concerned about groups taking over mosques because it was giving a bad name to Salaf and all the other Wahabis.”

International response

The attack on Rasheed has been widely condemned by international human rights NGOs, as the first apparently targeted murder attempt of a journalist in the Maldives.

Several human rights NGOs raised the attack during a recent debate at the UN Human Rights Council with UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Frank La Rue.

During the debate, NGOs led by the Centre for Inquiry and the International Humanist and Ethical Union criticised the growing “climate of intolerance and impunity for such crimes” in the Maldives.

“The government of the Maldives has made no effort to arrest Rasheed’s attackers despite credible photographic evidence of the attack,” the NGOs contended, expressing alarm at the growing influence of extremists in the Maldives.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the blocking of Rasheed’s blog – – in 2011 by Communications Authority of the Maldives (CAM) on the order of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. The Ministry had made the request on the grounds that the site contained anti-Islamic material.

Rasheed at the time described the crack-down as “just the beginning”, claiming there was no material on it that contradicted his Sufi interpretation of Islam.

“If Sunni Muslims are the conservatives, then the Sufi Muslims are the liberals,” he told Minivan News. “I think this is a conservative attack on the site. They think if you’re not a Sunni, you’re an unbeliever.”

After his attack, RSF issued a statement noting that it had “all the hallmarks of a targeted murder attempt.”

“Rasheed has made many enemies through his outspoken blogging. The authorities in charge of the investigation should not rule out the possibility that this was linked to his journalistic activity. He is a well-known journalist who has repeatedly been censored, arrested and threatened.

“The police must, as a matter of urgency, put a stop to the harassment of Rasheed and take the issue of his safety seriously. Any lack of response on their part will constitute a criminal failure to assist a person in danger,” RSF stated.

Amnesty International also issued a statement, noting that “religious groups opposed to Ismail Rasheed’s long campaign for religious freedom are suspected of being behind the attack.”

“People linked to these groups hit him with stones in December 2011, fracturing his skull, because he had arranged a rally to call for religious tolerance. Although that attack took place in front of onlookers and there is photographic evidence that can be used to identify the attackers, no one has yet been brought to justice for that attack,” Amnesty said.

For his part, Rasheed is no longer in the Maldives and has said he has no specific plans to return.

“In my opinion, I can never return to the Maldives. Right now, with the coup government hand-in-hand with Maldivian extremists, I believe the Maldives is a terrorist state. We need elections as soon as possible to bring back democracy,” he said.

The apparently newfound willingness of some politicians to use radicalised groups for political gain was “a devil’s pact”, Rasheed warned.

“Expect more political murders in the near future. It is not just me they want to get rid of – there are a lot of people. I forsee a lot of bloodshed.”

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51 Comments on "Slashed journalist claims attack was targeted assassination by Islamic radicals"

  1. Facepalm on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 11:25 AM 

    This is my opinion-
    Here in Maldives, there are only two steps proceeded when it comes to violence.
    Step 1: Capture the culprits.
    Step 2: Release the culprits shortly afterwards.
    And perhaps an additional step could be giving them a high salary or some praising; that could keep things in perspective.
    This country had fallen into a dirty hole so deep that I doubt that we can ever see daylight again.

  2. Dhivehi gaumu on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 11:29 AM 

    We need to put these blood thirsty wahaabee extremists in jail. But who would do it, the coup government of Whaeed would never do it, they are partners with Fahari Imran gangster.
    They just tried to slaughter a human with a box cutter.
    The public need to fight with these bearded evils and their black ninja women.

  3. Lawyer on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 11:30 AM 

    It would hve been lovely to put up the ex-heroine addict who attacked hilath both times, he uses an ipad to take photographs

  4. genocidal_maniac on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 11:39 AM 

    time for violence i guess. if we are going down, you are all going down. ivory towers cannot be built in a country like this. we live side by side. know that, dear parliamentarian, politicians and businessmen, and their gang/islamist scums slaves. either you put en end to this madness, or get sucked in to it.

  5. shujau on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 12:03 PM 

    they even sent someone to ICU to finish the job! my my… by now they should know Hilath is not giving up his fight so easily.

    is this what our prophets and religion has taught them? We cannot tolerate this kind of injustice. insha allah the people who do these kinds of acts on this earth will not end up good.

    for Hilath: it is great news that you have repented. alhamdhlillah, we muslim brothers are with you. insha allah justice will be served. be strong.

    god bless us all

  6. Wives and Concubines on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 12:32 PM 

    Not to sound like a total douche, but I don’t see why Hilath needs to lie anymore. It’s very apparent that he’s not Sufi just by looking at his blog and what he writes on Facebook. The guy is gay, and that’s what he advocates primarily. Sure, the secular front admires his courage to write about it openly, but I don’t think he should hide behind the Sufi excuse.

    And the attackers? They won’t be arrested nor prosecuted. My instinct tells me that the top members in the Adhaalath party and religion NGO’s are involved in this. You can find people like Siruhan aka Siru Arts on Facebook who openly celebrated this attack on Hilath, and others who joined in it as well. You can see the guy who stoned Hilath commenting on many Facebook groups too. If a random person like me can see all this, I fail to see why the police who can track the most useless things don’t notice this. The Maldives infringes basic human rights like the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. And yet, I find it ironic how it has a seat in the UN’s human rights council.

  7. tsk tsk on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 1:07 PM 

    ADK should be commended for the prompt medical care provided to the victim in this horrific incident.

    While Hilath, Minivan and several members of the public have speculated that this heinous crime might have been ideologically motivated, this is as yet speculation.

    We should not attack communities based on such speculation or else what kind of democracy are we preaching? We carelessly label people as violent extremists just because they wear their beards long or dress a certain way. This sort of thinking is neither enlightened nor cool nor modern. Just because US politicians use the threat of terrorists to bring out their electorate to the polls does not mean that this sort of thinking is applicable in the Maldives which is far removed from the cultural context of the US.

    I am deeply sorry for Hillath and condemn his attackers. They should be apprehended and punished. However their crime should not be associated with the beliefs of an entire community. May god grant Hillath a speedy recovery.

    May he also grant Hillath the patience to endure his unique situation in a community that does not endorse his preferences and beliefs with grace and dignity. This grace and dignity I believe lies in quiet efforts to educate people without sparking extreme reactions through sensational statements.

  8. Dhivehi gaumu on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:04 PM 

    So the Haabies have a hit list. For these kinds of heinous crimes to happen there are those who publicly support and encourage this violence, they are people like Shaheem, Imran, Ali Rameez, Adalath, Salaf, Abdulaa, Madanee Ittahard, go out to the secluded island communities and spread hatred. They think they can walk safely on the streets of Male’ while. The preaching of violence in the mosques should be stopped. Why don’t the haabees punish Shameem for fondling a girl’s hand on youtube video? They are nothing but bloody hypocrites.

  9. Ben Abdul-Rahman Plewright on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:13 PM 

    What I understood of Islam when I recited the Shahada (the Declaration)in 2000 is that Islam is the avowed enemy of all tyranny of peaceful people.

    When one studies the context of Al-Qital (fighting), or the physical Jihad, or punishment for apostasy in the Qur’an and Ahadith, one finds, that the only motive behind ANY violence was self defence and the protection of the oppressed and innocent. Even warfare against other tribes was for unifying, creating peace in the Arabian peninusla to save lives from constant warfare.

    The rulings against apostates has to be understood contextually. Apostates at the time were engaged in warfare against the Muslims, only in this context were the Muslims ordered to kill or fight the apostates, otherwise, they were let free.

    Surely you all know that a man went to attack the Prophet with a sword, Allah protected the Prophet, and Prophet displayed Mercy towards the would be assasin.

    Surely you all know that when the Prophet conquered Bani Quereysh and took Mecca, Prophet gave extravegent gifts to even those who had murdered Muslims, stating that he wishes that they would come to see the Mercy of Islam and be moved to follow Islam from the heart.

    Surely you all know that an apostate was allowed to leave Medina, no punsihment, which is an example that apostates who were NOT threats to the Ummah, were allowed to be.

    The actions of these criminals should not only be condemned by liberals, it should also be condemned by any who profess to follow the ‘Mercy to the Worlds.’ This action, and the failure of Islamic scholars to speak out against it, brings disrepute and disgrace to Islam. It degrades Islam to remain silent! This action MUST be condemned by prominent Muslims. I beg, that at least ONE prominent Muslim scholar in the Maldives, would step forward and condemn this culture of violence, and oppression fiercely, and prove to us that HE or SHE loves the “Mercy to the Worlds’ more than they love their reputation and political career. THAT is some SHIRK!

  10. Ben Abdul-Rahman Plewright on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:18 PM 

    @Wives and Concubines:

    Do not say Hilath was not a Sufi, to qoute a saying from Rasullahah (SAW) did you cut out his heart to see what was inside it?

    Just because someone may be gay means NOTHING! There are many GAY people who love Allah deeply, yes, they may lead a life of bitter inetrnal conflict, but you cannot dsay they are not Muslim

  11. Ibn Abdul Wahhab on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:22 PM 

    @Wives and Concubines on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 12:32 PM

    “The Maldives infringes basic human rights like the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. And yet, I find it ironic how it has a seat in the UN’s human rights council.”

    Aye, I totally agree. It’s time to really bring this to the attention of the international community and get the Maldivies thrown out the human rights council. The Maldives does not belong in there at all.

    Hilath may be a gay Sufi cross dresser or whatever else he likes to be. I don’t really care. For me, first and foremost, he is a human being and a fellow citizen. Even animals deserve better than the justice he’s getting here. I am also pessimistic that any of his attackers will ever be brought to justice.

    When one considers the fact that this happened on a flat coral topped bit of sand, not more than 2 square miles, with CCTV all over the place, there is no reason but a deliberate cover-up on the part of the Police that prevents justice.

  12. Dhivehi gaumu on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:26 PM 

    I have never seen a muslin scholar condemn acts of terrorism or violence committed by their so-called extremist brothers. That is something that is unlikely to happen caz most of them belong to some sort of cult organization like the Salaf, Adalath.
    Like the pope destroyed the respect for church and Christianity in Europe, these Haabee sheiks (muslim popes) will destroy the respect for the religion of Islam and destroy Islam itself.

  13. Hani on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:54 PM 

    The Maldives is not 100% Islamic and never has been. That statistic is a total and utter lie. The changeover from Buddhism was violent and forced. It’s been clear how Islam and other religions have been used to control people for years, there is no better weapon than fear. My ethnicity is Maldivian, my ancestors have been in these islands for centuries; why are my rights less important simply because of what I have chosen to believe? What is the point of a faith that is forced? Everyone is on their own path, no one has the right to end someone elses. If they have strayed, they might return; who are you to know the future? These paths aren’t even part of our traditions. Do not lie to us saying radical Islam is Maldivian. If it was then why did radicals destroy all of our Buddhist past the day of the coup? Is attacking museums and anything and anyone else that goes against their views going to become a regular thing? If radical Islam is Maldivian what of our cultural dresses, the libaas looks nothing like the arabic culture they are trying to enforce. What of our local arts? What of boduberu? Music is supposed to be haraam now, are they going to make a massive fire and burn the drums? It’s absurd the amount of power they have gained over the past few years because of fear and intimidation. The coup government, as despicable as they are, should be careful because history has a tendency to repeat itself.

  14. Hani on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:58 PM 

    PS: Hilath Rasheed is a national hero in the truest sense of the notion.

  15. LOL on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 2:59 PM 

    Why would you want to punish him in this world, while he will burn in hell for ages for not being a “proper muslim” ? Isn’t god be supposed to punish ? Or you believers are not sure about Judgement day?

  16. Ahmed on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 3:00 PM 

    Good to have you back Hilath!! Justice will be served!! The country is alining with the Taliban since the coup, we need true freedom of speech and strong people like you mow more then ever!

  17. LOL on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 3:52 PM 

    Is it possible if there is any scholars out there explain me what belief is ? Seriously ! I have no idea how some people can believe something so strong when presented evidence such as the earth is round and not the only planet with life in the universe, they will just ignore it and attack people behind it. Why does evolution, the age of the earth, the sun and planets around it and the big bang theory undermine your belief anyway ? If you believe in God then he exists, your belief in him is enough. But why can’t people see the Quran and other books(there are more than just one) as metaphors or just stories with a moral code ? Evolution does not necessarily mean God doesn’t exist. The Earth being 4.5 billion years old doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist. The big bang could have been Gods doing. A very unlike hypothesis that raises more questions than answers ? And when you question about it, You say you are not suppose to question Gods doings ! Yes! Definitely Wrong !!. No, Your belief is enough to make God ‘real’. Why people cant think about their religion rationally is beyond me. The Quraun is a very old book, written for an audience. Surely it can’t be literally true and shouldn’t be used to guide peoples actions in a developing world !!

  18. yedo on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 4:06 PM 

    dr waheed should know better…he is playing with fire by taking these adhaalath idiots into his lap…

  19. Whats your catagory? on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 4:37 PM 

    As a human, I have my sympathy with Hilath although I do not agree with his ‘methodology’

    But he is another scapegoat in the political drama in Maldives.

    There are 3 main Categories. Big gainers, scapegoats and looses in the drama.

    We know some people are making it big time despite the drama.

  20. AM on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 5:18 PM 

    Hilath explains that his three recent attackers will not be brought to justice because they are in bed with the coup government. So what is the reason behind his December 10 attackers not being brought to justice? I have plenty of respect for Hilath for the courage he has shown over the years, but this simply does not make sense to me

  21. fathun on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 6:46 PM 

    With so much anti-Islam hatred, JJ Robinson can easily be passed as a member of EDL.

  22. Hassan_Manik on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 7:32 PM 

    I agree with fathun, this article is highly islamophobic. Both Hilath and JJ Robinson should be more tolerant and respectful towards Muslims.

    The attackers should be condemned too. Hilath said he had converted back to Islam so what they did was wrong.

  23. egnaalaK on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 7:53 PM 

    @tsk tsk: Have you stopped beating your wife? Do you need some cash?

  24. earthling on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 7:58 PM 

    while im deeply sorry for Hilath on this and many attacks, i fail to see why he should make this political. He was attacked during Nasheed’s so called democractic era initially.
    Dont get me wrong, i support an early election and i do thin we have a coup govt, but heavens sake lets face the facts. POlitics of it a by-product perhaps… i expect hilath to know already even Nasheed could not stop this and could not act on growing extremisms. IF anything He fueled it. He could nt make any arrests.

    This is cultural, monetary and a much bigger issue than petty politics. it belittles the problem at hand when you try to politicize it.

  25. Hathim on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 8:08 PM 

    Now we have people accusing this article of being islamophobic, what this article highlights is the obvious problem of wahhabi radicals in this country a very tangible threat to the entire country. true Hilaths attackers of December 10th was not arrested,a gross injustice, but his arrest at that time was done as a protection for him.but now that the same radicals are in power it is sure that Hilath will never get justice. A quick look at social media right after the attack revealed those behind it, n it is astonishing that a person’s throat has been slit n the police has made no arrests despite the fact that his enemies are known to the public n despite the fact that distasteful cartoons celebrating this has been on social media.

  26. Indira NewDelhi on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 11:25 PM 

    This report is truly shocking in its gruesome detail.So this is what islam is teaching its young men these days.
    This incident exemplifies the real difference between hindus and muslims…..hindus do not waylay innocent people with a different religious viewpoint in dark alleyways and slash their throat with boxcutters…..muslims, on the contrary, cannot get any point across without resorting to extreme violence……that is why we hindus are ‘civilised’ and you morons are still ‘savages’…..neanderthals not only in your scary physical appearance but also in your mentality.
    I think the day is fast approaching when ordinary muslims, who want to live a quiet life, get sickened by this appalling culture of violence and hatred…..just look at where intolerant wahabi islam has taken Pakistan today…..difficult to believe we were the same people only 65 years ago!!
    India should stop investing my ‘infidel’ taxes in your feral country and ban you drug addicts from our shores. The only reason India allows you access to our low cost health and education sectors is because of ‘goodwill’…..we have no need for your worthless currency.
    Indian journalists monitoring this disturbing story should publicize it in our 70,000 newspapers and 500 satellite channels…..lets show the 1.2 billion people of India what a bunch or retards we have as neighbours.

  27. Ahmed on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 12:06 AM 

    @Fathun. Whats the anti Islamic thing you find in this article. Someones throat has been slit with box cutter by three Salaf Adalath party supporters and all you can say getting sentimental about religion. I you like the Taliban then go to Pakistan.

    What does Islam teaches about tolerance and justice.

    I guess you are brain washed, by 7th grade Islamic war history and hero worshiping. Loving our religion is one thing but you must be able to say NO to injustice even if it done by an Islamic Pope (sheik).

  28. Ahmed on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 12:09 AM 

    All of these Islamic Popes (sheiks) are educated in Pakistan

  29. Ahmed on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 12:17 AM 

    These wahaabees are investing Afgan drug money in women’s garment shops all over capital city male’. I guess Maldivian authorities as well as India should look into these money laundering activities of Islamic radicals.

    Their profit goes directly in to brainwashing remote local communities and spreading their radical ideologies and recruitment.

    by their business profit, cent by cent, drop by drop they are spreading their hatred.

  30. dredd on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 2:58 AM 

    hey everybody i think tsk tsk would like some cash.

  31. Shaz on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 4:12 AM 

    Thanks to the doctors who saved Hilath’s life, without them and the work of other medical staff, he would not be with us.

    Hilath’s resolve to live on must be commended too and hope he finds a good safe life outside Maldives.

    The people who did this to him would be brought to justice when Maldives becomes a democracy again.

  32. Ahmed bin Addu bin Suvadheeb on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 5:30 AM 

    @LOL on Mon, 2nd Jul 2012 3:52 PM

    “But why can’t people see the Quran and other books(there are more than just one) as metaphors or just stories with a moral code ? Evolution does not necessarily mean God doesn’t exist.”

    Indeed. Evolution does not deal with existence or non-existence of God. The theory (only a theory) of evolution is based on the age old scientific method. One of the intriguing discoveries of modern science is that our nearest relatives in the animal world, namely, chimpanzees share 99% of the genetic code with us. A mere 1% separates us from an animal that walks on all fours. Does this make books like the Quran invalid? Not really. No one has found a compelling case for either God’s existence or non-existence.

    That 1% separation from our nearest relatives in the animal world makes us the most calculating, cruel and narcissistic of creatures on our planet. By the way, the human desire to get intoxicated is also shared by chimpanzees, so it’s not just a human characteristic. Is there a prevalence of marauding intoxicated murderers amongst chimpanzees? Don’t think so. So, intoxication alone is not a sufficient “excuse” for hienous crimes, but it’s only a contributor.

  33. Lily on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 7:11 AM 

    The guy who attacked Hilath with a stone and after that punched him shud be punished coz there is evidence he is behind all this attacks towards Hilath.

  34. SHLO NAIVE KIDH on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 7:34 AM 

    Whether it is the famed lawyer who died from the wounds he received or whether it is gay/sufi blogger who survived the wounds, the attackers should be hunted and justice given!

  35. Jaiz ( Maathoda ) on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 8:17 AM 

    Islam dose not allow to kill non Muslims, so why extremists are killing people in Maldives? Muslim should advice people to believe, Allah dose not allow any Muslim to kill non believers. Extremists should avoid doing such a foolish act immediatly if not all Maldivian should protest against them.

  36. Nobody on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 8:39 AM 

    Actually is it the coup government that gave power to these extremists? Maumoon didn’t let these people get near the government. Nasheed gave them recognition by bringing them into the government. They got the freedom to spread their dharus thah and have almost succeeded in making everyone wear these black dresses. I find it hard to overlook the big mistake Nasheed did in all this!

  37. Ahmed on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 8:55 AM 

    I was once told we are preaching a democracy where guilty is declared before proven.

  38. Iseewhatiwanttosee on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 8:57 AM 

    Two cases: one attempted murder (Hilath Rasheed)and another murder (Ahmad Najeeb (Carrot Najeeb)
    The first was allegedly committed by ‘Islamic radicals’; the second, as described by the local papers (Haveeru, Miadhu,etc.)by a drug addict, and his lover, who according to the police, have confessed to their crime.
    Rightly, both cases were rightly condemned by the vast majority as seen in the reaction to these crimes in the talk back posts related to the relevant reports in various newspapers. However, when one compares the posts related to these two incidents published in the Minivannews, he cannot fail to observe that Hilath Rasheed’s case attracted more attention. There may be nothing wrong in this; he may have been more popular, and his life more important to many than Ahmad Najeeb (Najeeb’s family, of course, would disagree!). But the gravity of the crime seems not to be the reason for the condemnation in the case of Hilath Rasheed; the condemnation seems – and I do not intend to impede anyone in their line of thinking or infringe on their right to criticise and condemn Islam for whatever it may stand – that it was, CLAIMED to have been committed by Islamic radicals. Such a claim – fully substantiated by anecdotal evidence – is enough to judge that indeed it was Islamic radicals who committed this heinous crime. And these Islamic radicals, wahaabees, Islamic popes or sheikhs, are not only distinguished by their long and unkempt beards and long shin-baring robes but also indulge in wine-drinking – as alluded to in the article – are to get anyone who disagrees with them. And in our eagerness to accept, we do not even care to see any contradictions in terms here – Islamic radicals and wine-drinking! And thus all the focus was on Islam and its radicalism. Whereas in the second case, although it was allegedly committed by drug addicts the focus again was not on the gravity of the crime or on drug addiction but as a medium to lash against the government – and I do not, again, intend to obstruct anyone from doing so. Here, it seems relevant to point out to a recent program on Indian TV chat show, Satyamev Jayte (The truth alone prevails), in which a number social issues such as feticide which seems quite common in India – more common than homicide in Maldives – and marriage and dowry which often times lead to suicide and homicide , were raised . The purpose of the show, the presenter in an interview with BBC, said was to understand the problems in a holistic way and reach people’s heart in order to bring about a positive change. He wants for people to look inward and search for solutions. According to him feticide in India is a crime that occurs in homes, committed by parents because they do not want daughters. In order to stop this crime, he states, it would be unrealistic to have a policeman in each Indian home, but a change in attitude would help achieve that. Perhaps, we too may need to have such programs and look inward in order to change our attitudes and instill in ourselves some values including respect for human lives whoever they may be.
    Just a slight digression: there was one Hindu by the name of Nathuram Godse – one may describe him as a Hindu nationalist or extremist – who was unable to get his point across but resorted to violence by assassinating the great Mahatma Gandhi. However, only someone whose heart and mind is filled with malicious hatred towards Hindus would conclude from this that the billion plus Hindus are ‘uncivilised savages … Neanderthals … in appearance and … mentality”.

  39. genocidal_maniac on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 9:50 AM 

    same thing happens to prophets and intellectuals. they are either killed by ignorant retards of the nation or expelled or forced to leave. wait a second! this reminds me of the hijrah. whos the good muslim now, eh bӣ$%^s?!

  40. Wives and Concubines on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 10:11 AM 


    I have to agree. Maumoon effectively suppressed the wahhabi ideology in the Maldives, and even banned the black tent that women wear these days. The preaching of wahhabism was banned, and it was confined to a very small group of people. Just try to remember how many women wore the hijab 10 years ago. Maybe one or two very old women in the family. After the tsunami, wahhabism got more prominence as they blamed the disaster directly on women not covering themselves, and right afterwards, Maumoon lost power when Nasheed won the elections backed by wahhabis who had started becoming more powerful. This made them even more powerful, and now, they have a strong influence on the current government with them being behind the 23rd December protests. The Maldives is on the path to become the next Afghanistan. All the smart people will leave, and the remaining will suffer under an extreme Islamic government.

    @Jaiz from Maathoda

    You are so wrong. Study Islamic history using the quran and the hadith. It is extremely violent, and killing non-muslims was very much allowed. Western muslims change all of it and interpret it in ways which appeals to liberals in the west so that they could spread the most violent religion in the world. Just look at the different between Islam and Hinduism like Indira mentioned.

  41. Dhivehi gaumu on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 12:08 PM 

    @Wives and Concubines – War and terrorism are two different things; Islamic empire fought many defensive wars (offensive wars) against its enemies who were hell bent to destroy the religion of Islam. Islam doesn’t have any hypocrisy views when it’s serving justice.

    Hillath was he was trying to vilify the religion of Islam (which he did, went scottfree), when very well he knew that it was not the fault of the religion(teachings) when individuals commits crimes and atrocities.

  42. me on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 4:36 PM 

    agree with ‘fathun’.
    all the reports by this author has the same pattern of islam bashing. he is just an anti muslim bigot.
    and about the attack on hilath; just because someone wear a beard, doesnt make someone an islamist or a radicle or a wahaabi. hilath himself is telling that his attacker was drunk and he smelt of alcohol. as anyone knows its forbidden for muslims to drink. and the so called wahaabis with their strict version of islam is highly unlikely to drink.
    supposing that even if the attackers were radicles, that doesent vilify the entire community that practice that form of religion. if we do that, its like saying that all gays are drug addicts just because hilath is an addict.

  43. Wives and Concubines on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 4:48 PM 

    @Dhivehi Gaumu

    And who taught you that? The islam textbook in grade 7?


    ‘No True Scotsman’….look it up.

  44. LOL on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 4:52 PM 

    My comments are so hard to publish, its understandable.

    What do you guys have against gays/lesbians, alcoholics or drug addicts ? These people are human beings as well. In Maldives more things are considered as criminal activities. One simple thing is if you are a gay or lesbian you don’t have a place in the community even if you were born as a gay and God gave you the genes to become a gay which you cannot change !!

  45. tina coppola on Tue, 3rd Jul 2012 11:25 PM 

    Remember Amnesty International urgent action for Hilath:

  46. Dhivehi gaumu on Wed, 4th Jul 2012 8:27 AM 

    @ Wives and Concubines

    The link you gave is an anti islam hate site.

  47. hassan on Wed, 4th Jul 2012 12:22 PM 

    hillath has now achieved what he had not achieved by merit. permanent residence in a developed country

  48. Indira NewDelhi on Wed, 4th Jul 2012 10:45 PM 

    It was probably Indian doctors in an Indian gifted hospital (IGMH) who saved his life…..Hilath should consider relocating to a civilised and tolerant country like India where we Indians (82% hindu) will safeguard his human rights…..we couldn’t give a toss about his religious beliefs or his sexual orientation.
    He will never be safe among you backward intolerant morons.
    Islam was spread by the sword and continues to be the most violent and intolerant faith in the world today.
    Apostates………….must be killed
    Blasphemers………..must be killed
    Heretics…………..must be killed
    Non believers………must be killed
    Anybody who insults the prophet……must be killed
    Anybody who insults the koran…..must be killed
    This culture of violence and hatred towards other faiths will only change when your mad mullahs…..mostly uneducated and with an unhealthy interest in young boys…..stop brainwashing you retards into believing you are God’s chosen people and you are the epicentre of the whole goddam universe.
    I’d hate to end up in a heaven full of you lot…..shudder, shudder.

  49. Polandexpat on Thu, 5th Jul 2012 12:59 PM 

    What a wonderful religion: “announce you’re a Muslim or I’ll kill you”.

  50. LOL on Fri, 6th Jul 2012 6:12 PM 

    Center for Inquiry and International Humanist and Ethical Union
    Speaker: IHEU and CFI Representative Roy W Brown
    Representatives: Hannah Bock; Roy W Brown; Josephine Macintosh
    Un Human Rights Council; 20th Session 18 June – 9 July 2012; 28 June 2012; Agenda Item 3: Civil and Political Rights
    The Democratic Party of the Maldives, whose president was ousted in an Islamist-inspired coup in February, welcomed a speech in the UN Human Rights Council by IHEU/CFI representative Roy Brown denouncing a recent horrific attack on Ismail Rasheed, a journalist and blogger, and the increasing climate of intolerance in that Indian Ocean country.

    You retards WAKE UP !!

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Torture victims in the Maldives tell their stories