Much Ado About The “Controversy” That Is Nasheed’s Response

controversy

A question that Nasheed answered during a Q&A session while in Denmark recently has become a topic of much controversy, of course stirred by none other than those who are so “moved” by Islam that they cannot or are not willing to understand the fact that extremism is not the version of Islam that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) has preached and left behind as a legacy to all of us to be blessed with Allah’s love and good things in the Hereafter.

It was a tweet by Mr. Bushry, the former editor of Monday Times; a man I respected deeply as a journalist and his ability to keep readers interested with his articles (I still remember looking avidly forward to each article that was published back then and I am most certain I have never missed out on reading anything that he published back then) that brought this video link to my attention. Maybe I am just dumb or maybe the version of English language that I understand is not on par with what Bushry and the likes have studied, but what I understood from the video clip was that Nasheed adressed the point of rising extremism as an issue that exists in this country together with many other countries in this region.

Maldives being a “100%” Muslim country, the vulnerability factor here is a just a tad more, which is of course true if you look at what has happened in the past and what is happening even now. If you take into account the direction in which Imran and the lot are trying to move this nation i.e. by preaching their hypocritical version of Islam, extremism & radicalism is what is going to be the end result of this all. And of course if you take a look into the bombing that took place in the Sultan Park together with the Himandhoo issue, both of which came up during Maumoon’s 30 year golden era, one cannot turn their back on such glaringly obvious evidence unless they choose to be blind, which is of course another matter altogether.

What Nasheed said was that a different dialogue that preaches true Islam to the people needs to come out. Which is certainly true because there are very few scholars who actually preach what they practice without sounding like envoys sent from up above to judge people based on their actions and decide then and there who and who are ordained for Paradise and Hell. Nasheed corrected himself after using the term “liberal Islam” saying that a better way to put it would be the “correct version of Islam” and the fact that this dialogue needs to be established is the unvarnished truth. I believe that Nasheed makes a valid argument based on that point. Extremists use and exploit religion to their own advantage. Religion is a means to an end to them, most of them dreaming about the 70 virgins they would be offered the minute they strap explosives on their body and go blow up something killing 1000’s of innocent bystanders in the process. That is not the form of justice that Islam talks about.

Islam is a religion that advocates peace above all else. A just and fair system for its followers and those that do not follow it, a society that can live in harmony, even be it when there is a mix of people who follow different religions. Such is the way of Islam, it is not a religion based on beheading each and everyone that emerges with a different school of thought from yours and it is certainly not about enslaving and brainwashing people into submission. Above everything else Allah SWT has given us free will and that choosing to live the way we do is something He alone can judge and to that there is no question.

Nasheed’s point of extremists using religion to their advantage is valid and the example he took to drive home the point was what seemed to have stirred all this controversy. The example that extremists always have an answer for everything. Even if one cannot sleep at night, they would quote a Hadith and an Ayat from Quran and then the person would go back to sleep again. This is in no way a mockery to any of the teachings in Islam and I cannot find anything blasphemous in nature in what he said. He did not mock Islam, nor did he mock the Sunnah laid out by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Anyone who has a good command of the English language and can THINK for themselves without getting all defensive about their personal hatred towards Nasheed would indeed understand his point.

Me, I’d rather have a leader who sees the problems that exists in this society than bury his head in the sand like an ostrich & goes on to prevent others from seeing and facing the reality of the society that we live in today. Reality is that even the much “revered” Maumoon Abdul Qayyoom himself had agreed to the rising elements of extremism on this soil during conversations he had at the American Embassy based in Sri Lanka as per the documents leaked on WikiLeaks. Truth is extremism if not curbed, if a solution not found, is a ‘virus’ that will continue to breed, multiply and the resultant wound fester beyond control which would result in us reverting back to the dark ages where education is a thing of the past, where women become enslaved and our children grow up to be ignorant in a way that would bring nothing but despair raining down upon us.

For once, stop the hate mongering TV channels and newspapers from feeding those little tidbits into your brain and do the actual thinking for you. For once in your life, STOP and THINK! It just might change how you see things which in turn might pave the way for a better future.

An important point to ponder upon meanwhile is the fact that actions are judged by our intentions. And be it me, you or Nasheed, we would all be judged for our actions, our deeds and the way we have conducted ourselves in the Hereafter. Allah knows best.

Yes, I Have a Problem…

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To say that empathy is a foreign concept to most Maldivians would not be a lie. It is appalling just how narrow minded even some of my friends are. Politically, I do not care who anyone chooses to vote for. I do not mind whether everyone goes and votes for even the devil himself. I’d question their thinking rationale which made them conclude the devil to be the best choice but then I wouldn’t comment on it.

But what I do have a problem with is people and my friends who refuses to see brutality and injustice when it happens right in front of them. My digestive system has issues and malfunctions when people ridicule what the other person goes through, going so far as to label them cowards in the face of great tyranny and injustice.

February 8th 2012 was one of the worst days of police brutality in the recent Maldivian history. I was appalled at the apathy that some people showed towards the victims of the attacks of the life threatening variety, the picture in my post being one of them. The man depicted in the picture lost three of his fingers to the attack by the police officer (Haveeru reports on this incident one year on), if not for his hand getting in the way, he would certainly have died or would have been rendered into a coma or a vegetative state for the rest of his life. There are people who still think everyone who got beaten up within an inch of their lives that day deserved what they got and had it coming. Enough said.

I have a problem when people root for and become cheerleaders for the bullies instead of condemning the act. And I certainly do have a problem when people judge the other person never knowing what he/she has gone through. Unless you put on their shoes, walk through their life, face the troubling & conflicting times they have had and come out a “winner”, don’t assume that high and mighty attitude and think you are a better person.

Some Maldivians I’m afraid to say, they wouldn’t know injustice until it bitch-slaps them on their face. Or brutality until a baton comes swinging their way. Or the humiliation of being subjected to inhumane  torture until they are stripped of every right and poked with a hot iron rod in their nether regions. Or pinched and groped with every intent of humiliating and dehumanizing the person to a level that would continue to give them nightmares for the rest of their lives.

Point being, these people might differ from you in their political visions and aspirations but that certainly doesn’t make them any less human. You are a human too. At least I think we all are. If not for our ability to think, rationalize, feel and show empathy when and where its due; what other aspect differentiates us from becoming mere animals?

What the Jews are doing to the Palestinians ain’t the only injustice that is happening in this world. Its happening right in this country too. When you open your mouth and condemn what the Jews are doing to the Palestinians and laugh on like a hyena when it happens to someone from whom your political opinion differs; yes, that I have a problem with.

And that ends my mini rant for the day. Thanks to everyone who took the time to “listen”.

Democracy on a Leash!

After the events of February 7th 2012, today, the 30th of August marks one of the darkest days in the Maldivian history after the historical elections held in 2008 which ousted the long term dictator President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. The road to democracy wasn’t an easy one, a path that was filled with many a hurdle than one would have dared to think of as the one soul who stood up from the masses i.e. President Mohamed Nasheed braved imprisonment, banishment and many other forms of torture in jail way before the movement gained momentum.

When February 7th of this year rolled in, it was with a heavy heart and a bleeding soul that I watched on, shocked and appalled by the heinous crime that corrupt politicians and money hungry businessmen of this country had all joined together to execute, a coup that has apparently ‘fooled’ not just the Islamists of this country but rather a large chunk of the whole world as well. India and the USA, the biggest mockeries to modern democracy were the first to accept the ‘new’ government in place, not so surprising about India when they would go to any lengths to protect their interests in this country.


On the 8th of February, the fight for freedom once again started with a passion; people took to the streets with the ousted President leading them and the day would go down in Maldivian history as one of the worst days of police brutality this country ever saw. The mayor of Male’ City himself as well as President Nasheed were dragged through the streets as if they were common thugs and Parliament Member Mr. Reeko Moosa Manik was practically beaten to death which were some of the notable atrocities committed by the Police that day, which was later blamed on them being “overcome with passion” for the lack of a better term by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives themselves.

The saddest thing of all that strikes my mind is how miserably we have failed as a nation and as people who follow a religion that advocates peace above everything else. The Maldives and her institutions that should have guarded the democracy that was at its infancy all failed irrevocably leading to this day where the hopes and dreams of those who advocate for people’s rights and freedom for all once again have received a huge deafening blow.

The human ability to hope in times of great adversity is one factor that would always separate us from the rest of the species. It is our ability to hope that makes us work that much harder on achieving the unattainable and it is this hope that deals us with the most crushing blows when they all come tumbling down.

While the events of the coup that took place on February 7th was telecasted live on all TV channels in the country, those who weren’t deaf, dumb and blind saw it as it was. That it was indeed a coup d’état that ousted President Nasheed from power and that yes he was under duress when he resigned from office before his 5 year term was up. The Vice President then, Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik who assumed office on the same day itself quickly set up a farce of a Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), to look into whether the transfer of power from President to Vice President on that fateful day took place through constitutional means or not.

A lot of dillydallying, not to mention accusations being hurled back and forth later with the intervention of the Commonwealth, the CoNI was reconstituted to suite all parties involved and thus began to flicker that small flame of hope with it that with CoNI’s investigations, it would bring to light just how much of our rights as citizens of this country had been raped and trodden upon by the rogue police and military of this country controlled by none other than the ousted dictator Maumoon himself.

Even though I myself knew better, even then there was a part of me that believes in the inherent goodness of the people that made me hope that CoNI’s findings and their report would give to the people a respite from all the questions that remain unanswered to this day and show to the world the true face of the politicians who had thought of nothing but themselves as they had shamelessly used whatever means within reach to execute a ‘unique’ coup as our very own Dr. Hassan Saeed, “Advisor to all Presidents” calls it.

From the smirk on Dr. Waheed’s face to the smug look on the Defence Minister Mr. Nazim’s face and the relieved looks on the faces of the rest of the cabinet and members of the “alliance” rallying behind Dr. Waheed and his farce of a government, it was apparent from the minute the press conference went live at The President’s Office that our faith in CoNI’s findings were about to be crushed big time. And crush it it did, once again rendering the majority of this country that believes what took place on February 7th to be illegal to look as fools for doing so!

To the deaf, dumb and blind members of the CoNI, excluding Mr. Gahaa Saeed who had the grace to resign and let the people know that his conscience does not allow him to be a part of such a farce of a report, I would like to say, well done. You have managed to severely cripple the country and her people with your deadly report, crushed our hopes and driven us into deep despair over the lack of public interest shown in the report itself. You’ve managed to remove pertinent details, not surprising when the report was drafted by the Singaporean Judge Selvam who managed to do so while holidaying back in his country, and given us all a narrative story of how things went down and concluded that everything in fact happened as per the constitution of the country. You have managed to do something for us that no other country in the world has ever achieved to do – you have legalized the change of government through a coup d’état, and concluded that you find nothing wrong with having a President resign under duress. And bravo for managing to call us, the people, dumb fumbling idiots while you were at it because in actuality that is what your report signifies.


While the stupid imbeciles of this country, and I say this with the utmost respect, go on celebrating the fact that a dangerous precedent has now been set in this country, I bow my head down in shame; shame that a percentage of the educated youth of this country still believe that Maumoon is a God unto which the rest of the Maldivians belong to while on the same breathe they conclude that there is no God but Allah. While I let the tears of despair fall, I know that kindred souls out there all feel the same way which is my only saving grace as the day that crushed something vital inside of me disappears into the night, heralding with it the arrival of the dawn of another day in the Police State of Maldives.

This post is dedicated to everyone who felt the same crushing blow I did today when Dr. Waheed came out with the CoNI’s findings with that gloating look on his face – this one’s for you! Never give up fighting for what’s right. The road to justice is always a tough one. And hope, in its most virulent form, always lives on.

Colorless, Are You?

One of the many things that happened after the 7th of February 2012 was the emergence of a lot of “political” groups on the social network of Facebook. One such group that popped up was entitled “Colorless” which started promoting peace, harmony and the concept of engaging in dialog with each other, to set aside our differences and work towards the betterment of this country. A noble concept don’t you think?

Being the pessimist that I am at certain moments, I found the concept of being “colorless” and “neutral” when evidence of police brutality towards unarmed civilians on the 8th of February showed Maldivians just how barbaric a society this can become in the face of injustice. Yes, it is an injustice to all of us, not just those who support MDP and its policies, the way in which the first democratically elected leader of this country was brought down from power by mutinying forces within the Police and the Military. And in my opinion promoting peace and harmony when society is rife with injustice is like throwing a spoonful of water to put out a raging fire. Varied are the views on how the incidents actually unfolded, main reason being the contradicting versions of the events that began to surface as the days passed.

The rage that grew to life deep inside of me after seeing the utter disrespect that the law enforcement officials showed towards peaceful protesters that day just multiplied by tenfold upon the government staying silent on the atrocities committed by the very people whose oath demands from them to serve and protect the public. Couple it together with my frustration at how the people were cheated out of their basic rights to democracy, the right to vote and the right to elect the leader in power, and how the authoritative bodies remained silent as if in a deep state of coma, I just didn’t see any point in promoting the concept of unicorns running around in a field of flowers while the sun shines down, where everything is just merry and the people are high on Prozac so that they don’t see anything wrong or any injustice in the way the “new” government came into power.

And then there is the hypocritical media of this country, a place where the concept of free, fair and unbiased reporting is a myth rather than a fact. While the same TV channels that for the past 2 years had spread half-truths, hate speech and propaganda to incite loathing towards Nasheed’s administration all of a sudden changed tune to promote peace and love between the people, admonishing the society to come together to support the leader in power because that is what the religion preaches us just got me madder. To top it all off, the airing of videos of the great “sacrifices” that the armed forces had made for the betterment of this country? Insert an eye rolling session here. Total and utter shame!

So somehow I managed to voice out my frustrations on the said group and well, I did get well meant advice from group members, similar in nature to the concept of the “road map” towards peace that Dr. Waheed seems to be dabbling with these days. My take on the pointlessness of peace when there is no justice, when the judiciary remains in the clutches of the corrupted and most elite businessmen of this country disappeared into a million other posts that promoted love, peace, harmony and the care bear stuff that I just couldn’t take in. My post on the current “state” of the country’s media received the following feedback. Since I was so passionate on the issue, I could create a separate group on the issue and advocate for it. Hocus Pocus!

And then, there are those friends and acquaintances, who hide behind the concept of being “neutral” and wears the “I’m not a member of any political party” banner so proudly that  they might as well have the slogan tattooed on their foreheads. I too am not part of any political party. But I have enough brain cells left (even after countless attempts by the previous regime to brainwash them into submission) to be able to read, observe and then make up my own mind about what I see, hear and feel. I know how to separate right from wrong and what took place on February 7th and 8th of this year was just plain wrong!

Does being neutral and “colorless” mean that you don’t see with your own eyes? Hear with your own ears? Think with your own brain? Does it mean that you remain unfeeling even at the face of thousands of peaceful protesters being dismantled by the force of pepper spray and batons, the way they handled the ex-President who had just “resigned” the day before? Does it make you unable to see the hypocrisy behind the most famous tourism resort owner of this country alleging to “save” a religion that he “mocks” by reaping profits off of selling the very items that are considered as prohibited in our religion? Don’t you just find it ironic that the pamphlet that was created by Dr. Hassan Saeed and Dr. Jameel hypothesised on a lot of aspects rather than providing us with the facts as to why they seem to have arrived at the conclusion that Nasheed is trying to drive away the religion everyone seems to cling on to even if praying 5 times a day is a thing that most Maldivians treat rather casually? What makes you say that people who were beaten up badly and some of who were knifed in places deserved what they got if you think of yourself as a true Muslim? What makes you mock those who cry out at the injustice of what took place and still label yourself as being neutral and colorless?

If being colorless, odorless, tasteless and neutral means being deaf, dumb and blind and turning my back on every injustice that is done to the people of this country, I would rather remain labeled as a “colored” person. I would rather go down fighting for what I believe in, standing up for the rights that we deserve as per the constitution of this country rather than staying silent, as silence in the face of injustice is just another way of saying yes, I agree with the atrocities that are being committed and I find nothing wrong in what happened. And for me, that can  never become the accepted norm.

As Ronald Reagan once said, “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”  Long live people’s power. Long live democracy!

Independent Enquiry, Elections & a CLEAN Judiciary Please!

So, I woke up today to the uproarious headlines on Sun newspaper that reports on a DJ which was held at Dharubaaruge which was  interrupted by the Maldives Police Service (maybe they should tweet about it once they are done). Of course this would be an activity sponsored and participated in by none other than the anti-Islamic elements in the society which somehow ONLY belong within the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), now wouldn’t it? As usual, people on Facebook who believe in the December 23rd Alliance were up and about, “screaming” their outrage on the top of their lungs, trying to get the attention they deserve, to try and drive home the point that they were right all along.

Being the sarcastic person that I am of course, I couldn’t help but voice my thoughts on the matter. It is not the first time in the Maldives that an event of this nature (a DJ) has taken place. Nor will it be the last unless of course the December 23rd Alliance comes into power and the Taliban law overrides the constitution of the country which I pray doesn’t happen. I still remember when I was in my teens, just how much of an effort most of my friends put into, to deceive their parents and go mingle in parties that would allow them to mix with the opposite sex and to dance the night away in the arms of the boy that they were currently crushing on. That was in the early 90’s, and I know the situation must have doubled ten times over by now.

We the Maldivians have been burying our heads in the sand for quite sometime, ignoring the rising elements within our society that have their own ideas when it comes to their beliefs or non-beliefs towards Islam. The generation that now makes up the youth of this society never had the opportunity to receive proper Islamic teachings during their Secondary and High School education which makes up for the most important time period during which a student needs to receive the right information in order to come to the right conclusion. I still remember the days when I was in Grade 10 in Aminiya School and the Islam teacher who is now an active member of the People’s Alliance party (PA) used to talk about the concepts of Tawheed on the basis that we never talk about it outside of the school. Ordering teachers not to talk about certain elements of the religion was how President Maumoon wanted students to receive information about Islam which today is the tool that is being used by the same bunch of cronies to divide us further.

Ever since the incidents that took place on February 7, 2012, something inside of me just refuses to back down. I have received well-meaning “messages” from friends who thinks I am going in the wrong direction, and I know that I am not very popular amongst most of my friends for expressing my belief that people SHOULD get the right to vote, the right to democracy and the right to a judiciary that is able, capable and not riddled with the elements of corruption.

It is indeed a lonely road that a man takes when he/she stands firm in something they believe in and I find at the moment that my true friends are few and far in between. I have taken to hanging out on Twitter, exchanging ideas with likeminded people of the belief that yes, what took place on February 7th was unconstitutional, and yes, we the people should get the right to choose our leader through ballots and not the force of bullets. And verdicts passed out by the Kangaroo Courts of the Maldives since then certainly drove home the point of the inept judiciary operating within this country.

So my criticism goes out to those who rally behind the “holy” December 23rd Alliance (which I have to add is backed and funded by the most corrupt and affluent businessmen of this country) who are so darn sure of the probability of beating Nasheed in an election that would test and prove to the Maldivians that the majority of the people are behind them and want what they are calling out for! If through a free and fair election they manage to do that, I of course would accept it without question.

I cannot fathom the reason as to what is keeping them from going on to prove their claims and back it up with solid proof of their popularity. Some of my theories on the matter includes their  inflated COMBINED ego perhaps? Or the simple fact that there might not be as many supporters behind them as they might think? Or the sheer number of people that rally behind President Nasheed, even when the rest of the political parties and ideologies in the country with the blessing of the “religious” scholars try to prove the ineptness of the ousted President? Or the fact that Maldivians are not as “dumb” as they might think, and that we ARE able to form our own opinions based on the facts presented to us from the various news papers & channels with the Gossip channels included?

In my opinion the fact that they are so reluctant to hold elections just goes to show how fickle a lot they really are. Hiding behind and promoting the slogan of “peace and togetherness in the country” when it was they themselves who in the first place created this insurmountable divide between Maldivians. Kudos to a job well done. Pat yourselves on the back because you truly have got what you wanted out of this mess in which we the citizens have to fight every inch of the way to drive home the point that “WE WANT ELECTIONS”. And if that makes us anti-Islamic, if that makes us the ones who are deaf, dumb & blind, so be it!

I for one will continue to stand by my decision of wanting an independent enquiry, of wanting free and fair elections and wanting a CLEAN judiciary to serve our needs for all time to time.