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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Islamic island of Maldives in Indian Ocean that flogs women per Islamic law says US taxpayers should give it money to fight Islamic terrorism-Bloomberg

""What's there to discuss about flogging? There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with God," he (Maldives Minister Naseem) said."..."Wahhabist Islamic scholars, most schooled in madrassas in Pakistan, are radicalising Islam in the Maldives," 1/7/2012. Maldives island "is the only Islamic nation where Islamic Sharia has been practiced uninterrupted for 700 years.
 
9/29/15, "Maldives Wants U.S. to Help It Fight Terrorism," Bloomberg, Josh Rogin, commentary

"The Maldives is calling on the United States to help it respond to an attack on its president, potentially opening the newest front in the war on terror.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Sunday narrowly escaped an explosion on his boat. His wife was injured. Investigators have converged on the island nation in the Indian Ocean to determine whether the blast is related to organized terrorism. The government is already rethinking its security and defense practices; top officials say terrorist recruiting has been on the rise there.

Maldivian Foreign Secretary Ali Naseer Mohamed told me Tuesday that officials are still piecing together what happened.

“No group has claimed responsibility," he said. "But we believe it was an attack directed to the president. That’s the first time the president has been attacked in that way.”

Ali was in the United States this week for the UN General Assembly, and he said his government has been tracking an increased flow of its citizens traveling to Iraq and Syria to fight there, at least 40 so far. Some are coming back to the Maldives.

“That is actually the biggest threat that we face as a nation-state and as a society. That is our biggest fear,” he said. “And that’s where our security forces are finding quite a challenge.”

An unidentified Islamic extremist group last month threatened terrorist attacks and attacks against the president in a YouTube video that featured the flag of the Islamic State. But Ali said that until this week, there had been no credible information that any terrorist group was operating in the Maldives. Now the government is reevaluating that.

“Some of the terrorist groups operating in South Asia and the Middle East have been able to penetrate to certain individuals," he said. "We know Maldivians are being recruited. Social media is they key instrument being used.”

The Maldives cannot tackle Islamic extremism comprehensively on its own. The government wants more intelligence cooperation, more security assistance and more engagement from its international partners, especially the United States.

“There is a need to cooperate," he said. "And while the Maldives is one of the smallest countries, the challenges we face are not small.”

The Maldives, dependent on tourism, doesn’t want its image as a paradise destination for honeymooners altered by the presence of armed guards everywhere. But Ali said officials are upgrading security at airports and tourist destinations.

Ali said the government now has no choice but to give law enforcement new tools to find those who are planning to travel abroad for jihad and jail them before they can leave. New anti-terror legislation has prompted opposition from human rights groups and the opposition party.

“There is an urgent need to criminalize not only the actual activity you do, but the intention of traveling to these places to engage in warfare,” he said. “I hope this attack will be a wake-up call to the entire society and create a sense of urgency for everyone.”

There is also a broader argument for increased cooperation between the United States and the Maldives. The Indian Ocean will be key to geopolitical balance in the coming decades. China is increasingly making its presence known there, challenging India’s traditional dominance.

The status quo in the Indian Ocean favors the U.S. The two nations' common interest in preventing terrorism
could refocus Washington's attention to the Maldives, securing that foothold -- if Washington chooses to respond.".....................

"This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners."

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Comment: The US government has provided the finest in modern weapons specifically to those most likely to be angry and prone to violence. Where does the author get the information that the US is interested in preventing terrorism?

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Added:

Maldives speaks of "shaming" money out of US taxpayers at the Durban 'climate' conference but isn't ashamed of flogging women:

11/26/11, "What's there to discuss about flogging? There is nothing to debate about in a matter clearly stated in the religion of Islam. No one can argue with God," he (Maldives Minister Naseem) said."...Below, angry Maldives Islamists protest UN Human Rights Commissioner suggesting they should not flog women, 11/25/11, Haveeru




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Maldives practices female circumcision and flogging of women:

"The Maldives constitution obliges all Maldivians to be Muslim but the nation also faces a rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism."

1/7/2012, "That sinking feeling," Sydney Morning Herald, Ben Doherty

"The country also has a serious drug problem. An epidemic of cheap heroin has swept through the archipelago and taken root in Male´ in particular. The UN has estimated 40 per cent of the country's youth use hard drugs.

The Maldives constitution obliges all Maldivians to be Muslim but the nation also faces a rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism.

Wahhabist Islamic scholars, most schooled in madrassas in Pakistan, are radicalising Islam in the Maldives. Female circumcision is practised and is reportedly on the increase. Across the archipelago, there are calls for the return of amputation for crimes and for the banning of music and dancing.
  • Women are flogged for having extramarital sex.
Every effort to resist this gathering radicalisation is painted by Nasheed's political opponents as an attack on Islam." ...

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"Police are investigating a violent attack on a ‘silent protest’ calling for religious tolerance, held at the Artificial Beach to mark Human Rights Day.

Witnesses said a group of men threw rocks at the 15-30 demonstrators, calling out threats and vowing to kill them.

One witness who took photos of the attacked said he was “threatened with death if these pictures were leaked. He said we should never been seen in the streets or we will be sorry.”
Among those injured in the attack was Ismail ‘Khilath’ Rasheed, a controverisal blogger whose website was recently blocked by the Communications Authority of the Maldives (CAM) on the order of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.

Rasheed suffered a head injury and was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH).

“They started hitting us with bricks. They were aiming at our heads – we could tell they were serious and wanted to kill us,” Rasheed told Minivan News from hospital. “I was taken on a motorcycle to IGMH, but I could see them behind me still hitting my friends.”

Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam said police attended the scene after the attackers had departed, and were currently investigating the cause of the violence. No arrests had yet been made, he added.
The protesters, calling themselves ‘Silent Solidarity’, had earlier issued a press release stating that their intention was to “make the Maldives and the international community aware of the rising religious intolerance in the Maldives, and to condemn the Constitutionally endorsed suppression of religious freedom. We also denounce the increasing use being made of Islam as a tool of political power.

“Silent Solidarity will be protesting against discrimination of all races, gender, sexual preferences and religious beliefs and supporting freedom of thought and expression. In our silence, we speak volumes,” the group’s statement said.

The Maldives has come under increasing international scrutiny following an apparent rise in religious intolerance.

Several monuments gifted to the Maldives by other SAARC countries during the recent summit in Addu have been defaced or stolen on the grounds that they are idolatrous. Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari has condemned the monuments while the opposition has hailed the vandals as “national heroes”.

Protests also erupted last month after UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay spoke in parliament calling for the government and the judiciary to issue a moratorium and debate on flogging as a punishment for extra-marital sex.

“This practice constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country,” Pillay said. “The issue needs to be examined, and therefore I called for a countrywide discussion. It is much better if the issue is transparent and debated.”

Pillay also stated that requirement under the Maldivian constitution that all Maldivians be Muslim ”is discriminatory, and does not comply with international standards. I would urge a debate again on the issue to open up entrance of the constitution to all.”

Challenged by a local journalist that the Maldives was obliged to protect the religion of Islam, she replied: “You have a constitution which conforms in many respects to universal human rights. Let me assure you that these human rights conform with Islam.”

She added that the Maldives had signed international treaties that are legally-binding obligations, “and such a practice conflicts with these obligations undertaken by the Maldives.”

The following day protesters gathered outside the UN building, carrying placards stating “Islam is not a toy”, “Ban UN” and “Flog Pillay”, and called on authorities to arrest the UN High Commissioner.

MPs roundly condemned Pillay’s statements.

‘”What we should be worried about holding discussions against the fundamentals of Islam in a 100 percent Muslim country such as the Maldives is that we may start questioning about worshipping God Almighty tomorrow,” said opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrashim Ali.

Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed said the Maldives “will never ever open doors for religions other than Islam in the Maldives. We’ll not give the opportunity to speak against the fundamentals and principles of Islam in the parliament.”

MP Riyaz Rasheed, from the opposition-aligen Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) condemned the Speaker Abdulla Shahid from allowing Pillay to complete her address.

“There is a good chance for us to directly say that Abdulla Shahid has made a good deal with this government to wipe out the religion of Islam from this country,” MP Rasheed said.

President Mohamed Nasheed has meanwhile said that Maldivians “should have the self-belief and resolve not to have our faith shaken by listening to statements or opinions expressed by others.”
“That the punishments and rulings of Islamic Sharia are not inhumane is very clear to us,” Nasheed said. “We have the opportunity to show the whole world how noble and civilised Sharia is. That is because we are the only Islamic nation with a democratically-elected government.

“Wasting that opportunity in a Jihadi spirit” with the claim of “defending Islam” was unacceptable, Nasheed said. “Opposition parties will always attack us by using religion as a weapon. [But] I believe that this country is the only Islamic nation where Islamic Sharia has been practiced uninterrupted for 700 years.”

Religious sentiment in the Maldives can often be vocal and heated, but has rarely led to physical violence.

In late May 2010, well-known Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik visited the Maldives and delivered a sermon in the capital Male’. During a question-and-answer session 37 year-old Mohamed Nazim stood up and declared himself “Maldivian and not a Muslim”.

Nazim’s declaration angered the 11,000 strong crowd, and he was escorted from the venue by police and officials from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs amid calls for his execution.

After two days of religious counselling in police custody, Nazim appeared before television cameras at an Islamic Ministry press conference and gave Shahada – the Muslim testimony of belief – and apologised for causing “agony for the Maldivian people” and requested that the community accept him back into society.

In July 2010, 25 year-old air traffic controller Ismail Mohamed Didi was found hanged from the control tower of Male’ International Airport in an apparent suicide, after seeking asylum in the UK for fear of persecution over his stated lack of religious belief.

“Maldivians are proud of their religious homogeneity and I am learning the hard way that there is no place for non-Muslim Maldivians in this society,” Didi wrote in a letter to an international humanitarian organisation, prior to his death."

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11/26/2011, "Maldives won't allow debates on anti-Islamic issues: Foreign Minister," Ahmed Hamdhoon, Haveeru News Service



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