After his court case got suspended Fareed & his people marched through the streets of Male’ peacefully chanting “ALLAH AKBAR’ (Allah is great). In retaliation, Gayyoom’s people, the very next day, staged a motorcycle round around Male’ shouting “MAUMOON ZINDAABAADH” (Maumoon forever).
An innocent taxi driver walking along Maaveyo Magu was picked up by the NSS on the 13th Aug. He was handcuffed & blindfolded. Then some one started beating him. He called out “LAA ILAAHA ILLAHLAAH” (there is no god but Allah) when he was hit on the kidneys. To which his torturer replied “KALEYGE KALAANGE EH MIYADAKU KALEY SALAAMAY KURAAKAH NAANAANEY” (your god is not going to save you today).
This shows that, the greatest threat to Islam in the Maldives is neither from Christians, Jews nor from atheists. It’s from this bastardized form of Islam, which Maumoon is using to control and intimidate most Maldivian.
We are not a homogenous country. Due to the fact of out strategic location, from the olden days there have been a lot of travellers passing through and some have stayed back and assimilated into the society. Thus anyone who knows anything about our ancient history and travelled into the atolls where there are people with Negroid features to people with blue eyes and fair skin will have no doubt of our differences.
As for the missionary issue, we have to understand that even at the present moment all Maldivians do not follow Islam, there are a number of Christians & atheists among us. Religion is forced upon them by the constitution. Thus no matter how much we harp on about being one of the only two 100% Muslim countries, GOD will always know what is in the hearts of people. We are only deceiving ourselves, just like the 100% vote Gayyoom gets every five years & 100% literacy that we seem to have. Only when you also have freedom of religion and then when everyone says they are true believers, then we can very proudly say we are a nation of 100% Muslims. And I am confident that anyone who gets to understand Islam through reading, learning from others & thinking about it will have no doubt what is the true path to the grace of GOD and SUVARUGE at the end. As one contributor on DO Open Forum has said majority of Maldivians seem to be Muslims only in the vocal sense, not in deed or thought. So let us all, instead of fearing and shouting at this missionary phenomenon, put an effort and try to educate ourselves & our fellow citizens on the virtues and the infinite beauty of Islam.
There seem to be a lot of people who seem to have a lot of fear in foreign intervention to help solve this problem. First thing we have to realize is that we are NOT a chosen people, like the illusions of the Israelis. But we are a very lucky people for we have been graced by the gift of Islam. Also we are very insignificant in a global sense, thus if any power wanted to do anything harmful to us or influence our internal policies, there is no way we could defend ourselves now or any time in the past. And in our long and varied history, we have never experienced freedom in any sense. We have always been under some form of autocratic rule, be it a monarch, a radhun or a ‘president’. That means we have no idea what exactly freedom is, how to achieve it nor how to cherish it and evolve it. So we NEED help from any sincere source that is willing.
One of the saddest things at the moment is the distortion of our history. And though Maumoon carries a lot of blame for this, every known ruler of Maldives has to an extent helped in this. It seems our history only begins with Al-Barabary and the conversion to Islam. Also we seem to have Arabized our history because of some misguided belief that to be a good and respected Islamic nation we also should be more ‘like the Arabs’. And any neutral observer would agree that the Arabs are not exactly good role models. We should be able to cherish Islam and our brotherhood without losing our identity and uniqueness. I feel that this distortion of history & erosion of our culture is one of the main reasons why we seem to have no sense of nationhood as peoples or pride in our culture. The togetherness that most nations built on a foundation of ancient culture seem to be missing among the Maldivians. That can be directly attributed to the ‘dhefu’keheri’-ness and the ease of corruption among us.
Another grand illusion seems to be the sensitive role of the Portuguese in our history. Even now we seem to harbor a lot of ill will towards the Portuguese nation and its people, while they seem not to have any significant reference to us in their vast and detailed history. One should understand that its most probably NOT the government of Portugal that occupied the Maldives, but a section of their state sponsored pirates (which nearly all European naval powers had at that time of history) who were active on the spice route during that time. We have to shed these kinds of historical distortions if we are to fully understand ourselves. And unless this is achieved we will never be able to figure out a way to a proper system of government and a peaceful and prosperous future as a proud nation of Muslims united under one god, one culture and an example to others of freedom and everlasting peace.
Lastly, whatever way we determine to bring about this change, it HAS to be done peacefully and non-violently. Otherwise, just like Maumoon’s regime, what starts in a bad way will always end in an even worse way.