Maldives constitution “does not grant basic rights and freedoms to non-Muslims in the country”
The Maldives, long thought to be one of those non-Arab Muslim nations paradigmatic of “tolerance”Â continuesÂ down the road to “radicalization” “Rights of Non-Muslims restricted by new Maldives constitution,” fromÂ ICFJ, August 15, with thanks to DW:
The new Maldives constitution does not grant basic rights and freedoms to non-Muslims in the country, according to the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.Â
The group condemns the constitution because it violates internationally accepted human rights and standards. For example, the document explicitly states that non-Muslims cannot be granted citizenship.
Meanwhile, up north in India, Muslims are complaining about not receiving “equal treatment.” EvenÂ ifÂ that was true, still, at least they have citizenship (see entry below).
The Institute on Religion and Public Policy is currently working on a comprehensive analysis of the constitution that will be released in September.Â
For more information, clickÂ here.
From the excellent Islam Monitor:
Waleed Aly’s Island paradise is a totalitarian Islamic hell – Maldives
On 19/5/08 Waleed Aly gave the annual Samuel Alexander Lecture for Wesley CollegeÂ (available on video).Â Apparently the topic was ‘the clash of civilisations’ though listening to the video, what stands out is confusion and manipulation of the discussion to ensure listeners drew the desired conclusions eg nasty ‘white’ ‘Christian’ west, poor victim Muslims.Â
One of the more outlandish attempts to link Islam and ‘good things’ was his attempt to link Islam (‘Maldives’) and ‘tropical island paradise’ – relying on an ignorant audience for success.
Many Australians head to the ‘tropical island paradise’ of the Maldives with the lovely tourist resorts, lagoons, sun/sand/sea, wine, women in bathers mixing with men, couples kissing, massages, ‘fun’ and even Gay trips to the Maldives.Â Islamic??Â Â NO, the Islamic Maldives is hidden from tourists because it shows nasty Islam (true image), NOT a ‘tropical island paradise’!
The totalitarian (Islam is the religion/government/law), intolerant, misogynist Islamic Maldives.
2) The special majlis drafting committee and all political parties are against freedom of religion even for the foreignersÂ (9).Â Past and present-all other religions are banned.
3) Citizens must be MuslimÂ (3, 8, 4). Maldivians are born ‘Muslim’(4)– a Maldivian notes:
“after allowing our government to decide that we are Muslims, we are subjected to Islamic propaganda all our lives. School classes, radio, TV, books, magazines, Quran reading contests, conferences with foreign mullahs in Ramadan, keep flooding us with Islamic ideology from cradle to grave. The government makes sure that we have only access to Islamic religious material and keeps away from us any other religious books, especially Christian ones with special ruthlessness and determination.”(21)
4)Â Under the constitution, the President eg Gayoom (current leader â€“ educated in Islamic jurisprudence in Egypt) is the ”supreme authority to propagate the tenets of Islam in the Maldives”Â (4, 16).
5) The legal system/civil law is based onÂ ShariaÂ (19, 4).Â Civil law is subordinate to Shari’a.Â Â Sharia is applied to cases outside civil law, divorce and adulteryÂ (4).
7) The political, judicial, and religious systems are so intertwined that political leaders and judges are also religious leaders.Â Â Judges interpret Islamic law in the courtsÂ (16).
8) The government maintains and funds most mosquesÂ (4)
9)Â People read Arabic to recite the Koran but don’t understand what they are readingÂ (1). Â
10) The “Law on the Protection of the Religious Unity” states that the Government and people must protect religious unity.Â Any statement or action deemed contrary to ‘religious Unity’ results in fines or imprisonmentÂ (4).Â
11) Only Muslims may become citizens, marry, or own property.Â Daily life is regulated according to the tenets of IslamÂ (16)
13) There is no right to freedom of religion or beliefÂ (4).Â
14) Conversion from Islam is prohibitedÂ (3, 5, 6)Â – loss of citizenship, marriage, property, job ie social, legal ramificationsÂ (4, 6)!!
15)Â Would-be converts are detained and coerced back to IslamÂ (4)
In 1998 Christian Maldivians were arrested, imprisoned without trial, brutally treated and forced to follow Islamic practices at the same time, President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom reportedly travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland, to receive a Christian knighthood from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.t;(12, 13, 14)
17) Foreigners may practice their religion in private but must NOT encourage citizens to participateÂ (3, 4)Â – jail, expulsion.
18)Â Other than for personal use, materials of other religions cannot be brought into the country.
19) Foreigners cannot import items deemed “contrary to Islam,” including alcohol, pork products, or idols for worship. Resort islands have alcohol but it’s against the law to offer alcohol to a local citizenÂ (4).
20) Maldivian attorney general Dr. Saeed said that under the new penal code (2008), whipping (100 lashes – 20) for men and women caught drinking alcohol will be retained.Â Â (17, 20)
Women and children:
Women have always been subordinate despite the colourful dresses of the past. Women are disadvantaged, particularly under Shari’a eg in divorce, education, inheritance, and testimony in legal proceedings (5)Â The Maldives acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) withÂ the reservation “except those which the Government may consider contradictory to the principles of the Islamic Sharia”(24)Â
21) Women are switching to headscarves and Arabic style loose, flowing, dark robes and they ‘prefer’ to stay indoors.Â (Hardly attire appropriate for the tropics and a good swim, is it???)Â Women are pressured by family, citizens, clerics and new political partiesÂ (20, 4, 17). Also “women began to cover after state-owned media reported that the 2004 tsunami was theÂ “result of Maldivians failing to live in accordance with Islam.”(4)Â And, Tourism provides two-thirds of employment in the Maldives, and many men leave their families to go and stay at the resorts for shifts that can last three months.
“These teachers go to the women in the villages and say – your men are working at these hotels, surrounded by loose women and alcohol. If you want to save his soul and your marriage you must be virtuous – cover up, stay inside, and he will come back to you,”Â (20, 17)Â
23) Men are growing beards and asserting dominance/control over women.(20, 17)
24)Â In April 2006 authorities arrested Aishath Aniya because she questioned “against Islam” and “against Islamic principles” the concept that women must wear a veil….. The Supreme Council discharged her with a warning(5).
25) (Sharia) The testimony of two women is required to equal that of one man in matters such as adultery, finance, and inheritanceÂ (4).
26)Â Under Shari’a males inherit twice the share of femalesÂ (4, 5, 24).Â
27) Family Law (Sharia) prohibits women from marrying non-Muslim foreigners but allows men to marry non-Muslim foreignersÂ (4).
28) “There were no laws regarding domestic violence against women….a 2005 MHRC survey indicated that many citizens believed men should be permitted to hit their wives under some circumstances. A November 2006 NGO report concerning the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women stated that many women reported encountering sexual harassment in public places and at their places of employment. There were no specific laws dealing with spousal rape”Â (5)Â (Would women dare to complain??)
29) The Gender Ministry’s December 2006 study on women’s health and life experiences noted considerable levels of physical and sexual abuse including childhood sexual abuseÂ (5).
30) There are no laws pertaining to sexual harassmentÂ (5)Â
31) The minimum age of marriage for women is 18 years, but earlier marriages were common (5 in 2007).
A 1998 report noted that although the legal age for marriage is eighteen, “half the women marry by age fifteen… a man can have four wives at any time… Sex before marriage is a punishable offense.”Â (16). Â
32) Under Islamic practice husbands may divorce their wives more easily than vice versa (5 – 2007)Â The Maldives has one of the highest divorce rates in the world; according to a 1977 census, nearly half of the women over the age of thirty had been married four times or more.Â (16)Â It’s unlikely to have changed particularly as ‘fundamentalism’ is increasing!
33) Kin marriages: generations of intermarriage on the islandsÂ (16).
34) The Ministry of Gender and Family Development reported child abuse, including sexual abuse. Penalties for the sexual abuse of children ranged from three years’ imprisonment to banishment to a remote atoll (5). The incidence of sexual abuse in the islands is staggering. Most young children are abused by their stepfathers, uncles, brothers or othersÂ (6)
35) There are trivial punishments for the rape of young girls â€“ ie sent to another atoll!! (5 cases -2007)
36)Â An estimated 70% of young people regularly take drugsÂ (6). And the problem is growing.(19)
Unfortunately the only possible alternative to the existing regime is justÂ anotherÂ Islamic” mullahcracy”.
37) In outlying villages children are sent to the mosque.
“New, grand mosques have also sprung up, paid for by donors in Kuwait, Libya and Iran…..Â Fundamentalist preachers have continued with their mission in the villages, using simple language and dangerously persuasive arguments to convert people to a more radical Islam.”(20)
38) Government funded Islamic instruction is a mandatory in school (4)Â
39) Those seeking further religious education went to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt or other Islamic countries (4, 22).Â
40) In many instances, parents curtailed education for girls after the seventh grade by not allowing them to leave their home island for another island with a secondary school (5 -2007)
43) Some of the 52 madrassas (Islamic schools), under the president’s patronage, have been linked to militant IslamÂ (17).Â
44) The Maldives was top of the non-Arab countries (4th overall) of those whose nationals were suspected terrorists at Guantanamo BayÂ (25)Â â€“ eg Ibrahim Fauzee.Â (17)
45)Â JuAli Jaleel… accused of encouraging Maldivians to wageÂ JihadÂ abroad, was sentenced to two years house arrest….Â Sri Lankan police accused them (him + 6 others) of intending to join “militant” groups in the Middle East.Â (17)
46) There were bomb attacks against Western embassies.Â In December 2007 there was an attempt on the President’s life.Â Â The main suspects were extremist Muslims.(3)
Basic freedoms: (note-no freedom of religion)
47) It is common for people to be imprisoned without trial.(1)Â Â Deaths in custody, violence etc is reported inÂ (5, 15)Â and more with UN complicity inÂ (11)Â Amnesty International reported allegations of arbitrary detention, unfair trials, and torture and rape in custody(19). Â
49)Â The law limits a citizen’s right to freedom of expression in order to protect the “basic tenets of Islam” and prohibits inciting citizens against the government (5 â€“lots of cases of brutality, arrest in this tiny population for journalists, opposition, anyone who steps out of line aside from real criminals).
50) the mullahs axed the UN declaration of human rightsÂ (23).
51) Slavery remains legally enforceable.Â Until WW1 African and European slaves bought from Arab slave bazaars were taken to the MaldivesÂ (23)
52)Â The law does not prohibit trafficking in personsÂ (5)
53)Â The law prohibits homosexuality- punishments include whipping, house arrest, banishmentÂ (5).
Intolerance of others: Islam/ Maldives have never been inclusive, egalitarian or tolerant!
54) In 2006, the minister of fisheries ordered the residents of Kulhudhuffushi island to tear down their new $75,000 indoor market built by Maldives Aid, a UK-based charity, because it was funded by “Christian missionaries”Â (20).Â
55) Citizens were banned from listening to radio stations deemed to have a missionary message.(20, 21)
56) When the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief visited the Maldives’ only prison, she found non-Muslim prisoners “unable to perform their prayers due to the objections of their Maldivian cellmates.” There were no accommodations made for Hindu prisoners with dietary restrictionsÂ (4).
Forcing everyone to be Muslim is believed to promote “harmony and national identity.”(4)-ie mindless zombies incapable of thinking for themselves.Â Â What a pity their harmony and national identity wasn’t based on their Buddhist background, now obliterated by intolerant, totally repressive Islam which has created a backward, ‘unfree’, misogynist nation mind-numbingly devoid of alternatives to Islam.Â Â Many Maldivians want freedom â€“Islam persecutes them!Â Â Â Â Â Â
Does this read like paradise to you where basic rights, freedoms, equality that we take for granted are denied (sharia) and only total control by Islam and its enforcers allowed?Â When there are no alternatives, there is no choice, just brainwashing totalitarianism.Â This may be a ‘paradise’ for devout Muslims who want complete obliteration of any alternative to Islam and absolute Islamic control of every person but it’s hell to me.Â Â Do we hear Wal demanding freedom of religion and equal rights for non-Muslims/women in the MaldivesÂ – NO!! Â
Despite Wal’s attempts, Islam remains firmly linked to words like paedophilia, perversion, sadism, intolerance, racism, misogyny, slavery, Arab supremacy, rape, repression, thieving, persecution, violence, animal cruelty, absolute totalitarianism…
Islam/Maldives, are promoted via a false glossy outside while actually putrid on the inside.Â How long will the Maldives remain a truly ‘mal’ (bad, sick) ‘dive’(colloq.Â A disreputable place)!!Â Â Â
3. Top Five World Watch List CountriesÂ Â Â Â
4. MaldivesÂ International Religious Freedom Report 2007
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and LaborÂ Â US Department of State: sept. 2007
10) Freedom of press also denied and leader lives in luxuryâ€” World Press Freedom ReviewÂ Â 2007MaldivesÂ
11) UNDP-financed Maldives Human Rights Commission rejects Mohamed Zaki’s plea for justiceÂ Â Maldives Culture special reportÂ 12 Feb 2004Â
Maldives’ Ministry of Islamic Affairs asks police to ban discos on New Year’s Eve
Haram. So very, very haram.
They’re unconstitutional, you see, because Islam is the basis of all laws, and the mixing of the sexes that occurs in discos is un-Islamic. “Ministry Asks Police To Ban Discos,” by Ibrahim Mohamed forÂ Minivan News, December 31 via DW
The ministry of Islamic affairs appealed to the Maldives Police Service on Wednesday to end to all the discos organised for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Police sergeant Ahmed Shiyam confirmed Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, the minister of Islamic affairs, had made an official request to the police commissioner, Ahmed Faseeh, for police to take action regarding this matter.
“We will be taking steps in accordance to the ministry’s request,” said Shiyam, but he did not comment on what action the police would take.
Dr Bari refused to comment on the issue on Wednesday.
Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, the state minister of Islamic affairs, said the ministry had formally requested the police stop the discos from taking place because they were contrary to Islam. He added the ministry had received complaints from the public.
“We have received hundreds of complaints asking for a ban on the DJs,” he said. “So, the number of people who are against having DJs is greater than the number who wants them.”
“Even a police official has informed us that they have also been receiving complaints.” he said.
According to Shaheem, it is haram or forbidden in Islam for both sexes to dance together.
Article 10 of the Constitution states the religion of the Maldives is Islam and Islam shall be the basis for all laws in the land.
Although Article 27 stipulates everyone has the right to freedom of expression, the right only exists as long as it is “not contrary to any tenet of Islam”.
Shaheem said the ministry had met with and advised some of the people organising the events.
“They said a lot of money had been invested to organise the events and it would be a great financial loss if the discos were cancelled,” he said. “They added they would not organise more discos in the future.”
Hussain Ibrahim, a prominent lawyer, agreed there was no law which permitted discos.
Ibrahim, also a former constitutional assembly member, said discos were forbidden in Islam and as such would be contrary to the Constitution.
“I can’t believe it,” said 25-year-old Ali Hussain after hearing the ministry’s decision. “It’s a big surprise. I’ve been celebrating New Year’s Eve for the past five years by going to discos. Boys and girls want to dance to music on this night.”
Hussain added if discos are banned, circumcision parties should also be forbidden.
“In circumcision parties, men and women dance very closely, so the ministry’s decision is unfair.” he said.