As the Maldives adopts more and more of Sharia, it becomes more and more intolerant. Here again we see that for some strange reason, those who — according to Western Islamic apologists — misunderstand their own religion of tolerance and peace seem to have the upper hand in a Muslim country. The Vast Majority of Moderates yet again fails to do anything to stop their supremacist coreligionists. Now, why is that?
“Intolerance grows in the Maldives,” by Sudha Ramachandran in Asia Times, November 23 (thanks to all who sent this in):
BANGALORE – The rising tide of religious intolerance in the Maldives is threatening the country’s young democracy.
Monuments donated by Pakistan and Sri Lanka were vandalized last week as they were seen to be “idolatrous” and “irreligious”.
Member-countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) donated monuments to mark the just-concluded 17th summit of the regional grouping that the Maldives hosted.
The monument gifted by Pakistan consisted of an image of its founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and also featured figures, some of them drawn from seals belonging to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Historians have argued that these figures of animals and human beings point to early religion. The Sri Lankan monument was of a lion, the country’s national symbol.
On the eve of the unveiling of the Pakistan monument, a mob reportedly led by the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the party of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, toppled the bust of Jinnah. A day later, the monument was set ablaze and the bust stolen. The Sri Lankan monument was found doused in oil with the face of the lion cut off.
Sources in the Maldivian government told Asia Times Online that the vandalization was driven by political motivations rather than religious beliefs. “This is the opposition’s way of damping the success of the SAARC summit,” a member of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said.
The PPM has hailed the vandals as “national heroes” and promised to “do everything” it can to secure the release of the two men arrested over the incidents.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has ordered the government to remove the monuments as they “breach the nation’s law and religion”. Islamic Affairs Minister Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari told the local media that the Pakistan monument was “illegal” as it “represented objects of worship of other religions”.
Adhaalath Party president Sheikh Imran Abdulla told Minivan News that the monument “should not be kept on Maldivian soil for a single day” as “it conflicts with the constitution of the Maldives, the Religious Unity Act of 1994 and the regulations under the Act” as it depicted “objects of worship” that “denied the oneness of God”.
Sunni Islam was declared the official state religion of the Maldives under the 1997 constitution. This was retained in the 2008 constitution. Article 9-d says that “a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives“. While the constitution allows non-Muslim foreigners to practice their religion privately, they are forbidden from propagating or encouraging Maldivians to practice any religion other than Islam….