Below are some of the comments that Maldivians posted in regards to the Orlando nightclub shooting of 2016. Translating them was an exhausting process, but I feel like it is necessary, since a lot of these sentiments are expressed in Dhivehi - a language that very few people speak and is thus very globally inaccessible. If these are the thoughts of Maldivians in regard to these horrific incidents abroad, just imagine for a moment what ill feelings they must harbour towards LGBT people from their own community. This is of course not a scientific survey or research of Maldivian attitudes and shouldn't be used or regarded as such. It is simply an insight into one of the uglier sides of Maldivian society that many non-Dhivehi speakers rarely get to see.
These are all public comments that were taken from the Facebook pages of two local news agencies. I have also included the "emotions" that Facebook now allows as quite a lot of people apparently found the whole incident funny enough to react with "haha".
Article 01 - Vaguthu - Gay Night Club akah Hamaalaadhee 50 Meehun Maraalaifi
Translation of the title: "A gay nightclub has been attacked, 50 people have been killed"
Link to Facebook comments thread
"It's not a crime to write that it is a club where people have same sex relations [e jinsun gulun hingaa] or are gay [firihen kuli: literally male-play]"
"If I were to lay hands on such a person in the Maldives the person who would be at fault is me. I'll be the one who has to go to jail. These are people who should most definitely have their throats cut."
"So 50 less gays"
"What happened is good. Why just 50 people, we should kill everyone that's there. Still try to be play naseebu kulhi[gay? naseebu kuhli: literally luck-play]"
"This is the most joyous news that I have received so far this year.."
Ahmed Mauroof: "Alhamdhulilah [Praise Allah]"
Aiman: "You can't say praise Allah"
Aiman: "You should live like the prophet, you shouldn't say praise Allah when something like this happens."
Ahmed Mauroof: "Did Muslims express sorrow while Sodom was being tipped over Aiman?"
Abu Zainab: "You're sure being a know it all, what am I supposed to say when I catch you in the act being gay?"
Ahmed Mauroof: "What can you say now Aiman?"
Aiman: "Did the person who attacked the club did what he did because he received some commandment?"
Aiman: "Does the Quran say that people should be killed in such a way?"
Ahmed Mauroof: "Does the Quran say that people who have sex out of wedlock (ziney) should be stoned to death?"
Ahmed Mauroof: "They were doing something that was even worse than ziney."
"Only now are they doing what should be done"
Hussaine De' Frank: "Don't have any other news of this calibre vaguthu(?)"
Rangalhu means "good" in Dhivehi
Saabas means "great" or "great job"
Vir Aasha: "That much is still not enough" [Thivaru: literally "that much", madhu: literally "not enough"]
No need for translations there!
Article 02 - Channel News Maldives - Americage night club ah dhin terrorist hamala sarukaarun kuvveri kohffi
Translation of the title: The government has condemned the terrorist attack on the American nightclub
"Not a night club. A gay night club... Wake up people! Allah's wrath takes many forms. We should view this as a form of wrath and try to save our own country!!!!!"
"Dhunya doesn't update her twitter when Muslim brothers and sisters are slaughtered every day in Syria and Palestine. All (that she could) do was cut ties with Iran!"
This is really jumbled so I will just translate the sentence section by section, with each section signified with a "/"
"When hundreds of Muslims are being slaughtered each day / where people you cannot condemn, the children of pigs [ooru] and monkeys [makunu] are doing filthy acts [najis: literally - excrement, amalu: literally - acts] / it will truly be a big deal for the infidels"
"When a Muslim attacks a place he is called a terrorist / when a Christian State [Solib: christian cross] destroys and demolishes a Muslim country without any justification it's not (seen as) terrorism. On what day will the Muslim ummah wake up from this ignorance(?)"
Jau Live: "Gay night clubs should be eradicated"
Ahyoo Bin Abdul Majyd: "(is it) only gay nightclubs that should be eradicated..."
Jau Live: "Nope, the other night clubs should be eradicated as well"
"You should tell us what kind of night club it was that the Maldivian government condemned the attack on CNM"
"May Allah wrath fall upon the tourist resorts as well. The trade of alcohol is something that is forbidden in the religion of Islam. The aura of women as well."
"They cannot condemn it when the Muslims of the world are being killed. They've condemned the attack on the gays. The person leading us is an irreligious gay."
"The higher ups in government are people that have made a habit of visiting that place.."
"Once democracy [referred to here as "DemoCraxy"] is ripe and ready in the Maldives these gay rights will even come to the Maldives"
Article 03 - Vaguthu - Gay Night Club ah Dhin Hamalaa ge Zinmaa IS in Ufuli iru, Dhivehi Sarukaarun e Hamalaa Kuhverikohfi
Translation of title: "IS has taken responsibility for the attack on the gay nightclub, the Maldivian government has condemned that attack"
Hassan Mifsil: "The Maldivian government is very concerned about attacks on gay people and night clubs.. But they do not condemn the attacks on Muslims at all... We are truly on the path of irreligiousness"
Ahmed Aiman: "We don't necessarily have to attack gay people. In Islam things must be carried out by a court. Not by a court of the streets like how ISIS does"
Hudhy: "From the courts... really? Wow"
Irushaven Vienna: "Dude they have gay rights, so what court is going to convict them. In the religion of Islam what gay people have is death. When we get the sweet taste of Democracy I'm sure [Yageen: literally - "for sure"; referring to President Yameen whose campaign slogan was "Yageen"] those rights will come here too"
Ahmed Aiman: "I'm saying even if it is ISIS they should do things according to Islamic jurisprudence. Islam doesn't have the death penalty for gay people. The punishment for anal sex is the same as that for sex out of wedlock."
Hassan Mifsil: "Do you know the verdict for gay people in Islam while you do all this talk about ISIS Aiman? 'To be dropped from a great height and be killed by stoning'. You might hear ISIS doing these things, but when they do people say where are the human rights... So when that day comes you'll know about human rights, on that day you'll know about these courts too."
Abu Saadh: "Aiman are you looking at Islamic verdicts from the grade 7 Islamic studies book? Here is the verdict for people who commit homosexual acts
From the companions Abubakar and Ali killed these people by burning them. Other companions killed them by dropping them from great heights. Remember that there will come a day when you will have to answer for this, babbling on about ISIS and Islamic principles without knowing anything"
Irushavin Vienna: "Aiman supports Bashar and Putin, what religion with Aiman know?"
Ahmed Aiman: "Even if they are great sinners, if they are killed outside of the prescribed system, then there are punishments in Islam. What we're seeing here is people who are supporting extra-judicial killings. You'll have such thoughts if you're self obsessed. You'll think what you think yourself is the best way. You aren't the only people who inhabit this world."
Ahmed Aiman: "Look, Abu Sadhaa, those are all lies"
Mohamed Adhil: "A survey conducted by America in 2005 showed that 40% of the world population is bisexual, lesbian, or gay, so I feel like we should eradicate 40% of the world population" [I have no idea whether this guy is being sarcastic or not]
Baaji Bajiya: "It'll be good if there were an attack in the Maldives"
Hassan Mifsil: "I do not wish to attack anyone."
"All of those kinds of clubs should be blown up, much congratulations and encouragement for the people who are responsible"
"It's just 50 gay... they should be lowering their country's flag... Because of 50 gays 100 million muslims should be taken out. The middleeast will have to welcome. Ask why our country recognises Israel. Yet we are with Palestinians. What I'm trying to say is, even though they do agreements in secret, their day is coming as well. "Ooh aaaai alhee...hmmm" gay fans be like" [with the last sentence he is emulating the 'sissy' sounds made by stereotypical depictions of gay people in Maldivian media]
"The fact that the Maldivian government has condemned this means that not only is the government full of thieves, it is also full of gay men."
"Because he Maldivian government has sent out their sympathies to express sorrow about these gay men dying, everyone called Ali Hameed should lower their underwear around their knees for three days starting today" [Ali Hameed is a judge who is allegedly seen on a sex tape having sex with prostitutes in Sri Lanka. His big white underwear became a symbol of the governments corruption and hypocrisy among many different factions of the opposition]
"They didn't dare condemn the attacks on Syria but they dare to condemn this? This is so gay"
"Obama sure has seen the terrorist... So the people killing, raping and doing whatever they please to Muslim children and women aren't terrorists"
"Great (work) Maldivian government! You sure are something. You're saying yes to the gay men..."
"Write the news... but don't have pictures of two men hugging.. or any other gays"
Ahmed Sobaah: "Seems like our leader is one of those people too."
Eeshaluyoon Binth Axmy: "Jeez this is just like those PPM sissies.. PPM is full of these kinds of people.. Laugh and applaud"
Nuss Mohamed: "The Maldivian government is gay too"
Amm Dhy: "Look, President Yameen is a gay too"
"Dhunya [the current Minister of Foreign Affairs], from the way she looks, doesn't look like a woman. She looks like a gay man".
"Gross, still keep saying that this is a 100% Muslim country"
"We've come to see that this is a government that allows for everything that Allah has made sin. May Allah grant us a leader who loves the religion of Islam and who will implement Islamic Shariah, amen".
And that's just about as much as I can be bothered to translate! Just think about how a person from a Maldivian minority feels reading these comments. Think about the fear they will feel when they see how little support they really have. It is also interesting to note how much flack the government has gotten for simply releasing a statement condemning the attacks. Their lack of support or protections in the Maldives itself shows that it is just some PR, but the negative reaction to even that small gesture illustrates just how far human rights and public understanding of these issues has got to go in the Maldives.