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May 30, 2010

By Sara

I’ve kept my opinions about religion to myself for a long time now. Even when I was verbally tortured in school all those years ago because of the mere reason that I did not wear the head scarf, at the most I’d say to the abusers to let me be a Muslim in my own right and to keep their version of Islam to themselves. Discussions about Islam would mostly take place between my close friends and my family and that’s just about it, because I knew if I were to protect my right and my practices I’d be unjustifiably compared to a Kafir. Women like me shouldn’t have to tell people like them how many times a day we pray and how many good deeds we do in a day! We shouldn’t have to tell them that we actually do not resort to narcotics, alcohol, violence and premarital sex! So I always kept my good deeds and my belief in my Allah who is my sole guardian, who protected me through bad times and gave me much luck, to myself.

But I can see clearly now that I’m amongst the minority. So it’s high time I came out of my shell and spoke out. I’m not even in the Maldives right now and yet I feel like I’m going to be an outcast when I go back. I’m here in a far off country studying to pursue a career in a field that would allow me to actively involve in helping my fellow Maldivians whom I’ve loved every single day since the beginning. I’ve always heard of Maldivian hospitality and our broadmindedness and how highly appreciated all these attributes are (were?) worldwide. But then I came to know about these threats again non-buruga-wearers and how hard the Muslims that are higher on the extreme scale are trying to implement their islam into people’s hearts and minds. And then this whole Nazim vs Dr. Zakir Naik plus the rest of the extremists thing came up and now everything is in a stir up! Is it safe for me to go back to my home country at the end of my course? Would I be forced to take refuge somewhere else?

I thought I come from a religion which promotes people to ask questions about their doubts so that the people who knew the answers could answer them and then everyone would be at peace! And I also thought my religion was one which had its foundation on peace and harmony with no bloodshed and violence. Well, and I also supported Dr.Zakir Naik and his logic, science and other various beliefs which I thought were more moderate than some other people who were, like I said, higher on the extreme scale. I supported him until he lost his cool last night that is. I expected to see something miraculous when Nazim asked his question; something remarkable where a Muslim “scholar” peacefully instills belief in Allah and Islam into a non believer merely by his words, logic and science. And then it ended rather abruptly without any satisfaction on my part, on Nazims part and I highly think neither on Dr. Zakir Naiks part. Islam is a religion of peace (oh yes! I sill believe so) and I wanted something beautiful to happen! There could have been, I think, various efforts that Dr. Zakir Naik could have made on his part to answer all the questions asked, that could have brought out an incredible result, rather than to ask the non-believer questions to deliberately humiliate him and create an unstable atmosphere. Or, even when Dr..Zakir Naik couldn’t satisfactorily answer the question, the rest of the “knowledgeable” people, also higher on the extreme scale, could have more peacefully taken the non-believers circumstances into their hands and attempted to also instill some belief into him. All these could have been done more gently rather than build and uproar, threaten to kill and then actually attempt to do this eventually!

Where is the peace in all this that have happened? Isn’t Islam a religion of peace? Where is the beauty in all this? Where is the possibility of something remarkable happening? Oh wait a minute! Did those people who claim to know their religion better actually lose their footing and resort to something non-Muslim? Who are the non-Muslims now? I didn’t certainly go and threatened to behead a non-believer and run after him, so certainly I cannot be a “Kafir” now, can I?

I hope there are more people like me, who are more knowledgeable in this area willing to come out and prove their points in the face of all this injustice! Our beautiful paradise on Earth is in blood shed and sinking in its own blood. I say, we need to come out of this shell, prepare for anything that can possibly happen and attempt to bring an end to all this nonsense and violence happening in the name of Islam. What on Earth is President Nasheed doing?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. dhona permalink
    May 30, 2010 3:16 pm

    i am not a Muslim anymore… because according to naik, majeed, afrasheem, ali rameez, baree and etc etc (especially humans who claims that they know everything about religion) to become a muslim you have to become a coward so you fear and lie, and hide your selves in hijab and dont speak unless your spoken to… and whats more….i dont know just become a doll like figure or a baby making sexual object for men!!!

    I am sad that i am not in male at the moment, my request to rehendhi and all the women out there is to go out there and protect nazim from being tortured or threatened if you believe he has the right to tell the truth. if you are strong women who can protect your family or who wants to change this country to a peaceful country, today you have to go out and tell that islam is not about fear, hate, a political tool or a secret hidden agenda!!! islam is about honesty most of all… and because nazim has only showed his honesty… he should be praised for it.

    Women you need to teach like you teach your children… today our country is only teaching the future generations to become hypocrites!! our peoples mind are being poisoned by the states islamic ministry in supporting violence and restriction… what we fought for during the change was for freedom of expression… but what if people who express their thoughts end up like nazim… does it mean we all just have to wait for the day that we leave to another country and express who we are.

    Go out there and tell them, expressing our selves is not about sexual desires and drinking alcohol. in this country how many young children (especially girls) end up deceived and recruited to resorts to managers to get them drunk and abused in their naivest state of mind… this is how it has been for thirty years… no one stood up when our youth ended up as heroin addicts, victims of child abuse, etc etc…. for how long non of this was reported in the news… as if maldives is paradise and no crime happens here… did you forget about the time when there was no space in the jail because half of maldives youth was in there…..

    YES this is what we are going back to… this is the beginning of that threat and torture that will push us down and shut us up so those politicians can do what ever they want… we are in square one again… they are expecting us to forget… they want us to be quite just like we were quite for thirty years when abuse to women went higher from higher to unreachable stats..

    Go out there remind those MDP freedom fighters who are now happily sitting in their 60 thousand rufiyaa worth chairs… go remind that president who first stood against to protect human rights for Maldivians… remind those Islamic scholars that they are humans… not gods… and remind them that our maldivian born people are humans too and the governement has no right to remove them from the country…

    If you cant do so… dont write anything… dont call your selves rehendhi fighting for womens to childs right. dont try to bring change that you want to bring,,, this is the right time and there is no other time. if i was not pregnant and out of male i would have gone out there and proved them wrong!

  2. May 30, 2010 5:24 pm

    really like the post..i have to agree that even i was expecting something miraculous to happen when the guy asked that question..but was disappointed in the end..once again..great post!..keep writing please.

  3. ali ahmed permalink
    May 30, 2010 7:07 pm

    writer was right for the most of the part….but i have to ask her why end up giving all the blame to mr. nasheed….we all knew this was coming for the past 10 years…did not know when? your argument was strongly placed and yet i don’t found that these who are not wearing scarf DOES NOT have a threat. extremism is everywhere. not only in Maldives. its not the work for president nasheed. its the work for scholars of Islam. how good you came up with your argument was lost with the last words. sorry that you might think that i am a MDP supporter. its not who i support. its just that cannot blame a work of an ignorant on someone else. there is a fine line between stupidity and bravery

  4. May 30, 2010 8:35 pm

    The PROBLEM is with these “Mullahs & Modernists”. THEIR aversion to each other & THEIR need to prove/establish THEMSELVES/THEIR views as the ABSOLUTE, ULTIMATE truths. Oh the hypocrisy & sheer irony (just how alike these two groups are, DESPITE their efforts to “dis-associate” with one another)!!! The “average” Maldivians are unfortunately caught in the vortex of this hatred that these “philosophers” incite. I, for one, AM SICK to the core by their actions & words. Too many cooks spoil the broth-now this must be why they say “ignorance is bliss” 😉

    But seriously though, we must learn not to let these “Mullahs & Modernists” dictate our way of life for us. Sadly, the word “moderation” is highly underrated these days 😦 Why do we feel that we must ONLY be at one extreme to get any attention/be taken seriously/lead a happy, “successful” life?!?

    That being said, I still have COMPLETE FAITH in US as a people (not especially as “individuals”). JUST STOP THINKING YOU ARE EITHER SUPERIOR OR INFERIOR TO OTHERS-WE ARE ALL EQUALS AS CITIZENS OF MALDIVES! Sometimes, we MUST put the COLLECTIVE ahead of the INDIVIDUAL. BEWARE of BOTH casual “non-conformism” & active “extremism”! I truly believe we could do so much better IF we CHOOSE to eliminate these self-appointed “factions” amongst ourselves.

    Good luck to us ALL!

    -Theduveri Dhivehi Dhariyeh-

  5. Aminath permalink
    June 1, 2010 1:16 pm

    Great article and very true..keep writing

    Ofcourse President Nasheed should not give so much freedom to these mullahs …Why can’t he put some effort to bring a person who can answer all the queries. If the scholar is anexpert he should be able to reason out instead of humiliating a person who asks a question. I fully agree with the writer!

  6. Nadya permalink
    June 4, 2010 3:01 am

    There is a difference between not restraining speech and outright funding them. Islamic ministry has a budget of something akin to MRF 19 million. This is why I am frustrated with President Nasheed. HIs government is funding these crazy Mullah’s.

  7. Abdullah Adam permalink
    June 8, 2010 12:29 am

    I am a Muslim. However, that does not mean that everyone else must choose my faith. If you choose to be a Muslim or not is up to you. I do not feel insecure or threatened by you or anyone else being not Muslim or having different views about Islam. I do not believe that I have a right to impose my faith, or my interpretation of it, on you or on anyone else. I think, there are many Maldivians who are still Muslims and do not feel threatened by others not being Muslim.

  8. bino permalink
    June 12, 2010 11:33 am

    The president is suppose to give freedom for everyone to speak, he fought for freedom and after he became the president he took an oath to protect Maldives and to give freedom to everyone equally. his job is to be president and support valid arguments and use the systemic ways to support and increase intellectuals.he is done, he is doing his job… now its time for you to stand up for your own rights and when you do it right i am sure he will support you too rather than not letting you fight for your rights.

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