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 College (available on video). 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.
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. Islamic?? 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 foreigners (9). Past and present-all other religions are banned.
3) Citizens must be Muslim (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) Under the constitution, the President eg Gayoom (current leader – educated in Islamic jurisprudence in Egypt) is the ''supreme authority to propagate the tenets of Islam in the Maldives'' (4, 16).
5) The legal system/civil law is based on sharia (19, 4). Civil law is subordinate to Shari'a. Sharia is applied to cases outside civil law, divorce and adultery (4).
6) By law the president (male only-(5)) and cabinet ministers must be Sunni Muslims. Members of the People's Majlis (Parliament), the People's Special Majlis, Atoll Chiefs, and the judiciary must be Muslim; (4).
7) The political, judicial, and religious systems are so intertwined that political leaders and judges are also religious leaders. Judges interpret Islamic law in the courts (16).
8) The government maintains and funds most mosques (4)
9) People read Arabic to recite the Koran but don’t understand what they are reading (1).
10) The "Law on the Protection of the Religious Unity" states that the Government and people must protect religious unity. Any statement or action deemed contrary to ‘religious Unity’ results in fines or imprisonment (4).
11) Only Muslims may become citizens, marry, or own property. Daily life is regulated according to the tenets of Islam (16)
13) There is no right to freedom of religion or belief (4).
14) Conversion from Islam is prohibited (3, 5, 6) - loss of citizenship, marriage, property, job ie social, legal ramifications (4, 6)!!
15) Would-be converts are detained and coerced back to Islam (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.(12, 13, 14)
17) Foreigners may practice their religion in private but must NOT encourage citizens to participate (3, 4) - jail, expulsion.
18) 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 citizen (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. (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) The Maldives acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) with the reservation “except those which the Government may consider contradictory to the principles of the Islamic Sharia”(24)
21) Women are switching to headscarves and Arabic style loose, flowing, dark robes and they ‘prefer’ to stay indoors. (Hardly attire appropriate for the tropics and a good swim, is it???) Women are pressured by family, citizens, clerics and new political parties (20, 4, 17). Also “women began to cover after state-owned media reported that the 2004 tsunami was the "result of Maldivians failing to live in accordance with Islam."(4) 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," (20, 17)
22) One man in Thinadhoo began to explain to me why he didn’t support Gayoom.... "Gayoom is not a good Muslim," the man said. "Because he doesn’t make his wife Nasreena wear the veil. That’s why I support the IDP." (17)
23) Men are growing beards and asserting dominance/control over women.(20, 17)
24) 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 inheritance (4).
26) Under Shari'a males inherit twice the share of females (4, 5, 24).
27) Family Law (Sharia) prohibits women from marrying non-Muslim foreigners but allows men to marry non-Muslim foreigners (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” (5) (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 abuse (5).
30) There are no laws pertaining to sexual harassment (5)
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.” (16).
32) Under Islamic practice husbands may divorce their wives more easily than vice versa (5 - 2007) 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. (16) It’s unlikely to have changed particularly as ‘fundamentalism’ is increasing!
33) Kin marriages: generations of intermarriage on the islands (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 others (6)
35) There are trivial punishments for the rape of young girls – ie sent to another atoll!! (5 cases -2007)
36) An estimated 70% of young people regularly take drugs (6). And the problem is growing. (19)
Unfortunately the only possible alternative to the existing regime is just another 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..... 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)
39) Those seeking further religious education went to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt or other Islamic countries (4, 22).
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 Islam (17).
44) The Maldives was top of the non-Arab countries (4th overall) of those whose nationals were suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay (25) – eg Ibrahim Fauzee. (17)
45) JuAli Jaleel... accused of encouraging Maldivians to wage jihad abroad, was sentenced to two years house arrest.... Sri Lankan police accused them (him + 6 others) of intending to join "militant" groups in the Middle East. (17)
46) There were bomb attacks against Western embassies. In December 2007 there was an attempt on the President’s life. 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) Deaths in custody, violence etc is reported in (5, 15) and more with UN complicity in (11) Amnesty International reported allegations of arbitrary detention, unfair trials, and torture and rape in custody (19).
49) 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 –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 rights (23).
51) Slavery remains legally enforceable. Until WW1 African and European slaves bought from Arab slave bazaars were taken to the Maldives (23)
52) The law does not prohibit trafficking in persons (5)
53) The law prohibits homosexuality- punishments include whipping, house arrest, banishment (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" (20).
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 restrictions (4).
57) In March 2007 Maldivian workers employed by the Four Seasons Resort Island objected to doing construction on two 10-meter tall Buddha statues.(4)
Forcing everyone to be Muslim is believed to promote “harmony and national identity.”(4)-ie mindless zombies incapable of thinking for themselves. 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. Many Maldivians want freedom –Islam persecutes them!
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? When there are no alternatives, there is no choice, just brainwashing totalitarianism. 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. Do we hear Wal demanding freedom of religion and equal rights for non-Muslims/women in the Maldives - NO!!
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. How long will the Maldives remain a truly ‘mal’ (bad, sick) ‘dive’(colloq. A disreputable place)!!
7) Bishop urges boycott of persecutors Ruth Gledhill The Times April 15, 2008
8) MALDIVES : non-Muslims to LOSE citizenship 21/11/07
9) Secular Maldives
10) Freedom of press also denied and leader lives in luxury— World Press Freedom Review 2007Maldives
11) UNDP-financed Maldives Human Rights Commission rejects Mohamed Zaki's plea for justice Maldives Culture special report 12 Feb 2004
12) What is god doing in the Maldives:
13) Maldives Releases Detained Christians Future of Maldivian Christians Still Uncertain in Muslim Nation
14) Prisoners of Conscience in the Maldives: Christian Women Arrested and Interrogated
15) Backbone’ Mahir Resettled in Britain as UN says Fear of Persecution Remains in Maldives
By Minivan News November 27, 2005
16) Countries and Their Cultures :: Ja-Ma Culture of MALDIVES (about 1998)
17) Is Islam A Threat To The Maldives? By Taimour Lay (independent news in the Maldives) October 8, 2006
18) Maldives moves toward democracy with new constitution 2008
19) Islamic terrorism in the Maldives Oct 2007
20) Stormclouds over the Indian Ocean: Behind the veil in the Maldives 5/10/2006
21) The most anti-Christian country on earth: 2005
22) The dark side of the Maldives June 2005
23) Why the Maldive mullahs had to axe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 11 July 2005
24) Maldives continues to discriminate against women: 22/1/2007
25) The seven danger signs of islamic militancy Oct 2005