A collection of Yameen Rasheed's writings on Maldives, Secularism, Standing up for Maldivian Minorities, and Fighting Religious Radicalism #WeAreYaamyn #FindMoyameehaa

A collection of Yameen Rasheed's writings on Maldives, Secularism, Standing up for Maldivian Minorities, and Fighting Religious Radicalism #WeAreYaamyn #FindMoyameehaa

Yameen Rasheed, Blogger and IT Specialist, was murdered on 23rd April 2017 inside the entrance of his own home. Stay up to date at - https://weareyaamyn.com/

I initially began this post as an interactive timeline of Yameen Rasheed's best tweets, but it soon became too inaccessible due to the sheer amount of relevant posts that he was putting out. 

So instead, here is a collection of some of his best writings. He deals with topics that very few people in the Maldives have the courage to openly write about. More importantly, the fact that he talked about these issues is being erased from the conversation about his murder.

Furthermore, the dangers and threats that he faced were not a characteristic unique to the current administration. He faced these same threats under Mohamed Nasheed's government as well, who is arguably the best and worst president that the Maldives has ever had. Nasheed promised freedom, but ended up granting those liberties only to religious extremists; and in the process condemned those who opposed those extremists to their fate. In an open letter to Nasheed written in March 2010, Yameen says that he was under investigation by the Maldives Police Service, and accused the president of failing to protect the rights of secular liberal minded Muslims like himself. 

He was not your average journalist, blogger, or rights activist. He was of the rare breed that promoted secularism and actively acknowledged the existence of minorities within the Maldives such as LGBTQI people and apostates. There is absolutely no way that the work he was doing was comparable to the output of people who to this day deny the existence of such minorities. 

He was a staunch opposer of the Maldivian constitution, which he called intolerant, for it's lack of the basic right of freedom of conscience. There is absolutely no way that he is comparable to the people who, even in their articles about his death, have failed to mention this extremely important fact of life in the Maldives. 

Challenging religious radicalism was not some one off thing for Yameen. It was his bread and butter. His mashuni and roshi. To say Yameen didn't write a lot about religion is like saying Stephen King doesn't write a lot of horror. Post after post on his blog deals with these issues directly. Yameen was also the founder of the Facebook group "Ban The Adhaalath" - arguably one of the first ever online groups formed to directly tackle religious extremism within the Maldives. 

How can there be a genuine democracy in the Maldives, how can there be genuine freedom, if the right to think differently is illegal?

The posts are all from his blog uglyy.blogspot.com (his main blog up until he created The Daily Panic) and are presented in chronological order except for the first, which is the last post he made on his original blog doubtengine.blogspot.com. I thought it would be appropriate for our starting point to be about his thoughts on moving to the country that would end up killing him. 

From March 2011, his blog contains a lot of excerpts of articles of which the full version was available on Minivannews.com, which is now defunct as they changed their name to Maldives Independent. These links no longer work. To make them work, change the minivannews.com to minivannewsarchive.com. For example http://minivannews.com/society/comment-doublethink-culture-18600 goes nowhere but http://minivannewsarchive.com/society/comment-doublethink-culture-18600 works just fine. I have no idea why Minivannews decided to change their URL in that manner. For each of these posts I have also provided an archived version that does contain the full article. 

For most articles, I have only added a small section. I highly recommend reading the full versions which are available through the links in the titles.

This is not a complete timeline and ends in December 2011 - the month when Mohamed Nasheed could have ended it all. Instead, the perpetrators of the now infamous cowardly attack walked free. If the violence faced by those minority activists had been acknowledged that early on, especially by the so called progressive regime of Mohamed Nasheed, perhaps Yameen Rasheed would still be with us today. 

By continuing to spread his work, we can make sure that his voice lives on. 

We are Yameen, and you will never silence us. Take one of us down and another will take our place. 

November 22nd 2009

Hello. ;-) (Original / Archive)

So, where were we?

Ah, yes. Let me apologize for the post blackout.

Stuff happened.

My course got over; College ended; and I have long since moved out of Bangalore. After a lifetime of living in India, I have returned to the Maldives. Returned home, to be precise.

Somehow, I don’t feel as much at home as I felt in India. But that should change soon. Job, career and perhaps a larger circle of Maldivian friends should help.

Meanwhile, I haven’t really been keeping a tab on the latest in Indian politics, nor have I been able to read any of my favorite Indian blogs. Apologies for that too.

But I see I’m still getting hits on this blog.

Thanks for coming back. Once I feel a little more settled down, I intend to resume my comments again, and read all the blogs I’ve been missing out on.

Long live Secularism!


P.S. -> You might want to read my more regularly updated blog. More in a Maldivian context than this blog, but deals with the same issues I usually pick on. Secularism, Reason and Tolerance. And good ole’ fundie bashing. ;-)
— Yameen Rasheed

November 11th 2008

The Republic of Whatever! (Original / Archived)

On the surface of it, we Maldivians appear to have no roots. We’re drifters who define success as having two mobile phones. We’re so materialistic, so self-centered and individualistic.

Hard to imagine that we Maldivians are a 2500 old culture – a people who lived in these islands thousands of years before America was even discovered, before Jesus walked the Earth. Before the days of the Prophet. Before the Qur’an was revealed!
It irks me how Maldivians are - partly by govt. design, partly by own stupidity - so COMPLETELY unaware of their identity or history.

The Maldivian schools churn out thousands of students who have no idea about our captivating history and colourful culture.
How many of us have visited a museum or know about the ancient Buddhist temples and art in the Maldives? What of our poetry that is now lost to history thanks to our collective apathy? How many Maldivians can recite an original raaivaru?

Who among us Dhivehin knows the eveyla akuru and dives akuru or olden literature we have in these scripts? The records our ancestors carefully preserved on palm leaves and tablets FOR US, have for some reason been omitted from our lives. Their efforts all in vain.

Have we forgotten about the fantastic Maldivian legends and the Fanditha magic? The grisly, captivating stories of Djinnis and evil spirits who come from the dark seas or live in trees?

The Maldivian child today knows little beyond Pooh Bear and Red Riding Hood.. The entire magical world of the sea faring Djinnis and Maldivian handi stories seem closed to them.
What about the history of our Dhivehi Raajje?! The land that exported precious cowry shells used as currency in ancient lands as far away as China! The Maldives of exquisite tortoise shells!
— Yameen Rasheed

January 2nd 2009

War on Haabees! (Original / Archived)

When the bearded desert vermin arrived from somewhere and started Talibanizing the Maldives - I discovered that we don’t really have any ‘liberal leaders’ in our country.

Sure, our former Information Minister Mohammed Nasheed HAS BEEN making a couple of statements in the last two days.

But where was he when they turned us into a cartoon state with a funny constitution that decides our religion for us?

Today I have the bloody Taliban telling me I can’t celebrate my New Years Day.

Today I say. Fuck them all.

I’ve heard one comment too many on my last couple of posts - from morons who ASSUMED that I was unaware of Islam - just because I don’t troll on random sites trying hard to prove my stupendous devotion to somebody, my copy pasting Qur’anic quotes and random Arabic phrases. I’ve had one too many comment that smacks of bullshit and - well, honestly - IS bullshit.

Today, I shall answer them beyond their dreams.
— Yameen Rasheed

January 14th 2009

Notes on Islam - Part 1. (Original / Archived)

There’s a lot going wrong in the world of Islam these days. The vast majority of the Muslim countries are backward and forms a great chunk of the most impoverished countries. The large majority of the Muslim countries rank low on all known development Indices - literacy, health care, GDP, education..

Former Pakistani President, General Musharraf was absolutely right when he said about Muslims:
”Today we are the poorest, the most illiterate, the most backward, the most unhealthy, the most un-enlightened, the most deprived, and the weakest of all the human race”
On the other hand.. take any statistic of corruption, instability, poverty, conflict or violence - and you’ll invariably find Muslim countries jostling for space at the top.

Islam normally lies broken and fragmented - with the Sunnis fighting the Shias.. the Kurds fighting the Sunnis.. the Sunnis and Shias BOTH fighting the Ahmadiyyas.. everyone itching to declare the others ‘infidel’.

But when it comes to doing something totally retarded, like issuing a Death note over a silly newspaper cartoon or banning a stupid novel, they all stick together as if with Velcro.

Thanks to Islamist extremism, today the one-point-something billion strong Muslim population is identified by bearded radicals - radicals who vow to reverse every known progress achieved by mankind in the last 1500 years.
— Yameen Rasheed

January 15th 2009

Notes on Islam - Part 2. (Original / Archived)

All good things come to an end.

The Crusades happened. The Mongols arrived. The Plague struck. The Empire hurt.

The Crusaders and Mongols (The Chengiz Khan himself!) burnt down those Libraries and Universities and Hospitals. The invasions and weakened the Empire.


That’s when the Islamists struck! No kidding. Even in that Golden, intellectual age, there was no dearth of morons or Enemies of reason.

Just like our modern day Maldive-Arab “scholars” who declared the Tsunami to be ‘God’s Punishment’, those Islamists declared the invasions to be ‘God’s Punishment’ for pursuit of polemic (read: UnIslamic) thinking.

Certain “scholars” and philosophers like Al-Ghazali (The Abdul Majeed Abdul Baree of his day) declared free thought to be against the scriptures (ie. ‘against Islam’) in his book ‘The Incoherence of Philosophers’.

Ijtihad was “against Islam”. Bid’ah (innovation) was ‘against Islam’. The list of things ‘against Islam’ kept growing.

Sure enough, a lack of tolerance for intellectual debate kicked in. Freedom of thought got restricted. Innovation ended. Arts Perished. Punishments started.

By the 14th Century, the pipe had completely shut. The Fundies won. The Golden Age ended.
— Yameen Rasheed

January 9th 2009

Wow! I attacked Islam! (Original / Archived)

Blame it on ‘too much reading’, as one comment put it.

One of my readers, Jasmine, appears to be gathering an army of Haabees to take my ‘attack on Islam’ head on.

Now I really don’t mind that. Bring on all the Haabees on the planet! I’m ready. I’ve declared war long ago.

But pray which sentence of mine constituted an ‘attack’ on Islam? :-/
— Yameen Rasheed

February 1st 2009

The mvblogs "issue" : My 2 cents (Original / Archived)

I’ve been going through some comments on the blogosphere since the shitstorm raised over the mvblogs ‘censorship’ of a gay photo blog.

Not that I care much for gay porno, but when it comes to freedom of expression I take it religiously. To make my position clear, I don’t believe mvblogs is being ‘anti-gay’. There are other blogs by gay Maldivians listed on the site.

The issue here seems to be nudity. Nudity is not an issue for me. But the people who run mvblogs seem to have a problem - that mvblogs is also accessed by minors. I think mvblogs should clarify what it considers unsuitable to minors - is it just the porno? Or is it also the rather graphic, violent images employed by both the Islamophobic sites as well as the ‘west-bashing’ sites?

What about the foul language on some comment threads that is definitely too offensive for minors? Do these qualify to be on the front-page of mvblogs?

And if they do, what purpose does it serve by filtering certain offensive sites but letting through others? I think mvblogs should thus question itself whether it is within its scope to define and regulate all the Maldivian blogs listed on it.

I believe it’s not.

Some retards will take offense to anything. Let them be. And let’s leave freedom of expression the way it should be. Free.

Those Haabees who have ‘vile bile rise in their throat’ because the warning page didn’t provide ‘adequate notice’ (Well, what did he expect to find on a website that’s called ‘Cute Nude Dudes’?) can just avoid the exercise of visiting mvblogs.

Cut the middle man.
— Yameen Rasheed

February 3rd 2009

No Jokes In Islam! (Original / Archived)

Q. How many Muslims does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. They prefer to stay in the dark and then blame it on the Jews.
— Yameen Rasheed

February 6th 2009

Annoying Fan Mail! (Original / Archived)

Stop sending me emails already!

All right. I’m kidding.

Well, a couple of readers have emailed me asking for the third installment of my ‘Notes on Islam’ series, as a part of my War on the Haabees.

Now, I assure you all that it WILL be put up. I have collected enough material for a book - and how I’m going to narrow it all down to just 5 posts is completely beyond me.

What do I write about next? The pathetic state of women in Islamic countries? The paranoia over ‘Zionist media’? The Adhaalath and its epic stupidity? The growing intolerance in our traditionally liberal Maldives? The mindless zombies controlled by the Mullahs? The possibilities are endless.

But right now, I’m a bit demotivated.

As it happens, Jasmine’s army of Haabees never showed up. The death threats have trickled down to zero. The anonymous ‘you kaaffir pig!’ kind of comments also seem to have reduced dramatically.

In short, the Haabees don’t seem to have much firepower after all. Just an imaginary sense of virtue and victory. The delusional ‘warriors of Allah’ seem to have fled when I decided to respond with facts.
— Yameen Rasheed

February 11th 2009

Don't Even Think of Messing With My Freedom! (Original / Archived)

I finally came across a named Fundie.

Mauroof Hussain, a VP of the Adhaalath coterie, has put up a post warning against ‘messing with Article 9 (Or any other article that he thinks ‘safeguards’ Islam)

To say that his article was revolting, is to put it mildly. And apparently, only Heavenly ordained ‘members’ can post a comment on his blog. So I decided to post my views here.

The first paragraph of his post read:
Maldives is a Muslim country where every citizen is a Muslim by legal definition and Maldivians intend to keep it that way. There may be a few loonies who refuse to be citizens of Maldives by going out of the pale of Islam. It is their problem and 95% of Maldivians can’t care less if these people lose their ‘ rights’ (something they have voluntarily given up themselves!)

Who are these 95% of Maldivians that Mauroof is speaking for? His party, the Adhaalath, was given a humiliating defeat in the Elections by the Maldivians - and that DESPITE having a widely regarded person like Gasim running.

The sad part of the statement is that the Maldives is a “Muslim” country where every citizen is a Muslim ONLY by legal definition.

Then, he goes on to say about the new President, Anni that :
It is reported that his election campaign was run by a former aide to London mayor Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party was also instrumental in securing funding for his campaign.’’ This is news to some of us. Very disturbing news if it is true.
Disturbing news? The MDP taking help from people who actually KNOW a thing or two about Democracy is ‘disturbing news’?

You know what I think is disturbing news? The fact that the Adhaalath luna-fanatics are collecting OUR money (despite the severe shortage) and instead of handing them to an organization like the UN or IRCS that actually does humanitarian work, decide to hand them over to Hamas terrorists to buy weapons!

OUR MONEY! To Terrorists! And there’s not even a BAN ON THIS GROUP?!
— Yameen Rasheed

February 14th 2009

Dear God, Protect Me From Thy Followers! (Original / Archived)

Every single religion has its own share of remarkable ingenuity and implausible scenarios, if we’re to take them literally.

Each man convinced that his own God is Supreme. Each faith strong in its belief that it alone is ‘THE TRUTH’. Each religion with its own blood soaked history. Each with fanatics ready to kill and murder and maim in the name of what he believes is the ‘true God’.

Religion, with its associated violence, has resulted in more deaths than any famine or World War could manage.

Every major strife, problem and chaos on Earth has its roots in religion - and its fanatic followers.

How does one find so much belief in Religion so as to firmly accept one God and outright reject the other?

So once again. Here’s my Question : How do you KNOW for certain that your God is TRUE and the other is NOT? How does one know for certain that, say Yahweh is NOT God?

How does one know that Allah is God?
— Yameen Rasheed

February 25th 2009

Have I renounced Islam? (Original / Archived)

I’m getting more fan mail from the Haabees. Pieces of shit want to know if I’m an atheist.

They inform me that I’m going to rot and burn in Hell not too long from now, when their ridiculous death threats are actually implemented. (Or when I ‘burst into flames’ just like that sinful Danish cartoonist guy. Perhaps I should start wearing flame-retardant clothing. Oh dear. :p )

Oh. And yes, have I ‘renounced’ Islam?

Well. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s really none of your goddamn business.

I believe my readers (Yes. All three of you!) can go on leading perfectly normal lives without needing to be reassured whether this blogger subscribes to one religion or another.

I shall not answer that question. I’m under no obligation to anyone to prove my faith or the lack of it. Keep guessing.

But I do believe these are clear signs that the repressed-Gay Haabees (Thanks, DCJ) trolling the net these days suffer from a hideous inferiority complex.

Their cowardice and absolutely pathetic insecurity about their own faith is precisely what drives them to go that extra hundred miles to ‘prove’ their devotion to God - by littering the blogosphere with junk comments and threats.

Wonder when they’ll get it. Most of us Maldivians don’t give a shit about the opinions of the Adhaalath beardies or their terrorist brothers in Arabia.
— Yameen Rasheed

March 17th 2009

Ban This. (Original / Archived)

I don’t think I can be disgusted anymore than I am right now.

After a couple of hectic weeks of college work and personal tragedy, I returned to the blogosphere - only to find that the Taliban, under the supreme authority of prophet Abdul Baaree, seems to have finally taken over what used to be a free, liberal country called the Maldives.

The Ministry of Jehadi Affairs has censored several Maldivian websites - including what appears to be an Islamic website - www.raajjeislam.com, some Maldivian Christian websites the highly readable Simon’s blog (probably one of the most widely read blogs in the country) and a website probably run by schoolkids.

Today, I’ve finally learned that Maldivians simply DO NOT DESERVE anything along the lines of democracy, freedom or rights. They demand to simply be kept in mental prisons, ruled by fear and intimidation.

I thoroughly regret the election of Anni as the president of the Maldives.

I regret ever having nursed a desire of living in a liberal, free democracy. I regret every minute of the entire 8 year long struggle that started in the guise of a ‘democracy movement.

I severely condemn the banning of the websites and the clampdown on free thought by the Adhaalath vermin. I condemn the president for subverting democracy by letting an extremist mob of terrorists like the Adhaalath (who, if I remember correctly, were given a thorough whipping by the Maldivian public in the first round of elections) clamp down on personal freedoms of my countrymen and women.

To think that just a week ago, the President had made grand offers of making the Maldives a ‘safe haven’ for dissident writers. Which probably makes him the laughing stock of the world right now.

And I’m ashamed of the mainstream Maldivian media and citizens for NOT finding the courage to stand up for justice as the bearded Mullahs trample all over our liberties with the impunity reserved for unthinking beasts.

Yes, it was always clear to me that some bearded Arabs could sodomize the entire Maldivian population, and get away with it by doing it in the name of ‘Islam’. That’s exactly what has happened and it will continue to happen unless the Maldivians finally decide to overthrow the Taliban and return to the league of civilized countries.

The Maldives days as a free country are numbered.
— Yameen Rasheed

March 18th 2009

Ban the Adhaalath! (Original / Archived)

I have just created a Facebook group called ‘Ban the Adhaalath’.

Freedom loving Maldivians, and Friends and well-wishers of Maldivians, may join this group to discuss ways of eliminating this medieval menace masquerading as ‘religious sheikhs’.

First off, how about a proper protest?
— Yameen Rasheed

March 28th 2009

One Religious Leader I DO approve of! (Original / Archived)

Watching the Dalai Lama speak makes me wonder.

It’s easy to understand why my friends are the admirable human beings they are - they have such an inspiring figure to emulate and constantly reminding them to remain humble and smiling.

(Equally, it explains the increasingly irritable, humor-less Maldivians. The recent spike in cases of pedophilia, terrorism and extremism also makes sense now, considering that we live under constant fear of Islam’s copyright holders)

All the Mullah beardies on TV, who constantly threaten us Dhivehin and ‘Muslimun’ with eternal damnation and hell-fire, really need to change their tactics and try get a sense of Humor before they can expect me to tune into their bullshit.

I give the Dalai Lama a perfect 10 for humor! And he earns my respect and the well-deserved epithet ‘His Holiness’.
— Yameen Rasheed

April 28th 2009

'Islamic Culture' (Original / Archived)

Then I’ve heard that Maldivians can no longer name their kids Dhivehi names. It has to be ‘Arabic’.

Of course, the local Mullah doesn’t mind names like Salman or Firdaus - which aren’t quite as Arabic as they are Persian.

As long as it’s not Dhivehi.

How much more stupidity will the Mullahs shove down our throats in the name of religion? And how much more will gullible Dhivehin swallow willingly?
— Yameen Rasheed

May 14th 2009

The mandatory Elections post (Original / Archived)

One would think that at the end of the Parliamentary elections in this “100% Muslim” country, the divine prophets of the Adhaalath party would have swept the polls with unbeatable margins of All to Nil.

Unfortunately, the heretics in our country have rejected the Mullahs outright, denying them a single measly seat. This means only one thing. We are all going to hell.

(And the parliament can function without at least one hairy camel-hugger occupying a chair. Ah!)

I just hope Mullah Baaree bans the Elections Commission, and hopefully the Elections too. We didn’t have none of these fancy Elections Commissions mumbo-jumbo back in the good ole’ Prophet’s era now, did we?

How long before the Sheikhs pack their bags and leave our country? :p Even these thick-headed Mullahs ought to have realized by now that they have no clout in this country.

Too bad they have their overgrown beards to hide their face... I’d like to have seen them now! ;-)

Now, if only we could hold elections to decide who gets to give Friday sermons!

[p.s. - I really need to get out of my Mullah fixation! Am giving them much too importance than they deserve... ouch. By next post! I promise!]
— Yameen Rasheed

May 15th 2009

Aargh! (Original / Archived)

You know that thing I once wrote about really smart people being depressed all the time?

Well, I’ve been smarting a lot lately - excuse the pun.

I know all the crap about how it’s important to ‘fight’ and ‘struggle’ to make a name for oneself in society. The No-Pain-No-Gain-A-Stitch-In-Time-Healthy-Wealthy-and-Wise bullshit.

What’s the whole point? I flip through TV channels and see all these politicians counting their numbers, pimping themselves for allies, lying through their teeth, haggling, arguing.. and trading in their own hypocrisy.

For what? They’re all just going to end up as wormfood... or just burn and mix in the air.

Religion annoys me for the same reason. This Mullah, that priest... this community, that community.. majority, minority.. the whole goddamn politics stinks to the high heavens - if indeed, there is such a thing. Why can’t the Ayatollahs and the Popes and the various sermon givers and holier-than-thou preachers just frikking SHUT UP and the world will be a much better place.

The mundane routines, pointless existence, the petty ‘issues’ that people get worked up over.. the egos, the hypocrites.. the rules and restrictions and ‘fights’ and ‘races’ and ‘struggles’...

I’m just sick of ‘em all.

— Yameen Rasheed

June 17th 2009

I stink? YOU stink! (Original / Archived)

The fundies in the Maldives have had a hard time lately.

Their chosen prophets have suffered one humiliation after the other; They are being bombarded daily with examples of their utter backwardness and regressive mindset.

Their feeble attempts at a defence do not pass the common sense stage. Their overt support for various terrorist groups across the middle east is being tested - with even Pakistan now pledging to wipe out the Taliban from their frontier provinces.

Ridiculed, humiliated and forced into a corner, what do they do?

That’s right. Throw it right back at us, like immature kindergarteners.
— Yameen Rasheed

June 25th 2009

Maldivian Terrorists (Original / Archived)

In a much welcome relief, after having to deal with a bunch of anonymous cowards (who issue equally anonymous Death Note fatwas to my inbox), I’ve finally found a proactive Islamist bigot. ;-)

This one is not only bigoted and radical, but is proud of it. His sympathies lie entirely with terrorists and his justification lies solely in Islam - Exactly the kind of dude who wouldn’t mind if you sodomized him, as long as you can find a relevant ‘quote’ from the Sunnah or Hadith.

I guess it gives a thrill to people like these to somehow be associated with a ‘war’ waged by foreigners in a foreign country - a break from their otherwise mundane and meaningless existence in an idyllic place like the Maldives.

Anyhow, are the Taliban, Al Qaeda and its associated terror network banned in the Maldives?

If so, then DJ Majeed had better get his act together and try track track down the Terrorist sympathizers amongst the Maldivians.

Wait. That’d be ironic.
— Yameen Rasheed

July 9th 2009

Barely Maldivian: The First Day! (Original / Archived)

Anyhow, the plane apparently ran out of fuel at some point just before it landed - and dropped almost vertically onto the runway, making for a not so comfortable landing.

Later that night, my smarting ass was sitting in a smoke-filled coffee shop with a bunch of Dhivehi speaking chums.

Here’s the darnedest part about Dhivehi - I don’t speak it. So there I was looking like a total retard/snob, frantically struggling to just keep up with the thread of conversation while maintaining an enviably serene, composed pose. (I would like to thank the academy.. )

In the end, I think I contributed about 4 sentences, that may or may not have anything to do with what my friends were talking. *Sigh*

Some Maldivian I am.

Oh, and I can’t swim.

Anyhow, first day in the Maldives was spent walking around the rather abandoned streets of the Capital.

Second day, I’m out of things to do.

What am I DOING HERE?!
— Yameen Rasheed

July 10th 2009

From Inside the Mosque (Original / Archived)

A Friday in the Maldives is a funny thing.

The entire male population of a country wakes up on this day to the sounds of Qur’anic recitations on TV and radio, and is somehow morally obliged to visit the local mosque to shake off the guilt of not having prayed the whole week.

As for me, it had been quite some time since I’d been to a mosque. And I had absolutely nothing better to do. So I went.

Lo! It was a sight to behold! The sparkling, clean mosque was crowded with newly rejuvenated Friday Muslims! A handful were dutifully attired in flowing white clothes, sure to attract the maximum sawaab in the ‘Best-dressed worshipers’ category.

Others apparently couldn’t care less and decided to show up in infidel attire (Surely, wearing an Iron Maiden bandana instead of a skull cap must irk someone up there?) I sat eagerly waiting for the sermon to begin, just to see who else has been lately forbidden from entering the kingdom of heaven.

Just then I saw a most ghastly sight. A gentlemen in denim pants arrived with his little boy and sat right in front of me.

The man started his ritual prayer, but his 4 year old - oh the devil incarnate! - was apparently mocking the whole sacred process! He stood up, knelt down, bowed and then - wait for it - lay down on the carpet! Then he rolled around, stood up, knelt and bowed again. Finally, he looked at his dad standing next to him and figured he was not doing it right after all.

The he probably thought ‘what the heck?’ and went on doing right darn whatever he felt like. His ritual included pointing and gaping awestruck at the interior of the huge dome, swinging sideways and stretching both his hands over his head. It was by far the most spectacular display of bid’ah (innovation) I’ve ever seen.

A couple of bearded men in my row were giving the little brat undisguised contemptuous looks, while the rest of us humans were quite amused.

Then the sermon began. It was delivered in an unintelligible language that seemed to be neither Dhivehi nor Arabic. As a kid, I heard that during the sermon one must clear his/her mind of all impure thoughts. But looking around, I just saw people either yawning or nodding off. Some were twiddling their thumbs, others carefully observing their toes.
— Yameen Rasheed

July 14th 2009

Bipolar World (original / Archived)

Oh! To live with the conflicting rages of Bipolarity!

One moment you’re happy as a bird, and the next minute reality changes. Nothing has changed, of course. Just your perception.

It’s the difference between night and day. The same earth - the same room - seems brighter, friendlier and more cheerful in the day. An inexplicable joy in everything. A song in the air. But then the night arrives, and fear and suspicion creep in. Monsters appear in the closet.

The forgotten roaches and insects that have been there all along creep out of the woodwork. Everyone’s out to get you. There’s just no joy. The night is blackest, and the silence is just a muffled cry and pounding heart. Far far away scream.

It’s not a pleasant feeling to be numb and emotionally detached from your surroundings.

All around you people are living happy lives. Lovers love. Builders build. Traders and Doctors and Lawyers and Engineers doing their routines.. acting their parts as bricks in a society you don’t care about. One you want to tear down.

If this is your world, why don’t you feel a part of it? Why does everyone move on but you? Where are the others finding the satisfaction and joy that you don’t feel?

Why does everyone else get to define society? Why do you have to change - and adjust - and kill your identity to suit their wishes? Why is everyone strangling you?

And then, the day breaks again.. the roaches hide, the questions disappear once more. Bliss and Happiness all over!

Bless the bipolarity!

— Yameen Rasheed

July 26th 2009

A Note. (Original / Archived)

Apologies to the Maldivian girl who got flogged and fainted, the women half-citizens, the non-Muslim Maldivians, the journalists, secularists, and the homosexual community of the Maldives.

To the rest of you, Happy Independence Day! :-)

Actually. Never mind.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 3rd 2009

The Customs Scam (Original / Archived)

A friend of mine had a difficult time recently when he arrived in the Maldives.

Apparently, the Customs officials at the airport found some CDs in his bag and confiscated them.When he inquired, they told him it was to check the CDs for ‘inappropriate content’ (read: pornography). One would think they would be happy just confiscating dangerous items like weapons, drugs and bibles. But, clearly, that’s not the case.

He was told to collect his items from the ‘censor board’ office on a said date by producing a receipt. When no amount of protests worked, he finally gave in and left. Then, for whatever reasons, he was unable to collect his CDs from the office on the mentioned date and afterwards forgot about the whole thing for some time.

Now here’s the really messed up part.

When he eventually remembered and showed up at the office with the receipt, they demanded that he pay a certain fine amount per CD, in order to get back his own CDs!
— Yameen Rasheed

August 6th 2009

Spare our Children from this Quack! (Original / Archived)

I just had the misfortune of reading ‘Dr’ Mauroof Hussain’s website.

What is it with religious nuts and condoms? The pope and the christian Right in America are notoriously anti-abortionist and anti-condoms.

In India, Hindu fanatics typically react with unhinged fury over condom adverts and sex education in schools. That’s right. They have a one billion+ population and think sex is against their culture. But what really takes the biscuit is when, in a country with the world’s largest HIV+ population, some religious loons dictate that sex-education and condoms are a bad idea.

And in the Maldives, we now have “doctor” Mauroof Hussein, an Adhaalath politician, who’s crapping his pants worrying that his children might get enlightened about safe sex. [I’m actually more concerned about what his son would gather from his father’s website. It contains all sorts of blood-soaked war pictures and links to anti-Christian propaganda, and pro-Hamas webpages - but not a single useful or informative medical article] Clearly, the one thing that unites religious extremists of all faiths and denominations is their common universal arch-enemy: Reason.

On what grounds do they oppose Safe sex, contraception, abortion, gay rights and sex education? Do they really think that keeping children steeped in ignorance is helping the situation?
— Yameen Rasheed

August 6th 2009

God Hates Women (Original / Archived)

I’m a non-scholar, non-religious, non-sheikh nonentity, but I couldn’t help thinking.

a) God forbids women from seeking medical help from male doctors.

b) God also forbids women from getting a basic education, thereby denying them any chance of ever becoming doctors themselves.

c) If, by the evil infidels’ satanic charms, they did somehow become doctors, God forbids them from working.

[God should really just send down a woman-specific virus instead. But I’m guessing the black tent-cloth acts as a rather effective transmission barrier]

d) In conclusion: God really, really hates Women.

P.S.: Think I’ll complete the Notes on Islam series after all. Come back later.

Peace! And DIE, Women!
— Yameen Rasheed

August 11th 2009

Notes on Islam - 3 (Original / Archived)

[I have received over a hundred comments, emails, praise, suggestions and death threats over this series. Which can only mean one thing - SOMEBODY is reading these long posts.

That’s a relief.

Also, a lot of people wouldn’t stop pestering me to write the next part. So finally, here it is. Another long summary]

The Predicament

Last November, “Sheikh” Fareed declared in a Friday sermon that women end up in hell for being inherently sinful.

According to government statistics, out of 184 people sentenced to lashing for ‘fornication’, 146 were women. Either a disproportionately large section of our sexually-active population are promiscuous lesbians, or God just hates women.

When a female reporter, Mariyam Omidi, wrote an article in Minivan News regarding this, the Adhaalath Ministry promptly issued her a custom-made threat warning ‘outsiders’ like her to ‘respect the constitution’ or face deportation.

Recently, a Maldivian ‘Imam’ was arrested in Trivandrum, while trying to marry a minor girl.

When 4 axe-wielding men gang-raped a minor in an island, the Mullah judge decided that it must have been consensual. (Minors cannot obtain driving licenses or vote in this country. But they can apparently consent to rape, according to mullah Islam)

After announcing his verdict in a criminal court in June 2005, the chief Judge further enlightened us that “according to the Qur’an” women are ‘deceptive’ creatures..

The Maldivian woman continues to be far more literate, aware, socially active, educated, healthy and modern than her counterparts in say, India. But that is set to change soon, however, thanks to the arrival of Arab-Islamism and the advent of the ‘Sheikhs’.

Needless to say, women in other Muslim countries are even worse off.

Recently, a woman was prosecuted in Sudan for detonating a nuk- sorry, err.. I mean WEARING PANTS.

There isn’t a more humiliating sight than seeing women in tents forced to walk 10 paces behind men on the streets in the middle east.

Actually, there is. The images of the Taliban flogging hapless women in public is even more humiliating.

And how do they defend this gender apartheid? That’s right. Islam. The Mullah screams ‘Islam!!’ and *poof!* all dissent instantly vaporizes.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 16th 2009

Important Declaration (Original / Archived)

This is a notice for all the readers of this blog (especially those who disagree with me and are therefore clearly wrong)

This isn’t just a notice. This is hereby the LAW.

I’m hereby announcing that - me being a liberal secularist - only liberal secularists will be henceforth allowed to disapprove, dissent or argue any issues raised in this blog with me.

Others just aren’t qualified.

Also, since I don’t have a beard (but only a small goatee) ONLY those commentators who don’t have a beard but only a small goatee will be allowed to disagree with me.

Anyone who doesn’t agree with me is hereby banned from disagreeing with me - or bringing such a non-existent disagreement to public notice via comments or emails.

This blogger also hereby announces that he agrees, in principle, that only drug abusers should be permitted to discuss drug abuse, only murderers must have an opinion on murder, only terrorists can debate on terror and only scholars can challenge scholars.

That’ll be all.


Screw you.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 17th 2009

Analysing Heaven (Original / Archived)

By all accounts, heaven is the most wholly remarkable place to spend your after-life in.

You’ll be young forever, have endless sex and rivers of booze - not to mention the slutty babes. (Which means that either God listens to hip-hop, or heaven was designed by Snoop Dogg)

I’ll admit it sounds grand. But I, for one, am not going suicide bombin’ the Jews just yet.

Think about it. It ain’t as sweet a deal as the brochure makes it out to be. Take the 72 virgins, for instance. 72 sure seems like awesome LOTS, considering how hard it is to land even one here on Earth. Except, you’ve been short-changed.


Well, just assume you’re going to live for a million years in the hereafter. Now divide that by 72. That’s right. You’d be screwing the same damn wide-eyed houri for 14,000 years. (And she stops being a virgin after the first time!) Now multiply 14,000 by all eternity, and you’ll realize you’ve got yourself a shitty deal. All the best spending your eternal life in monotonous misery.

The whole ‘virgin’ thing creeps me out. What good is it if you’re a ‘hundred times more virile’, if the hourlin are totally incompetent, awkward first timers?

Remember all the dirty thoughts and fantasies you had about group orgies, pet fetishes and kinky sex? Good. Now write them all down neatly on a clean sheet of paper. Don’t forget to number them!

Nice. Now rip it all to shreds and weep tears of blood. What you’re holding is a list of things that are clearly forbidden in Heaven. (That’s right. You’ll never get to do any of those things! Ever!) If Ibn Khattab is to be believed, calling nicknames pisses off god. So you can also forget about getting her to call you ‘Daddy’.

Just when you think it cannot get any worse, it does. Ever wondered what it would be like when, every time you’re just about to reach a massive climax, you hear a boner-shrinking, thunderous response ‘Yes, my child?’

Count me out.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 26th 2009

Screw Zakat. We need MORE TV. (Original / Archived)

The Adhaalath ministry has just stolen 2 millions of zakat money (meant for the poor and needy) - to start their own propaganda TV station devoted to religious bullshit.

Fi Sabeelillah, my ass. Is there anything more shameful?

Have Maldivians absolutely no self-respect left? Where is all the outrage? Where are the banners? Where are the protesters and those loudspeakers?

On one hand, the government is NOT able to make ends meet. It has announced drastic pay cuts. By 2011, it intends to cut down its civil servants by HALF.

Forget schools and infrastructure, the present government DOES NOT have the money to pay salaries.

Faced with astronomic food prices, reduced salaries and a bleak economic future with no immediate respite, the average Maldivian is scraping the very bottom of his hand-to-mouth existence.

And then this? 2 MILLION? Of zakat money? On a TV channel?

Not on an orphanage, or a free kitchen, or other charity - but a self promoting TV channel?

Really, Maldivians?

Is there any clearer, more articulate way that Abdul Baaree could have said ‘I PISS ON THE FACE OF GOD AND HIS PROPHET’ during the holy month?

Something tells me we deserve this humiliation.

Have a nice time watching TVM2, when you’re sitting home penniless and hungry by the end of the year.

Screw Aneh Dhivehi Raajje. I’m renouncing my citizenship.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 1st 2009

Comment on Anni's Pledge (Original / Archived)

I’m no Paul Krugman, but I feel I MUST make a comment here.

I don’t know which genius thought of this, but I’m concerned about the proposed downsizing of the civil service from the present 32,000 employees to about 18,000 over the next year.

The government believes this will save about 2 billions every year, with which it intends to form a social security scheme ‘to cater to the poor’.

Their logic is this:

Instead of spending 2 billions on those 16,000 employees, they could funnel the money towards taking care of the remaining 200,000 or so citizens.

Just a minor problem there.

2 billions never “took care of” 200,000 citizens.

Besides, the government seems to be assuming that these 16,000 employees dig a hole in the ground and bury their salaries in it every month.

That’s not how economies work.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 9th 2009

Book-lovers of the Maldives... Unite! (Original / Archived)

Everytime I visit a bookshop in Malé, a little bit of me dies a horrid, painful death.

The ‘collection’ available is usually smaller than what I have at home, and to top that, the prices are simply outrageous.

(Your faith in humanity all but disappears when someone tries to sell you an year-old copy of the Reader’s Digest at 4 times its cover price)

The booksellers in the Maldives simply don’t know how to please us book-lovers.

So kids, let me give you some tips on what a REAL bookshop should look like.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 9th 2009

Recession Proof Maldivians (Original / Archived)

Steamed fish, fried chicken, puddings, scented rice, watermelons, fresh juice, custards, pies, pizzas, sandwiches, dumplings, breads, vegetables, fruits, melons, short eats, cakes, pasta, salads, ice creams, sweet meats..

’Fasting’ in the Maldives is the equivalent of having massive wild orgies to celebrate abstinence.

As Borat would say.. Niice! I like!

So why doesn’t the Divinity of Islamic Affairs raise a stink about the 30 days of binge-eating during what is supposed to be, “Islamically” at least, a month of abstinence?

Oh no no. They know Maldivians too well to touch this with a 10 foot pole.

Well. One aspect of our free-spending culture survives the Arab onslaught.

Fi Sabeelillah!
— Yameen Rasheed

September 13th 2009

Some Mosques are more Equal (Original / Archived)

Coming back to the sermon; It was a pleasure to listen.

The Imam’s one of those rare geniuses who seem to realize that the purpose of speaking into a microphone is that you don’t have to shout anymore.

He spoke calmly and clearly - showing remarkable confidence in amplifier technology and the mosque’s sound system.

I also appreciated that he didn’t threaten me with hell-fire.

Neither did he claim that women were going to hell, nor did he advise them to break their marriages.

In fact, during the entire 40 minute sermon, he said absolutely nothing to piss me off.

Instead, he was talking about piety, and concern for the poor. The importance of humility and living in harmony with one another.

Love. Peace. Understanding... I half-suspect he was a hippie at some time.

After the prayers, he welcomed everyone to break their fast at the mosque.

I also learned from the Imam that the mosque also runs schools and colleges.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 14th 2009

Maldivians ARE True Christians! (original / Archived)

No doubt about it, Maldivians are the world’s truest Christians.

We’re far ahead of any western country; far ahead of even the Vatican. Heck, we Maldivians leave even the Pope in the pale when it comes to moving to passion and raptures at the mere sight of the Holy Cross. If only the Vatican knew... they’d probably anoint us all Catholics.

Why am I uttering these blasphemies? Well, ask the Maldivian authorities who sincerely believe in the majestic sway of the Cross over Maldivians’ fickle minds.

A Maldivian teenager can wear offensive slogans, pornographic images and Satanist symbols on their T-shirts and walk freely in the Capital. (You’ve seen them too) But try walking in the streets wearing a Cross, and you’ll make it about 10 steps before the Star-Force pounces on you and hauls away your Christian ass to jail.

That’s how much we believe in the power of the Crucifix. The mere sight of one can make us Christian.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 16th 2009

God Hates Vaccination. (Original / Archived)

I recently learnt that some Maldivians are refusing to accept vaccinations, due to ‘religious reasons’.

To be more specific, they don’t want to ‘play God’.

When God infects them with a virus or pox, they believe it’s their religious duty to simply die.

Nice. As Borat would say... “Hi Five!” :p

I totally approve - and hereby openly proclaim my enthusiastic support of this viewpoint.

Through this post, I also whole-heartedly endorse every Haabee’s inalienable right to die and/or suffer for prolonged periods after contracting otherwise completely curable mild diseases. ;-)

Anything else would be throwing a spanner into God’s plan.

It solves many of our problems at once, and it makes a darn lot of sense.

After all, since religious folk so vehemently deny Evolution, it naturally follows that they absolutely should NOT take drugs for recently evolved strains of Influenza, like Swine Flu.

Absolutely not. I demand that they should PRAY it away.

That way, God’s say in these matters is preserved, while his fastidious plans don’t get foiled by those meddling western scientists and their inoculations.

But why stop there?

Along with vaccines, I demand a complete ban on all Aircraft and Ferry-boats.

If God wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 19th 2009

Sarcasm 101: How to spell IRONY. (Original / Archived)

The other day I wrote a post about our national Cross fixation, and the Maldivian media’s reverential fear of an old man in white hat.

The post was meant to highlight what should have been common sense - that looking at a Cross does not make you a Christian anymore than looking at a stethoscope makes you a doctor. In other words, if just hearing the word “Christian” gets your knickers in a twist, then you’re just a racist, insecure little twit who clearly didn’t have enough oxygen during birth.

I don’t know if they were always that stupid, or made a special effort that day, but it appears at least one local Maldivian news site promptly ‘banned’ my ‘Christian’ blog feed from their website.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 20th 2009

Eid Message: Don't Tolerate. Accept. (Original / Archive

If you ever find yourself at Connemara market in Trivandrum, do take the time to look around.

There’s the beautiful old St. Joseph’s Cathedral with its red brick tower.

Just a few meters away is the city’s biggest mosque, the Juma Masjid. Sharing a compound wall with the Mosque is a Hindu temple dedicated to ganesha (a hindu god)

The confluence of these three major Indian religions at that spot is steeped in in-your-face secular symbolism.

Dig further, and you’ll learn that the beautiful mosque, with all its huge domes and arabic calligraphy was designed by a devout hindu architect (who has incidentally built another 80 odd mosques)

You’ll also find that the Hindus bring offerings on Thursdays, the Muslims attend prayers on Fridays and the Christians congregate on Sundays - and the place has never seen a riot.

The entire place feels like a giant One finger salute to the intolerant fanatics of the world.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 23rd 2009

Hiatus (Original / Archived)

Remember that scene in Forrest Gump where Tom Hanks just starts running for no reason at all?

He runs out of his frontyard and to the end of his street.. and then he runs some more.
— Yameen Rasheed

October 14th 2009

Gayyoom (pbuh) (Original / Archived)

Remember what they said about great Caesar? “Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?”. But all that he got in his memory was the silly salad named after him.

The Maldives - in its entire 100% Muslim glory - must do better to honor its greatest child.

There simply shouldn’t be any limit to what our glorious ex-president is entitled to. Some 300,000 in monthly income, immunity from the law, the right to remain (adamantly-) silent about his various misdemeanors apart, I believe there is much more that we can do to truly honor this living legend and dictator - even if we have to starve for it.

It’s not that we love Maldives less, but we love Gayyoom more.
— Yameen Rasheed

October 20th 2009

Death Penalty for Justice (original / Archived)

The point is that the outdated, impractical Shariah law system absolutely SHOULD NOT be implemented in the Maldives because:

a) No matter what DJ Majeed thinks, this is no longer 650 AD, and we Maldivians are not medieval desert tribes.
b) It is bullshit.

There are always a handful of nutjobs who’ll read my blog and scream ‘Anti-Islam!’ and ‘deviating from God’s Law!!’. Also, I bet my left nut that at least ONE of you is smirking to yourself right now thinking, ‘YOU HERETIC PIG! EVEN UR AMERICAN GEORGE BUSH EXECUTED PEOPLE! READ WIKIPEDIA!! CHECK YOUR FACTS! LOL!’

To be very sure - I’m not talking to them. I’m appealing to the rest of you who still have mildly functioning thinking faculties.

Laws and legal systems are aimed at people and society, and must reflect the accepted social norms and realities of the day.

Religious apologists would do well to stop acting as if the modern legal system condones rape, murder and theft. It does not. Modern law also prescribes a variety of well-defined punishments for the crimes of rape, murder, theft, etc.

More importantly, Modern law recognizes and demands scientific, fool-proof evidence - making it possible to nail convicts even 20 and 30 years after a crime is committed.
— Yameen Rasheed

October 28th 2009

The Dangerous Cat & Mouse Game. (Original / Archive)

Has anybody ever wondered why extremists are so addicted to violence? Surely, there must be something that explains all that fascination for dynamite, guns, beheading and all sorts of explosions, right?

Well, guess what. Uncle yaamyn has finally arrived at the ultimate answer to all that apparently inexplicable violence.

Tom & Jerry.

If my theory is right, then Tom cat and Jerry mouse are responsible for half the death and destruction in the world today. Sounds a little too far-fetched? Well, you’re clearly not watching your religious advice on TV regularly.

In the last week alone, at least three wise bearded men on one of TVM’s many new religious advice programmes have explicitly mentioned the grave dangers posed by Tom & Jerry. Apparently, the cat-and-mouse duo can brainwash your impressionable kids into believing a whole lot of make-believe nonsense, unless you sit and spoil the cartoon for them by critically dissecting it in real time.
— Yameen Rasheed

November 5th 2009

Speak Arabic or Die! (Original / Archived)

Ever wondered how some of these ‘scholars’ seem to make so much sense even when they’re talking utter rubbish?

The other day, I was flipping through channels on my TV, when I came across something called a Peace TV.

On it, the televangelist Zakir Naik was addressing what appeared to be a billion of his followers. Now, anybody who’s heard of Zakir Naik knows of his penchant for using ‘logical arguments’. Well, this time, he was ‘logically’ arguing why everyone should refer to the almighty as ‘Allah’ rather than the English word ‘god’.

The problem with using ‘god’ is this: you can apparently add letters to it -and doing this would completely change its meaning.

For example, intoned the wise Zakir Naik, you could append the word ‘god’ with ‘father’. Then it would read ‘godfather’, which is completely unacceptable, as it conveys a whole different meaning.

Also, you could add ‘dess’ and make it ‘goddess’. This would clearly be an epic disaster of tragic proportions. Furthermore, you could add ‘less’ to the word, and end up with another exceedingly scandalous abomination.
— Yameen Rasheed

November 19th 2009

Deport the Islamic Foundation. Now. (Original / Archived)

Now let’s put things in perspective.

Some group that calls themselves the ‘Islamic Foundation’ has called for the deportation of Mariyam Omidi, the Editor of Minivan News.

And for some reason, this even made the news.

It’s surprising isn’t it?

On one hand, we have a journalist and editor of Minivan News (a news website that I admire for its position on religious extremism, the biggest cancer eating away at the Maldives today)

On the other hand we have the extremists.

This “Islamic Foundation”, as the name makes quite obvious, is just another publicity-starved mob - out to milk the ‘religion’ thing for all its worth. They do no discernible service to Maldivians, do not promote any democratic values, do not approve of Dhivehin’s social freedoms and now, they have just made clear their stance on our people’s press freedom too.

In short, they cannot stand the Maldivian way of life, hate our liberty and oppose our rights to express our thoughts in our own country. In doing so, they appear to be working more in the interests of their Arab cultural masters than of Maldivians.

In other words, they’re yet another group working overtime to turn our proud, free country into an Arab satellite state, just like the Adhaalathu and Jamiyyathul Salaf.

As The Shadowrunner would say: Traitors!

If it was upto you, who would you rather see deported? A lady who continues to do good work of bringing up issues that directly concern Maldivian’s freedoms and society?

Or a traitorous band of sexually-repressed Arab wannabes?
— Yameen Rasheed

November 23rd 2009

MPs: Enemies of the State. (Original / Archived)

Our constitution already breaks a number of International covenants on Human Rights by denying non-Muslim Maldivians their most basic rights; the right to exist being most prominent among them.

It’s quite obvious that any such place of worship built in the Maldives would be exclusively for foreigners working and residing in the Maldives.

This would seem like a basic courtesy, seeing as how we enjoy the same rights in THEIR countries. Every other ‘Muslim’ country in the world, after all, has churches, temples and synagogues in them.

But we Maldivians have this slight problem of being more catholic than the Pope. So what if the Prophet himself allowed non-Muslims to live in peace? We gonna outdo him!

Yet another ingenious move by our Mullah MPs to make us Maldivians look like dogs in a manger is the bill that sought to stop giving Ramzan bonuses and entitlements to non-Muslim workers (who work just as hard as anyone else)

What message exactly are they trying to send the guests, laborers, workers and teachers who do good work in our country, and on whose hard work and money our people subsist on?
— Yameen Rasheed

November 27th 2009

Hitting the Blind Spot (Original / Archived)

A cursory look around the blogosphere, and I see my reputation among religious nuts hasn’t improved much. I’m accused, among other things, of ‘blind hatred’ towards Muslims and Islam.

Of all the things one can honestly accuse me of, I can safely assure you that blindness isn’t one of them. If I hate something, I have fully justified reasons behind it.

If anything, I believe it’s precisely because I refuse to play the Ostrich that I get accused of being ‘blind’.

I realize it’s quite easy to be happy in the Maldives. The secret lies in being completely selfish and putting all your faith in God (read: blame everything on God) The secret is to be blind to others sufferings and to consider it ‘Somebody Else’s Problem’.

I could, for instance, PRETEND that the Maldives is a 100% Sunni Muslim nation. But unfortunately, I cannot so blatantly lie to myself.

I’m not blind. I have SEEN - and have MET - atheists, Christians and Buddhists among us Dhivehin.

I KNOW these people exist. And seeing how our country doesn’t grant its own children their most basic, legitimate rights, I could also very easily pretend that it’s ‘THEIR problem’, not mine.

But sadly, I cannot.

My heart goes out to them. I refuse to accept that they - or anyone else - must align their thinking with the three top Adhaalathu clerics of the day just to continue living as citizens in their own country.

In my mind that is grossly unfair and outrageous. This country belongs to ALL Dhivehin, not just those people who have meekly surrendered to the pseudo-Arab sheikhs.

Then there’s the gay fixation of the local Mullahs. It’s amusing to me that they get so worked up over a letter written by someone else in somebody else’s newspaper. (Put it this way: we all eat food everyday. But it’s only the anorexics and the absolute gluttons who’d go nuts thinking about it.)

Try as I might, my mind refuses to accept that gays are an abomination of God. I could try and PRETEND that all homosexuals are evil sodomites intentionally out to spite God.

But I cannot.

You see, I cannot be so intentionally blind. I have had gay and lesbian friends in college, including one girl who has since converted to Islam. Having lived among them, I found that homosexual people are as good or as bad as any of us. In fact, their sexual orientation didn’t trouble me at all during all the time I have been with them.

Sexual repression, of course, has been documented to lead to frustration and violence.
— Yameen Rasheed

December 1st 2009

Minarets Exposed! Nuts revealed! (Original / Archived)

So there it is. Swiss right-wing lunatics waste money on an entire election campaign to ban an architectural appendage in the hopes of forever ending Islamist extremism (but which, as any brain-dead anesthetized jellyfish could point out, will do just the opposite)

On the the other hand, Islamic extremists have connected this with the banning of the burqa in France, and declared the whole thing a western CIA jewspiracy to kill Islam and tarnish its peaceful image, thus requiring all peaceful Muslims to behead, burn and blow themselves up in protest.

And thus, the intolerance cycle continues feeding off each other.

Just WHO puts these incompetent, lunatic, religious extremists in charge of running the world?


If I were to read anything positive in all this, it is that fact that we liberals can still breathe easy in the knowledge that we don’t hold the shit end of the IQ stick.

— Yameen Rasheed

December 8th 2009

Oh Crap. Yaamyn's blog is 4 years. (Original / Archived)

Holy Effing F! My blog is 4 years old. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Here’s the story until now.

My name is Yaamyn. I can barely speak Dhivehi. I cannot swim, do not smoke, do not have a girlfriend, do not like the taste of betel nuts, do not ride a motor bike, do not play football, do not sport an Afro, no longer own a fancy phone and have never caught a fish in my entire life.

Nevertheless, through some obvious cock-up on sombody’s part, I still proudly retain a Maldivian passport.

Today marks 57 days since I arrived in the Maldives, making it the longest that I’ve ever been here. I’m trying hard to get used to the place and convince myself that THIS is home. (It’s not easy, but I’m determined to get there)

I started this blog at a time when the internet was a dark, hollow bark in a tree into which I could scream my thoughts and secrets and never hear about them ever again.

It was a marvelous plan, and worked like a charm for 3 years. Then, almost overnight, some curious Maldivians stumbled on to my blog. And in turn, I was introduced to the vibrant Maldivian blogosphere.

The internet stopped being the mysterious hollow in the bark, and became a loud drum that echoed my thoughts everywhere. And to everyone.

Sometimes that’s a great thing.

And then, sometimes I see the sheer number of visitors going through my old, extremely personal posts where - as a reckless teenager - I ranted rants and named names. No good could possibly come out it.

I’d originally vowed never to modify or delete any post on this blog - no matter how godawful and embarrassing they were. The blog was to act like an honest mirror of my thoughts that I could go back and read when I was 50 and extremely bored.

But then, I never thought I’d get a thousand hits on a page either.

It became a matter of protecting other people’s privacy. It was a wrenching decision but, so long old posts, I’ll never see you again. I hate myself.

But as they say. C’est la vie!

In the bargain, I have been labeled ‘anti-Islamic’, ‘kafir’, ‘atheist pig’ and so on. I have also got myself a fair share of death notes for being a liberal secularist.

On this marvelous anniversary of supermassive cosmic significance, I would like to reiterate my stand.

It’s a wonderful thing to be a liberal. It’s a wonderful thing to respect the rights of all humans to live with dignity in our country. It is a worthy cause to fight for the rights of the OTHER. It is a worthy fight to speak up for those who have no voice. It is a worthy dream to believe our country would one day grant all its citizens these rights.

Finally, it makes a lot of sense in showing respect to earn respect. Doesn’t it?

Four Years. *sigh* Die, blog. Die!

— Yameen Rasheed

December 17th 2009

Small Fish in the Ocean (Original / Archived)

Small Fish : Hello, Mr. Ocean! I’ve heard so much about y-

Ocean: Shut up, roll up your sleeve and get to work.

.. And so starts my career.
— Yameen Rasheed

December 27th 2009

The Final Push

Arrest me officer! For I have thunk!

Well. It’s finally happening.

The much delayed climax; the final Arab push for a takeover of what was once a free, liberal and happy country known as the Maldives.

It began innocuously enough - with some Egypt-educated Sheikhs coming and asserting their “knowledge” on an ancient country that had perfected its traditional folk Islam and island culture.

Then, before we knew it, Maldivians started turning up in all sorts of vile places - in radical madrassas in Pakistan. In Al-Qaeda forums and videos. In terror attacks and ‘martyrdom’ and jihad camps.

Our once free and liberated women have been sinking into mental slavery - slowly being pushed out of the picture and forced into seclusion behind a black veil as shameful objects to be kept hidden away from beastly male desires.

Concubines. Female Genital Mutilation. Polygamy. Jihad. Fatwas. Death threats. Murder. Bomb blasts. Black veils. Camel meat. Big beards. Censorship. Intolerance. Fanaticism.

And now this.

The Jamiyyathul Salaf, a registered NGO (oh, who are we kidding?! Yet another hydra-head of the same pseudo-Arab monster that also includes the Adhaalathu party) has had a 6-month long intercourse with our beloved Ministry of Divine Affairs and produced their love child.

The “Religious Unity Act” - the single most perverted and petty piece of legislation the Maldives has ever seen.

It has been designed with the single-minded intention of permanently castrating all rational thinking in our country, and forever enslave its people to the merest whims of this band of traitorous, ignorant fools with self-proclaimed fanciful titles.

The Bill, if passed (and it is likely to), will give the already too-powerful MoIA the powers to swoop on printing presses and bookshops and remove anything that is in conflict with their intellectually-handicapped version of Islam.

The Bill, when passed, will give them the ‘authority’ to pluck out all scientific and rational pursuit from our school curriculum and replace them with rigid conformity to their narrow-minded backward ideology.

This Bill, when passed, will give them overriding powers to BAN any voices in the media, print or online forums that still defend our basic social freedoms against their mindless bulldozing of anything that might displease their Arab cultural masters.

It’s shameful that this mental slavery is going to be imposed on a 3000-year old Dhivehi culture.

It would be the ultimate tool to prey on foreign teachers, dissident bloggers, progressives, liberals and all thinkers who dare challenge the half divine God-sent passport-holders of Seykustan.

The Bill also wants ‘sentences’ to be handed to those who “challenge God and Shariah”. Well, you know what? That’s ME they’re talking about.
— Yameen Rasheed

January 6th 2010

The Handsom Prophet (Original / Archived)

It’s official. Peace TV is fast replacing Maumoon-era TVM as my all-time favorite non-stop comedy channel.

Remember those times when you surf through channels for hours, just *hoping* to come across something remotely entertaining? Well, I hit jackpot the other day.

Apparently, what used to be a monotheistic faith called Islam has found a new God. I learnt this from Yasir Qadhi, a salafist televangelist, who was on air preaching about the Seerah (biography) of the Prophet. More specifically, he was trying to communicate what the prophet looked like ‘physically’.

Now, I don’t want to reiterate my earlier suspicions about some of these beardies being repressed gays, but you just HAD to see this guy! He was half-bursting out of his pants in barely-concealed excitement while describing the Prophet’s physical features.

Now comes the really messed up part.

The Prophet, as it turns out, was designed entirely in Goldilocks mode. i.e., He “wasn’t too tall, but he wasn’t too short either”, also he “wasn’t too fair, but then he wasn’t too dark either”. His hair “wasn’t straight, but it wasn’t too curly in any case”.

The way he was going, one would imagine that when it came to overall looks, the Prophet would be ‘not quite a lady-killer, but not too shabby either. Fine chap, really’ sort of guy.

But no. As it turns out, the Prophet’s apparently the ‘most handsome man’ to have ever walked the Earth. Um.. literally.

The most handsome on Earth. Ever.
— Yameen Rasheed

February 13th 2010

Rolling the Maldivian way! (Original / Archived)

It’s been 3 months and 27 days since I arrived in the Holy Islamic Sheikhdom of al-Maldives.

If you can survive the nerve-grating sermons, warnings, and outright threats to your life and physical security (the wahhabi’s idea of charming skeptics into their intellectually-handicapped version of Islam) - on every TV and radio station in town, then the lifestyle can actually grow on you.

Having grown up in a free, secular country, I sometimes find the relentless indoctrination rather overwhelming.

To be very clear, I have lived all my life in a free country, sharing a society with over 150 million other faithful Muslims, but never before have I come across the sort of inanity that is being promoted here.
— Yameen Rasheed

February 15th 2010

The Maldives Guide: Fitting in. (Original / Archived)

This is highly unusual, but I’m yet to receive my paycheck from either Mossad or CIA this week.

So rest assured, this post will decidedly avoid all attempts to steal your faith, or change your sexual preferences. (Screw you CIA! I told you. No Pay, No Gay)

No. I’ll just take the time to spit out a few things about the Maldives. Things I learnt during my short stay here. Things I want you to know about.
— Yameen Rasheed

February 21st 2010

Who are the traitors? (Original / Archived)

Today, Professor Yaamyn is going to teach you the difference between ‘Opinion’ and ‘Treason’.

This is in response to the oft-repeated comments made by a certain tribe, that the Maldivian constitution ‘does not allow other religions’, and thus, whoever ‘tries to “impose” freedom of religion in this 100% Muslim country’ should be convicted for treason.

a. You cannot ‘impose’ freedom, douchebags.
b. No, you cannot be convicted of treason for it, either.

Let me prove it to you.
— Yameen Rasheed

March 1st 2010

Alcohol (Original / Archived)

Maldivians need to decide WHAT exactly it is they want. Now.

I’m posting this one day after the government (once again) threw away a plan that would have helped our economy.

Why? Because the Adhaalathu - a political prostitute of a party, with no support base, no seat in the parliament, nor any mandate of the Maldivian people, didn’t feel like it.

One wonders HOW, in a ‘democratic’ country, could such a thing happen. How does an elected government headed by the largest political party in the country spend so much time, money and effort on formulating an economic plan - and then just flush it down the toilet because some (unelected-) fanatic fools started grumbling?

How does one Ministry of the government take up arms against another - and get away with it?

Also, I would like to know WHAT exactly is the Adhaalathu party’s economic plan? You see, if you call yourself a party, you also need to have some fiscal policies for the people.

What is the Adhaalathu party’s alternative plan to fix our economy and increase jobs and feed our people? Organizing a mass, ritual prayer? Throwing around leaflets? Blowing hot air into a megaphone? Blaming the Jews? More importantly, do they even HAVE a plan? I doubt it.
— Yameen Rasheed

March 5th 2010

Contempt of the Court (Original / Archived)

A man was found with 6 million under his pillow, and drugs in his backyard. The Maldivian court found nothing odd about the situation, and let him free. (Essentially telling the Police Intelligence unit, who has been on his trail for 6 patient months, to go screw itself upside down)

In June 2005, a judge in a criminal court announced his verdict, but took the time to enlighten everyone in the court-room that Women-kind were ‘deceptive’ creatures. Says right there in the Holy Book, said the wise Owl.

Another time, when a 12 year-old girl was gang-raped by four ax-wielding men, the supremely-wise judge ruled that it was ‘consensual’ sex. (FYI, your honor, in the rest of the civilized world, ‘consensual’ sex with 12-year olds automatically qualifies as statutory rape)

On another occasion, a man was dragged to the court for ‘blasphemy’. The judge apparently got him to recite the kalimah and - since the esteemed Court of law couldn’t be burdened with such mundane tasks as deciding lawsuits - ordered that all further cases be taken to the newest arm of the Judiciary - the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.


I’m not saying that our appointed judges are morons.. no, wait. That’s precisely what I’m saying.

Once again, WHO appointed these clowns to the courts? I wouldn’t let them judge a baking contest, much less hand over to them the critical responsibility of running the country’s entire judiciary.

As of now, the Maldivian judiciary is an embarrassment, and completely deserves not only our contempt, but also the strongest condemnation.

If there’s indeed such a pitiful lack of judges with minimal common sense, I suggest it’s time we bring in a few more-capable (or at least, less-dysfunctional) judges from abroad.

And if there aren’t enough wise judges to go around, get Australia on the line and tell them to bring in some kangaroos to occupy our judicial high chairs.

That way, at least, we could blame it on ACTUAL kangaroos.

— Yameen Rasheed

March 12th 2010

Adhaalathu pimps itself again (Original / Archived)

The Adhaalathu party has always had a proven track record of prostituting itself for cheap publicity, but now it appears to be besting itself in its own game.

If I remember correctly, this “party” of shrill monkeys was handed power on a plate by an overly generous MDP. The only good that came out of it is that we know for certain now that Evolution is a hoax.

Furthermore, the un-evolved primates in the Ministry of Islamic Affairs have also made abundantly clear the consequences of handing over democratic power to people who have trouble grasping the most basic concepts of democracy, rights or freedom.

The MoIA had a truly adventurous year of banning DJs, censoring websites, bringing in pedophilia-promoting ‘scholars’, revolting against its own government, trying to abuse funds for the poor to start a self-promoting ‘Fi Sabeelillahi TV”, indoctrinating the traditionally liberal Dhivehi people with their morally bankrupt, misogynist, pseudo-arab ideology..

.. and apparently, getting to do all this with total impunity has done wonders for the party’s already massively-inflated ego.

With the smugness of a Pharaoh at the end of an orgy, the Adhaalathu party has released a statement saying that it now believes that “no political party can run a government” without its support.

Erm. Excuse me? The dairy farm called. It wants its bullshit back.

Do the mighty Sheikhs need to be reminded that their joke of a “party” is still struggling to maintain minimum membership?
— Yameen Rasheed

March 18th 2009

An Open Letter to the President (Original / Archived)

Mr. President, you are a man who has experienced police abuse, a man who has campaigned long and hard for our freedom, a man who has been incarcerated for being outspoken. You’re a man who has faced political abuse of the worst kind.

I believe, as many others believe, that this is the primary reason why you were elected. You were the face of rebellion. You were the face of OUR rebellion; the face of Maldivian people’s desire for change.

The Maldivian people overwhelmingly voted for you with the hopes that we would no longer have to cower in fear again when speaking our mind.

Then why is it, Mr. President, that my country is still in shackles of fear?

Imagine my dismay, Mr. President, when a source confided to me this morning that I’m ‘being watched closely’ by your police intelligence, as the writings on this blog offend the Taliban in your government.

I want to know why you have embraced religious extremists in your government and abandoned us - the voters - who gave you your job in the first place?

More seriously, why have you allowed political mullahs to abuse the police service to keep track of political dissidents and bloggers?

Why am I still living in a sinister surveillance state, instead of that dream of a free ‘Aneh Dhivehi Raajje’ that you promised all of us?

It irks me, as I’m sure it would many Maldivians, to think that there is a cop (probably reading this) who’s being paid taxpayer’s money to sit in a room and go through - and keep track of - random blogs that criticize the Mullahs in your government - and this, while there are violent criminals let loose on the street, stabbing journalists or anyone else at will.

Mr. Mohamed Nasheed, whatever happened to your promise of making the Maldives a safe haven for dissident writers?

You have openly welcomed Ms. Aung San Su Kyi to the Maldives, how about first allowing us Maldivians to express our views in our own country without being snooped upon?

I want to know what you’re doing against the spread of extremism in the country (not without a little help from your government), and the fact that today they are openly demanding that your wife, the First Lady Laila, be beheaded.

That’s right, Mr. President. These ‘pious’, ‘religious’, ‘god-fearing’ people want your wife’s head. And my friend, Hilath’s head. And Sappe’s head. And soon, perhaps my head. And then, when the heads start rolling (I assure you, your Ministry of Islamic Affairs is fully equipped to do this) there’ll be a lot of headless Maldivians pointing fingers at you.

I have always been aware of the risks of speaking out against extremist clerics in a country that is rapidly, and forcibly, being made to bow down to their ideology - an ideology completely at odds with the traditional Maldivian way of life.

It’s a risk I chose to take.

Beheadings and butchery. Bomb blasts and terrorism. Jihad.. violence.. bloodshed - these were not things we Maldivians were known for once, Mr. President. Dhivehin used to be a lot more liberal, easy going folk than this. We were never an intolerant nation, or a violent nation.

But we’re changing.

A lot of secular minded, liberal Maldivians take offense at this, Mr. President. We do not wish to see our country listed among the terrorist breeding grounds of the world. Yet, our voices refuse to be heard, being drowned out by the voices on TV and Radio that call out for ‘hanguraan’ and ‘jehad’ and ‘war’.

The voice of reason and peace is being drowned in the cacophony of intolerance and the intimidation.

But I’m proud to say, Mr. President, that today, fewer Maldivians are willing to keeping quiet.

More and more Maldivians are coming out and openly challenging the Mullahs that you have so lovingly placed on a pedestal.

More and more people are coming alive to the fact that the Mullahs - the so-called ‘Sheikhs’ - can be criticized, just like the time we realized that former President Gayyoom could also be criticized.

Where there was once silence, I can hear a growing rumble of voices. Where there was once fear, I see a growing sense of rebellion.

I am used to death threats, Mr. President. I have received them right from the time I first posted an article critical of fanatical extremists.

When the Taliban in your government banned DJs in the capital, I found myself speaking out almost alone.

Today, there are dozens of voices joining me. Tomorrow there’ll be hundreds more speaking out against your regime’s attempts to Talibanize this country. And some day, the resistance will be too much to bear - even with the surveillance, and spying, and intimidation from your government.

You would know this, Mr. President. You are a living example of victory against all odds, and against the entire machinery of the state.

The very fact that you’re in power speaks volumes for the Maldivian desire for freedom.

Of course, things might get much worse before they become better.
— Yameen Rasheed

March 18th 2010

Conversation with Extremists (Original / Archived)

Amusing as it sounds, there are actually people defending the recent death threats against certain people, including the First Lady.

Here are the basic facts that can’t be disputed.

1. An extremist blogger who swears by an ideology (which he thinks is Islam) has issued death threats against Hilath, Sappe and the First Lady of the Maldives.

2. The threats have been issued for religious reasons, meaning ‘jibue’ is a person who considers killing and murder as his religion.

Now, there are two ways one could react to this.

The first of course, is to condemn the threats and demand action against an obviously deranged blogger.

The second, more unfortunate approach, is the one that several extremists in our country have chosen to take.

Unable to swallow the bitter pill, they chose to invent a whole another universe in their head where Hilath did it all himself.

(Yes, in their mildly conducting brains, Hilath apparently posted the threats on muraasil HIMSELF for reasons of popularity (?). The CIA may or may not be involved. In other words, the typical Zionist plot to blame the ‘poor innocent Muslims’, as usual. yawn.)

The capability of extremists to delude themselves is stuff of legend. And hilarity.
— Yameen Rasheed

March 24th 2010

Feminists. (Original / Archived)

They HATE atheists, jews, christians, scientists, secularists, liberals, progressives etc. as an integral part of their ‘faith’.

Here’s one more to add to the list: - Feminists.
— Yameen Rasheed

April 13th 2010

A Crash Course in Women's Sexuality (Original / Archived)

Ok. Unfortunately, I’m not a woman - But it’s about time someone said this.

Women have sex. Women enjoy sex. Women are sexual creatures.

According to a wide-ranging survey I haven’t carried out, 100% of all consensual (heterosexual-) sex involves a horny woman and a horny man. 100% of all pre-marital and extra-marital affairs, and orgies also involve sexually-willing women.

Sex is not something a man does to a woman. It is something a man and a woman participates in together.

Girls and women have carnal desires much like men do; and this is something one should have picked up from just EXISTING in a world full of sexual beings. Unfortunately, the hopelessly lost tribe of fake-Arabs currently wandering around in our coral islands seem unaware of this seemingly obvious fact. For them, sex is entirely a male thing. Women are just mere catalysts and sexual-aids designed miraculously to fulfill his physical urges.

From the 4 wives on Earth to the 72 Hooraleen in Heaven, the fake-Arab’s sexual yearnings seem to form the core of his existence, around which the Universe revolves - including women, food, prayer and society.

For instance, Women need to pray at home, or in a curtained-off section in the rear basement of a mosque, so that the all-important Male doesn’t get aroused, or be otherwise sexually inconvenienced during his prayer. The Woman needs to put up with polygamy so that the Male ‘doesn’t have to divorce her’ after she has lost her looks and virginity. (It is a well known fact in the Arabian Desert that despite the protruding beer bellies and ugly baldness, men ALWAYS retain their good looks well into their deaths and after-lives. Only women lose their looks, apparently)

His Naikness, the holy Naik brings sex into food as well. Apparently, if you eat pork, you swap sexual partners just like Pigs. (This is, of course, neither a Koranic nor scientific explanation. In fact, it is a blatant lie. But, if the beardie ‘scholar’ says so - facts and common sense be damned - he MUST be right!)

Most importantly, Women need to be shrouded alive so that the Male can walk around without being ‘forced’ to rape anyone. (Elementary, my dear Watson. If chicken walked around in hijabs, there would be no KFC)

What a load of misogynist crap!
— Yameen Rasheed

April 16th 2010

Ban the Adhaalath (Original / Archived)

Zakir Naik : “All Muslims should be terrorists!”

Ministry of Islamic Affairs : “Brilliant! Give this guy a medal! No! Invite him to the ‘largest ever’ program on Earth! TV spots! Radio! State funds! Give him anything he wants!

What’s that? Attention-whore, did you say? Call TVM dammit! Book the entire week’s time slots at state expense! If he likes the Taliban, he is our friend! Boy! This is going to be *sweeet*! Now.. excuse me while I go pour some cold water over my privates!”

Maldivian: “This is yet another reason to..
If you needed any more evidence that the extremists in the MoIA are determined to recruit terrorists for their masters, this is it.

Join the call for peace. Click to visit the FB group -> Ban the Adhaalath.

— Yameen Rasheed

March 1st 2010

The Victim Complex (Original / Archived)

Today’s sermon was another stark reminder why Muslims will never make progress.

I don’t know if you heard it, but today’s Friday Mullah Rant focused entirely on how ‘some people’ were spreading ‘laadheenee’ thoughts in public [Note: Criticizing Mullah = Laadheenee] - and how this was something that every ‘true Muslim’ must be worrying and fretting about.

The rest of the sermon was translated by my brain as ‘Oh noes! Poor Islam under attack again! Will nobody weep for us?! Boo hoo hoo!’

...which brings us to Professor Yaamyn’s Topic-of-the-Day. ;-)

Today, class, we shall discuss the biggest disease afflicting Muslim society today - the all-pervading, debilitating, Mullah-generating, utterly useless and omnipresent Persecution Complex.

The other day, a weepy willow on Facebook asked me “Are you Muslim?!! If so, are you proud to belong to this great people?’

It’s the kind of pointless question that I normally refuse to answer - but in this case, the rider was irresistible. ‘Are you proud to belong to this great people?’

Frankly? No. I am not.

Also, I refuse to accept that today’s lethargic, unproductive mass of global Muslim population can be referred to as ‘a great people’.
— Yameen Rasheed

May 7th 2010

The Last Rites of Democracy (Original / Archived)

So it finally happens.

The Adhaalathu and Salaf’s wet dream and bastard child of a ‘religious unity’ bill is upon us.

The bill is exactly what one would expect from desert dwelling bedouins; a total clampdown on free thought, explicit restrictions on press-freedom, crushing of any chances of popular dissent, consolidation of all power in a single ‘Ministry’ run by medieval bigots, and of course - absolute, unfettered power to condemn and persecute any citizen of this country at their will.

In short, it is a bill carefully crafted to turn this newly-formed democratic state into a thought-controlled theocracy run by simpletons.

Just look at the provisions of the bill.

The same retarded ‘Ministry’ that brings in quacks like Zakir Naik - and champions of pedophilia like Bilal Philips - will have the absolute authority to decide which foreign ‘scholars’ will be allowed to indoctrinate the Maldivian public.

The Ministry will put together an ‘advisory board’ of its choice - and they will, in turn, ‘advise’ the Ministry on religious fatwas. (Brilliant plan, eh? The last time this happened was when the last dictator to rule us put together a parliament of his choice, and the parliament bolstered the President in return. That sure worked out for us, didn’t it?)

A ‘Ministry’ that repeatedly bastardizes our culture with their imported Arab bullcrap will now assume the role of ‘protecting traditional values’ of the Maldives. Right. Might as well hand over the Vatican to the Ayatollah.

Then comes the part where the bill tramples all over the concept of human rights and free speech.

To quote Minivan News: “it will be illegal to promote personal views on matters where there is a difference of opinion among scholars.”

Really? It will be ILLEGAL to promote personal views? The Ministry of Arabistan now is going to tell us Maldivians to shut up?!

Now THEY are going to tell us what to think and what opinions to possess?!

Opinions, by their very definition, always differ. That’s why they’re called ‘Opinons’. If they didn’t differ, they’d be called ‘facts’.

And FACTS state that neither Shaheem, nor Baaree, nor any other Mullah in the Arabistan Ministry is the Prophet or even the most pre-eminent scholars of Islam in the World.
— Yameen Rasheed

May 9th 2010

All Honorable Men (Original / Archived)

Free speech was my friend, faithful and just to me: My blog is ample evidence of how much the concept means to me. I shall miss the enlightenment and discussion that the freedom to blog brought to me. But Shaheem says the discussions on my blog are shaking Dhivehin’s faith - and threatening his religion.. (and Shaheem is an honorable man)

Freedom to criticize authority brought Dhivehin Human Rights; It brought a free media, Aneh Dhivehi Raajje, and democracy to the Maldives.. whose fruits Dhivehin enjoy today.

Freedom to protest allowed us to beat back police oppression, and make them accountable.. and thus, today we no longer live in terror of them.

When our rights were being trampled, and the constitution and law and government had united to oppress us, in Adduvas and Minivan did we protest, criticize and fight back. Did, at the time, criticism seem bad? But today Shaheem says that criticism leads to lack of unity - and Shaheem is an honorable man.

When the masses were oppressed, when Anni was jailed, When Naraka Fareed’s holy beard was being plucked out hair by hair, When pepper spray and shock batons broke our bones, We criticized. We rebelled. We aired our thoughts against every law in the country.

Did it lead to disunity and evil back then?

Yet Shaheem says differences in opinion is bad, and Shaheem is an honorable man.
— Yameen Rasheed

May 14th 2010

The End. (Original / Archived)

In a few days, the Maldives will embrace Adhalathism.

It appears to me that Maldivians have given up their own rights - and willingly so.

In the best, democratic spirit - I must say that I do vehemently disagree, but nevertheless I accept this decision. As a country, and as a people we have gotten exactly what we deserve.

For the proponents of freedom, liberalism and national pride who have supported me throughout, THANK YOU. Thank you for the thousands of emails, comments, and all the encouragement you have given me.

To the 3000 odd people who read all my posts regularly, I apologize for leaving the field. This is a battle for someone else.

To the supporters of extremism in this country, congratulations. You have got what you wanted. May your grandchildren look back and lament on what you have “achieved”. That should be punishment enough.

I have no desire to be a martyr for free speech anymore. Until this country allows free speech, I am retiring this blog.

— Yameen Rasheed

September 26th 2010

Is it? (Original / Archived)

Copy-pasted garbage. Nonsensical posts. A sea of salafi blogs that constantly regurgitates the same hateful jihadi horse-shit with nauseating frequency. Tired DRP-MDP cat-fights...

The Maldivian blogosphere is dead, isn’t it?
— Yameen Rasheed

November 28th 2010

Towards Secularism (Original / Archived)


Those of you who follow this blog will remember that I had vowed to ‘retire this blog’. In fact, my exact words were “I have no desire to be a martyr for free speech anymore. Until this country allows free speech, I am retiring this blog.”

Lamentably, the Maldives is yet to provide its citizens free speech, and yet here I am with another post. A lot has happened since the last post I made.

a) First, the incident that shook me the most.

A young Dhivehi man, endlessly harassed by his ‘devout’ family and “friends”, decided to take the horrifying step of taking his own life.

Words have a disappointing habit of cushioning the blow.. of diminishing the horror of the moment with mundane phrases like ‘taking his own life’.

Words cannot describe my feelings every time I see the ATC tower standing tall in the brightly lit airport island, across the black, gloomy sea. The young air traffic controller spent almost seven years of his life working there. And an eternity of seven excruciating minutes until his death.

I can’t help but retrace his last steps.

It was early dawn and still very dark. He must have been reliving the terrible taunting. The harassment from colleagues. The forced ‘counseling’ by a certain “sheikh” Illiyaas of the 72 virgins fame. Any happy memories of his friends, girlfriend.. family a faded past that cannot be relived ever again.

He must have looked up on the Internet how to make a noose. He must have spent a dazed evening finding a suitable rope to carry out the ghastly act. I shudder to think of his final thoughts, as he put his head through the garland of death.. and in one horrifying moment, kicked the chair.

It’s not that he didn’t try to live. He tried desperately.
— Yameen Rasheed

December 7th 2010

Sheikhs, Lies and Videotapes (Original / Archived)

Just last week, the state Minister for Islamic Affairs said that he ‘does not believe’ there are any Al-Qaeda terrorists in the country.

To quote Minivan News: “Although stressing his belief that the country has no Al Qaeda-style organisations, the State Minister said it was important to counter and not give any opportunity for more radical, extreme forms of Islam to take root in the country.”

Aren’t we glad to hear that? Not only are there no terrorist groups in the country, but this brave defender of the faith is right there on the frontlines to prevent radicals and extremists from ever taking root. In other words, Relax citizens! Everything is under control. Bruce Shaheem Wayne is on the job.

But wait. What’s this? Oh no. Wikileaks reports that in fact.., Al Qaeda IS very much active in the Maldives.
— Yameen Rasheed

December 9th 2010

Attn: Maldives Police Service (Original / Archived)

Dear Maldives Police Service,

I know we have a love-hate relationship. And I know things have been hard recently for both of us. I sometimes find it hard to acknowledge it, but I do realize it is not your fault that your government is controlled by the Taliban. I understand it is your job to keep a tab on critics of your Wahhabi Ministry. So believe me. I absolutely, totally understand your need to snoop on my blog.

Having said that, there are some lines that should never be crossed, and today you crossed it.

I got a comment in my inbox today from a certain ‘msathyh@hotmail.com’.

””It is my right as a citizen to demand a secular state” go brother go! so finally the words are coming out from you. the real reason why you are back is clear. you write everything openly but you deny to your family saying that you’re not against religion but against politicians. huh!! must salute your humanitarian.. you never raised concerns for victims of rapists or in fact no any other issue beyond the beard and sheiks. what a pity!”

Now, that’s a perfectly valid comment. I am charged with not raising concern for victims of rapists.

(Unfortunately, this allegation is not true at all because I consider all sexual activities with children as rape of the worst kind - a rape of innocence. I have strongly condemned all pedophiles / pedophilia-promoting sheikhs in the past. One Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips comes strongly to my mind)

I also understand that msathyh is probably not the most technically competent person alive. Being a police media official, however, she should ideally be familiar with the concept of a Google search. I understand that the Police Service has better things to do with its funds (like snooping on bloggers, for instance) than to train its officials in basic life skills.

So, me being the kindly nice person I am, let me present a Free Tutorial for msathyh, and any other police official denied such basic training.
— Yameen Rasheed

January 26th 2011

Before you kill me... (Original / Archived)

My anonymous death threat count went up again.

The latest one follows an article published on Minivan News. (By God, the best article written in the history of random chance, repeated mutations and brutal genetic selection! Do read it.)

The sinister comments were, as usual, characterized by trademark hilarity and merciless rape of logic.

Islam-Hasan on Sun, 23rd Jan 2011 8:17 PM
”He is a real atheist he should be head chop. His main aim in this article is very clear that he trying to convenience Christian religion.”

Let’s go over that statement one more time: I’m a “real atheist” who’s trying to “convenience Christian religion” (?!!) and therefore, naturally, I “should be head chop”.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Also, “head chop” has instantly shot to the top of my all-time favourite rib-tickling fundie phrases right after “do gay with hilath”.
— Yameen Rasheed

February 19th 2011

Comparative Religion (Original / Archived)

My old friend Shaheem gave an interesting interview today.

It seems the former State Minister of Islamic Affairs wants the recently instituted Maldives National University to teach ‘comparative religion’ - i.e., the study of religions other than Islam.

In what would certainly have come as shocking news to many of his followers, he said that the mere knowledge of other religions doesn’t automatically make one a non-Muslim.

That is all very well and good - You all know how enthusiastic I am about opening up broader avenues of information for all Maldivians. Understanding other faiths, religions and customs would go a long way in reducing the terrible national paranoia that grips the Maldives today.

You might remember Shaheem as the guy pushing to enforce the Religious Unity Regulations drafted by his ministry some months ago. So pardon me when I say I’m more than a little bit skeptical when he mentions ‘Freedom of Expression’ and ‘Human Rights’.

To recollect some of the clauses of those regulations:

(27) (Prohibited Activities) Talking about religions other than Islam in Maldives, and propagating such religions.

(27) (Prohibited Activities) Talking about the culture and traditions of other religions in a way that aims to coerce a person’s mind to favour those religions; or any attempts to create such a spirit amongst the people.

(30) - It is illegal in Maldives to use any kind of medium to propagate any religion other than Islam; such media shall not be used to share or exchange information that may stir interest in any other religion.

(31) - In Maldives, it is illegal to translate into Dhivehi, books or various other sources of information on other religions, and print, distribute or spread such material.

(36) (a) It is illegal to provide education on any religion other than Islam anywhere in Maldives.

In fact, it is hard to find a single clause in the entire document that wasn’t a clear clampdown on independent thinking, research, free inquiry or free thought - all of which are absolutely crucial for any meaningful pursuit of knowledge.
— Yameen Rasheed

March 30th 2011

Politics and Religion (Original / Archived / Archived full article on Minivannews)

On the walls of Cairo, posters signed by the Muslim Brotherhood were put up declaring that it was the ‘spiritual obligation’ for all Muslims to vote in favour of the referendum, which many believe gives the Brotherhood – the only organised opposition – a strong edge in short term elections. It is an outcome that many secular Egyptians, and the large Coptic Christian minority in Egypt are loathe to see.

In each of those posters lies one of the most crucial questions of our times – can democracy survive under the shadow of Islamism?
— Yameen Rasheed

April 11th 2011

Doublethink Culture (Original / Archived / Archived Full Article on Minivannews)

The national doublethink is no doubt helped by the country’s dramatic swing from a heady, westernised disco-era to a rigidly conservative religious society almost overnight.

The 2008 Maldivian constitution forbids any law or regulation that contradicts loosely defined ‘tenets of Islam’.

In May 2010, the Maldivian government invited salafi preacher Zakir Naik who, during a heavily promoted lecture televised on prime-time national television, proclaimed to a gathered audience of ten-thousand, that income made from tourism was ‘haraam’.

But as recently as last week, the President of the Republic, Mohamed Nasheed, reiterated that the tourism industry – fueled by alcohol and, as the Mullah prefers to put it, ‘fornication’ – is the mainstay of the country’s economy that must be safeguarded at all costs.

The easily inflammable pseudo-religious groups that assemble on the streets at a moment’s notice to protest against everything from news editors to co-education, gathered in in late 2009 to protest against the restricted sale of alcohol in ‘inhabited’ islands.

Nevertheless, their screeching rhetoric against the sale of alcohol in the capital was in stark contrast to their meek acceptance of the availability of alcohol on the adjacent airport just five minutes away.

It could also be contrasted with their monk-like silence on the widespread child abuse and pedophilia, reports of which have hit local media with alarming frequency throughout the past year.

The same government alternatively claims that tourism is haraam and absolutely vital. The same television channel that plays music throughout the day also airs religious programs that proclaim music is forbidden. The same school that teaches that bank interest is forbidden in Islam also teaches students modern banking, and how to calculate interest.

The effect of this national doublethink on the young Maldivian democracy is a cause for concern.

Citizens who have given up the intellectual tools of reasoning have also inadvertently given up their ability to choose, leaving the country vulnerable to either sliding back into a dictatorship, or morphing into a theocracy.
— Yameen Rasheed

May 2nd 2011

Shariah not a solution (Original / Archived / Archived full article on Minivannews)

Yesterday, the Adhaalath party organised a large rally at the tsunami monument in Male’, to demand the implementation of Islamic Shariah in the Maldives.

The party was joined by “hundreds” of pseudo-religious NGOs whi lent their collective voice to the clamour for Shariah, supposedly an antidote to ‘murder, violent assaults, robbery, rape and drug abuse’ in the country.

“The whole nation is threatened and institutions have failed,” the party said in a statement. The ‘only solution’, according to large banners put up across Male’, is Islamic Shariah.

What the Adhaalath Party and its friends fail to mention here is that by ‘Islamic Shariah’, they’re referring to a single interpretation of Shariah suitable to their rigid world-view – a minority opinion among the world’s many Muslim schools of thought that all hold different views of Shariah.
— Yameen Rasheed

May 25th 2011


The decomposing corpse of a dead baby was found in a polythene bag, in the park near the mosque in Hulhumale’ yesterday. The baby was possibly strangled to death by an underwear wrung tightly around its frail neck.

Two days ago, a three month old foetus was found discarded in a tin can, hidden in the bushes on the adjacent island of Vilingili.

Earlier this month, the corpse of another foetus was found underwater at the swimming track in Male’, with cuts and wounds to its head and limbs.

Just a few months ago, yet another baby was found – still breathing – abandoned near a cell phone tower in Hulhumale.

Much has been written about the apparent increase in such cases, and the need to bring the perpetrators to justice.

But even as the tide of outrage swells and recedes with each breaking story of a dead or mutilated baby found abandoned in the islands, there is the issue at the heart of the matter that the worthy, indignant citizens have yet to address.

Dhivehi social attitudes, dictated by religious mores that lay greater stress on appearances and labels than on any visible code of conduct or value system, have created a society where pre-marital and extra-marital sex is widely prevalent and tolerated, but open discussions on contraception and sex-education is still taboo.
— Yameen Rasheed

May 27th 2011

It's going to be fine! (Original / Archived)

Meanwhile, the woman didn’t seem to notice that her younger hunter-gatherer son had crawled into the tiny, dark and dirty space between the legs of a tetrapod near the edge of the water, with a wave rapidly approaching from the distance.

Or more likely, she didn’t give a damn – because the lady then proceeded to place her two year old girl over the wall, to play by herself on the hard, reclaimed sand full of sharp pebbles and broken coral stones.

My friend and I watched astonished (she could barely get past the first sentence of her sorrowful narrative thanks to the boys, and had long given up trying) as the five year old miraculously avoided drowning by emerging from his tiny, dirty alcove in just the nick of time, holding a large crab.

The mom gazed serenely in the golden sunset, as her three little children trampled all over Nature’s carefully laid plans, cheating death and defying disability as they frolicked around on slippery concrete slopes, clawed creatures and razor sharp stones.

Only once did she flinch and let the word escape her lips, “Careful!”

The young girl giggled. The eldest boy waved charmingly to his mother, reassuring her with his most sincere, pleading eyes. “It’s all right, Mum!”, he said, “I’m going to be fine!”

“Really! I’m going to be fine!”
— Yameen Rasheed

June 6th 2011

Escape (Original / Archived)

More than anything, a man craves inner peace and shelter. After nearly two years in the Maldives, I don’t feel I’m closer to either.

Often, there’s the urge to leave it all behind - and reduce life to its lowest terms: No possessions, no property, no trivial pursuits of pointless material pleasures and to free oneself from the burdens of relationships and social entanglement.

Maybe it’d suck, maybe it won’t. But that’s beside the point.

Nobody has managed to capture this thought quite like Henry Thoreau: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

I have a few things to see to, before I can actually jump ship. But every time I feel lonely or alone, I find a bit of me dreaming of the moment.
— Yameen

June 11th 2011


On Monday June 6 the Adhaalath Party released an ominous statement claiming that allowing the Israeli national carrier El Al to fly to the Maldives is “a threat” to the country’s economy and statehood.

Maldivian authorities have announced that the airline could begin operations in December this year.

In a valiant effort to shoulder the unwieldy burden of speaking for the 1400-year old Islamic faith, the Adhaalath Party has responded to the news by threatening “nationwide protests”, exhorting citizens “who love their religion” to join them.

It has become absurd theatre to watch the Mullah reach for the raw teats of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and milk the tragedy for all it is worth.
— Yameen Rasheed

June 20th 2011

No, you don't. (ORIGINAL / ARCHIVED)

There’s a strange phenomenon occurring in the Maldive inter-webs that I cannot explain.

For some reason, a lot of people appear to be commenting on the Internet lately, brimming with “inside information” about me. They usually start off right away with “I know him very well” - thus establishing that they’re intimately familiar with me personally – then, with all the credibility of an anonymous Internet comment, proceed to narrate fascinating trivia about me that I’m often yet to discover myself.

This isn’t exactly new, of course. After all, people have in the past mysteriously recollected having coffee with me where I was “openly” dissing their religion - along with a bunch of other people. The problem is, I’ve never even met some of these alleged co-conspirators in real life.

Another time, I got a panic-stricken call from a relative who’d just heard that I was “taken away” the previous night for “interrogation”.

Just go over that in your head. Someone somewhere felt an inexplicable compulsion to invent a story that went something like “yaamyn was taken to the cops last night for interrogation”. It boggles the mind.

Much more recently, I received information that I have also been busy hacking into Police servers.(WTF?)

Then there’s the guy with the anonymous “News” website, (“adducommunity”, was it?) who is privy to “inside information” that I mingle with the upper echelons of the ruling party – and considered this worth publishing as a story as well.

An anonymous commentator on Minivan News, who also miraculously “knows me”, confirmed that I am actually ‘an innocent boy’ – it was, in fact, “evil” Minivan News Corp that was at fault. Apparently, they were ‘tricking’ me into writing. Oh, poor me, then.

In another anonymous comment published by Minivan, one genius “knew” that I was yaamyn the blogger who, apart from his day job as programmer (and night time crime fighting duties-), also finds the time to write, produce and animate an entire TV series - resulting in the Maakana show producer, my namesake, complaining of getting harassed.

Detective “heck” then appeared on the scene to connect the dots and add 2+2 to end up with an absolutely fascinating conspiracy, and unearthed the unholy nexus connecting me straight to the President of the Republic.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 5th 2011

Maldivian Journalists. Screw you. (Original / Archived)

I have always believed there are two things that’ll ultimately bring about the downfall of our hard-won democracy - a broken education system, and an utterly incompetent media.

Reading Dhona’s blog today about her harrowing experience at MNBC brings back this old lament - why oh why can’t the Maldives have proper journalists?

Dhona writes about the MNBC, “...most journalists highlighted facts only to give some structure to their own opinions. One thing I was clear of that most Mnbc journalists could not separate opinions from facts” - which sounds exactly right. It corroborates perfectly with anecdotes I’ve heard from my friends in the media.

Now, the media’s lack of spine was understandable during the Gayoom regime, where the occasional publication that strayed into any controversy found itself shut down, and their editorial team behind bars.

But given the constitutionally guaranteed press freedom in the last few years, the media’s pitiful performance is plainly unforgivable.

It appears that a lot of this has to do with the old guard retaining their place - the same lackeys who were subservient propagandists for the Gayoom regime now occupy power positions in media organizations, and keep crowing about their new found love for journalism.

I am told that even when newbie journalists attempt to put out a decent, balanced story - the higher ups in the established media rewrite/censor it in a manner most conducive to their present interests.

Misinformation is rampant - even if it is done by subtle tricks of omission.

For instance, one former Haveeru journalist revealed to me the practice of the paper dutifully reporting news wire stories of dead Palestinians, but simultaneously ignoring cables about Israeli casualties - presumably because it didn’t neatly fit into the narrative that has been presented to Maldivians for decades.

Even a deaf, blind man would gag on the nauseating commentary on DhiTV - a TV channel that exists purely for opposition propaganda purposes, while pretending to be a “news” station.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 7th 2011

On Patriotism. And cheap footwear. (Original / Archived)

As it turns out, it isn’t 1995 anymore, and wearing cheap, nylon/rubber slippers is no longer considered ‘cool’.

Now, I don’t usually mind appearing uncool. I even carry a heavily scratched Nokia flashlight with an antenna and a number pad as a ‘phone’ - this, in a town where every high-school dropout who can spell his name insists on carrying the latest iPhone.

But the resistance to my choice of footwear was simply overwhelming. Everyone, from relatives to people I’d just met on the street, seemed to want to comment on it.

”What happened to your sandals?”
Um. I broke the last one. A couple of weeks ago.
”So... why are you in a ‘fen faaivaan’?
Er. What about them?
”Well, it’s a fen faaivaan, to begin with”
”What. they’re comfortable!”
”Maybe, but nobody wears those things, you know.”
But.. I. [defeat]

Apparently, it was so noticeable that people would identify me in a small crowd as ‘that guy wearing a fen faaivaan’, instead of something seemingly far more obvious like “that guy in a grey T-Shirt’, or ‘that guy who’s two heads taller than everybody else in the vicinity’.

The constant nagging was admittedly a heavy price to pay for my cheap footwear.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 15th 2011

Hate-mongering in Maldivian mosques (Original / Archive)

“Never! Not today! Not even on Judgment day! Never will the treacherous Jews or Christians have any goodwill towards you; having relations with them can never benefit a single Muslim!”

This piece of anti-semitic trash was playing from the loud speakers of the Islamic Center in Malé - the country’s largest mosque - while I was passing by it recently after work.

It was one of those daily ‘religious sermons’ organized for Ramadan - unless I’m mistaken and it was simply an innocent gathering trying to translate a Bin Laden tape for some reason.

The mullah’s message for the holy month seems to be the same as always.
— Yameen Rasheed

August 17th 2011

Religious Persecution in the Maldives (Original / Archived)

Woah, lookie here what I found!

Once again, a delegation from the Maldives had to face a UN Panel regarding the government’s efforts to eliminate racial and religious discrimination.

And once again, the spin masters in the Government have resorted to the same old, time-tested, two-faced approach of white-washing the institutionalized racism and repression of minorities at home, and presenting a sunshine and daffodils picture to the outside world.

For years, the Maldives has officially pleaded that we are a ‘special’ case, and therefore rampant persecution of religious minorities in the Maldives should not matter to anyone, and open abuse of basic human rights in this country can be safely ignored.

From the initial UN report:
”the position of the Government had been to deny the existence of racial discrimination in the country as the Maldives has a small homogenous population.. and the people are of the same origin, pursue the same religion (Islam) and speak the same language (Dhivehi)...

We enjoy the same songs, order the same soup, have the same DNA, share the same shoe size..
This argument is extremely offensive, because it suggests that Ismail Mohamed Didi, the young atheist Maldivian, who was driven to suicide last year after long-term harassment by family, friends, workplace and State religious authorities, was not really discriminated against, per se.

Heavens no! He just randomly chose to hang himself by the neck from the ATC tower early one dawn.

It is disgraceful that the MDP government is also resorting to this bizarre ‘we’re special and therefore exempt from practicing human rights’ argument, by perpetuating the tired old Gayoom myth of a ‘unique 100% Muslim society’.

Let’s be very clear on one thing. The Maldives is NOT a 100% Muslim country. It never was, and never will be.

There’s no nation in the history of civilization that has achieved a ‘100%’ uniformity in any ideology - simply because it is statistically impossible for a sizable society of thinking humans to all agree on the same idea at any given point.

In fact, the very concept of democracy firmly rests on this basic assumption that humans inherently have differences of opinion, and possess the ability to freely change this opinion.

Without this free will and the right to an independent opinion, democracy is utterly meaningless.

Forget democracy. Free will is the reason why Islam itself has so many schools of thought - because thinking people at various points of history arrived at different conclusions regarding religion and morality, and other thinking people chose to agree or disagree with them.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 15th 2011

Self-hating Maldivian (Original / Archived)

I usually try to avoid speaking ill of Maldivians – in case I come across as some kind of elitist snob who’s too good for his own country.

As it happens, I love my country. I’m absolutely fascinated by its culture, love the sound of bodu beru, curse myself for my inability to speak, read and write perfect Dhivehi (yet), and am exceedingly proud of my identity as a mahl.

In fact, I tend to think of myself as just slightly on the ultra-nationalistic side - and have on occasion quite literally considered adopting the traditional Maldivian sarong as my chosen attire. Regular readers would also know of my love for the traditional fen faivaan. They would also recollect that my first ever Op-Ed piece for a newspaper was titled ‘An Identity for Maldivians’ – lamenting the lack of respect we have for our own cultural heritage.

While I quite agree with most of my humanist friends that land borders that divide us into countries are often mere, meaningless imaginary lines - I also think that nationhood is decided more than by just imaginary geographical boundaries, but by a sum of a lot of shared history, values and unique cultural traits that bind us together, and I love that.

I appreciate it when some restaurants make their waiters adopt traditional Maldivian style clothing. I love to see women in the traditional, floral dhigu hedhun and libaas; love to see the giant National flag proudly unfurled in the Republican square on a windy day, and I have an insatiable appetite for traditional Maldivian folklore.

And I assure you, there’s not a single soul in the country prouder than I am when our President gives a giant one-finger salute to the Mullahs, and goes ahead with his bodu beru dance routine.
— Yameen Rasheed

September 18th 2011

The Right to Remain Silent (Original / Archived / Archived full article on Minivannews )

When a non-Muslim man publicly declared his disbelief in religion at a well-attended public lecture by Dr Zakir Naik in May 2010, the preacher on stage reacted with wide-eyed surprise and told his audience he was told the Maldives was a ‘100% Muslim’ society.

Now that he knew better, he corrected the statistic to “100% minus 1”.

The new statistic did not sit well with certain local Islamist NGOs and by day break there was already a press release demanding the man’s death, failing immediate repentance.

After a couple of days of national pandemonium, with multiple online groups demanding the apostate’s murder, order was finally restored when the man publicly declared his faith in Islam and apologised for the “agony” he had caused.

However, this delicate balance would be upset again less than two months later when another non-Muslim Maldivian, 25 year old Ismail Mohamed Didi, was discovered hanging from the ATC tower of Male’ International airport.

There was a swell of outrage – not because a young man was driven to suicide – but because news websites had published emails he’d sent to aid agencies shortly before his death.

Other reactions were even more confounding, with some even suggesting that the whole thing was a devious plot by “enemies of Islam” to undermine National Security – what other motive could possibly have led him to choose to so publicly hang himself from an airport tower?

Maybe it was because he had worked there for seven years? Maybe he was unable to handle the combined stigma of an internal workplace investigation, and ostracism by friends and family after he – in his own words – ‘foolishly admitted’ his non-religious views to his friends? Perhaps he thought his life in the Maldives was worthless and devoid of any value if he did not keep paying lip service to a belief he did not feel?

Perhaps he should have just exercised his right to remain silent. But he didn’t, and the sacred statistic tragically changed to ‘100% Muslim minus one dead man’.

Then in August 2011, reports emerged of a Maldivian girl in a southern atoll who professed to be non-Muslim, once again changing the statistic to ‘100% Muslim minus one dead man, and one deviant girl’.
— Yameen Rasheed

October 6th 2011

The Humiliation of Fareed (Original / Archived)

When the Religious Unity regulations turned out to be an anti-climax - with what was supposed to be the Adhalaath party’s grand strategy to forever rule the country becoming, instead, a restraining order of sorts - the Mullahs reacted with fury.

The Islamic Foundation of the Maldives’s favorite speaker, the Jew-bashing, misogynist Mullah Fareed bravely stepped on a prime time MNBC One TV debate show to tear down the regulations, armed with his usual theatrics and bravado...

... only to have his ass handed to him by Ibra, who was defending the regulations.

The lesson to IFM is this: Never send a fanatic to debate an academic, or he’ll end up looking as ridiculous as Fareed in the below videos.
— Yameen Rasheed

October 17th 2011

DhiTV fails at Science, Reporting (Original / Archived)

Misinformation is a plague.

Tonight, DhiTV reported that a Swedish “scientist” had made an announcement at a conference in India that suggests Anni was lying about climate change and the threat of sea-level rise.

The reporter then plunged into a long report about how ‘scientists’ now claimed that it is proven beyond doubt that sea-levels are not rising in the Indian Ocean, and if anything, it was actually receding causing islands to grow in size.

Resorting to the time tested use of clever weasel words, the report also helpfully added that “some people” were now claiming that President Nasheed was only making these tall claims abroad to boost his personal image.

What DhiTV failed to mention was that Nils-Axel Mörner, the said “Swedish Scientist”, is a known climate-change denialist - and has been thoroughly discredited by the mainstream scientific community.
— Yameen Rasheed

November 9th 2011

Sun Online feels threatened by Jesus (Original / Archived)

A Sun Online magazine report I read today suggests that at least one of its reporters has begun seeing Jesus Christ in SAARC promotional posters hung at airports and other public spots around the country.

According to the report, images of Jesus were accompanied by the slogan “building burijus”, which is no doubt some kind of secret, subliminal Zionist code for leading pious Maldivians astray.

Being a responsible news media, Sun Online protects its readers from Jesus by publishing a poor quality photograph of the offending banner clumsily placed on one side (which I have reproduced here cropped and rotated 90° in Paint, out of concern for your necks)

This might seem funny to my average reader, but I assure you this is no laughing matter.

As I have previously pointed out on this blog, Maldivians are perhaps the world’s truest Christians - being the only population in the world that is seemingly just one visual stimulus away from dropping their Islamic pretenses and following in the path of Jesus, their Lord and Saviour.
— Yameen Rasheed

November 19th 2011 

Censorship again. (Original / Archived)

The other day, I alerted Hilath that his website was not accessible.

He wasn’t in Male’ at the time and sounded surprised, and said he would check with his webmaster and respond to me.

Sure enough I got the following SMS the next day:

”Dhiraagu has sent an e-mail to my webmaster saying my website has been officially blocked due to an offical request from Telecommunication Authority of Maldives”

According to him, the email sent by his hosting provider gave no reasons for the ban, nor any word on who originally demanded the censorship.

A Sun Online report the next day, however, carried a statement from TAM saying that the ban was carried out at the behest of the Islamic Ministry, which is run by the same Adhaalath party mullahs who are often heavily criticized by Hilath in his posts.

This is worrying for several reasons. When a so-called democratic government assumes the power to unilaterally silence its critics without any notice, then you know that tyranny has taken hold.

It is even more alarming when you realize that this was no formal media organization or news website. It was a citizen’s personal blog that has been shut down by the self-appointed gatekeepers of Islam.

Now, Hilath’s blog needs no introduction.

The man has been pushing the boundaries of free expression in the Maldives, speaking openly about fanatic wahhabism, gay rights, and the all-round hypocrisy of the Maldivian state - a country that has in recent weeks virtually become unadulterated pornography for anyone who gets off on intolerance and bigotry.

At least the burnt, smashed and petrol bombed remains of the SAARC monuments in Addu could be explained away as the actions of crazy fundie idiots who are incapable of reasoning, and whose hatred and paranoia is known to explode into all-too-familiar violence and destruction.

But when a government run by the Maldivian “Democratic” Party, led by President Nasheed who was once a condemned journalist himself, goes about censoring websites and silencing critics, then it is time to sit up and take notice.

This isn’t, after all, the first time this government has clamped down on free speech. In the first few months after coming to power, the government shut down a dhivehi language Christian website and several other websites critical of the Adhaalath party mullahs.

Apart from this, the government intelligence agencies continue to spy on citizens’ personal communications and police personnel have been discovered to anonymously harass ordinary citizen bloggers, including me.

Today, the hollowness of Anni’s promises of making the Maldives ‘a haven for dissident writers’ lies exposed.

Instead, the message is quite clear: kneel down before the Islamists in the government, or they will gag you and force you into submission.

If anyone still has any illusions that we’re living in a democratic state, they can lose them now.

— Yameen Rasheed

November 26 2011

A toll on liberal voices (Original / Archived / Archived full article on Himal SouthAsian)

A recent ban on a blog site is just the tip of growing religious intolerance in the Maldives.

As the Arab Spring continues to bloom, with Syria and Yemen on the verge of democracy – after Libya, Egypt and Tunisia – there are some who propose that the Arab world can take its inspiration from the tiny island nation of the Maldives. On the surface, the idea is perfect: The Maldives is a predominantly Sunni Muslim nation which successfully toppled a 30-year-old dictatorial regime through a democratic uprising, and peacefully voted in a new government in the country’s first multi-party elections in 2008.

The Maldives is also hailed as an example of a Muslim nation which enjoys close relations with the West, including strengthened ties with Israel since 2009. And thanks to its young, charismatic and media-savvy president raising awareness about climate change, the country has been basking in the international spotlight.

A series of events in the past months, however, have left deep gashes in that picture-postcard perfection. Behind the façade of democracy, a culture of censorship and intimidation appears to be taking root in the young democracy.

On 19 November 2011, the Maldivian government ordered a ban on the personal blog of independent journalist and freelance writer, Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed (www.hilath.com) for allegedly publishing material in contradiction to Islam. One of the Maldives’s most well-known bloggers, Hilath has been critical of Islamic radicalism that has gripped the country in the past decade. By writing frequently about freedom of religion, gay rights and religious intolerance, he had been pushing the envelope in a society where the mainstream media exercises strict self-censorship, and where open discussions on religion are still taboo.

According to a statement issued by the Communications Authority of the Maldives, Hilath’s website was blocked at the behest of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. The Ministry cited Article 10 of the recently introduced regulations under the Religious Unity Act of 1994 which forbids the circulation of any content that is deemed insulting to Allah, the prophet, the Quran, the Sunnah, or Islam, as the legal backing for its move to ban the blog.
Hilath believes that the conservative fringe put the ban in place because it could not digest criticism. In 2009, his blog broke a story about male religious extremists keeping underage concubines, which was later confirmed and gained national prominence. ‘I have also been targeted for my liberal Sufi Muslim views,’ says Hilath, ‘because these beliefs go against the mainstream conservative Sunni ideology promoted by the government.’
In response to the ban, Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) issued a statement demanding that the ban be overturned, and adding that ‘the government should not give in to the fanatical minority but must do all it can to ensure that the media are free to tackle any subjects they choose. The Religious Unity Act should be changed to allow this.’
— Yameen Rasheed

December 11th 2009

A cowardly attack (Original / Archived)

Here’s how it happened:

A group of non-anonymous, vocally liberal, secular-minded Maldivians reached out to each other on Facebook. (And no. I promise I was not involved this time)

They had the same concerns as any other thinking, humane and considerate human being in the world would have about the lack of religious freedom and the oppression of minorities in the Maldives. In particular, they took the example of Ismail Mohamed Didi, the young non-Muslim air traffic controller who was driven to suicide in July 2010 after facing immense social pressure from the Maldivian society.

Knowing full well the dangers of standing up for something in a society as pig-headed as the Maldives, they nevertheless went ahead and decided to stage a silent protest on the Human Rights day, demanding Freedom of Religion.

One of them, Dhona, made a short video to publicize the event, which of course caught the attention of intolerant nitwits, too many of whom have an internet connection.

It also caught the eye of 2 of our honourable MPs, who I shall not yet name. Let’s just say they both belong to this certain political party that is run by a certain former autocratic ruler. (Yes, I can be very vague.)

Anyways. These 2 honorable MPs summoned Dhona via a mutual contact to a ‘meeting’ on Thursday to discuss what this planned protest was about. By the time she went, however, there was only one of them there.

Dhona told the MP exactly what had been planned - a group of Maldivians were going to gather at the Artificial beach, and sit in silent protest for the cause of freedom. The MP, for reasons not entirely clear to me, tried to dissuade her from “organizing” the event, going so far as to quote scripture. It didn’t work.

On her way back, however, the mutual contact who had been present throughout the conversation told Dhona to avoid going to the assembly, as things could get ugly. He also told her, about 2 days in advance, that they would target Hilath.

Oh yeah. When I said the bearded thugs were sent, I did mean they were sent. By who, I do not know.

Anyway, the group wasnt’ intimidated by the threat and went ahead with the plans. They assembled outside a fast food restaurant near the beach, as the main stage had been booked by a certain political party run by a former dictator.

Hilath called me at a few minutes past 4 to say there was a group meeting up and if I was joining. I would have, but I was busy working, so I didn’t.

Less than 25 minutes later, I’m informed that he’s seriously hurt. The hired pseudo-religious thugs arrived out of the blue. Without any provocation or notice, they went straight to attack Hilath, kicking him on the chest and aiming for the head with stones.
Dhona had the presence of mind to whip out her phone camera and start taking pictures, even as she was being threatened.

Hilath bled a lot, as seen in the pictures. In the struggle that ensued, some others suffered minor injuries.

The Police arrived, but by then the thugs had apparently left, but not before issuing more threats. One guy in particular, didn’t like the fact that he was being photographed. In fact, he didn’t like it to the extent that he has threatened to kill anyone who leaked his photograph.

So naturally, here’s his photograph.
— Yameen Rasheed

December 12th 2011

Sun, Sand and Intolerance(original / Archived / Archived full article on Minivannews)

Saturday’s attack on a group of people silently protesting against religious intolerance is just the latest in a series of orchestrated, well-choreographed acts of violence, hatred and intolerance sweeping across the nation in recent months.

Independent journalist and blogger, Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed, whose personal blog was censored by the Maldivian government last month, was among those attacked, sustaining serious injuries to the head. Others who attempted to intervene also suffered minor injuries.

Ahmed Hassan, one of the protesters, said, “We planned a silent sit down protest in order to make a statement over the lack of religious freedom for minorities, especially those who aren’t Sunni Muslims.”

“We are entering the fourth year of democracy but unfortunately, many basic freedoms and rights have yet to be achieved for all Maldivians. It is unacceptable in this day and age that non-Muslim Maldivians are discriminated against in their own country,” he said. “This is their country as much as ours.”

He further added “I would like to say to those that attacked us today that violence is not a part of Islam. Islam is a religion of love, peace and shura (consultation). The unprovoked attack is clearly an act of intimidation. We realize that as our movement grows, we could face many more such attacks, but we will not be backing out. We will not be intimidated into silence.”

Local writer and blogger, Aminath Sulthona, who was also among the protesters said, “These are not people worthy of being termed ‘religious’, but they are misguided thugs spreading terror and violence in the name of religion.”

Sulthona complained that the police at the scene failed to carry out their duties. “I was being openly threatened and verbally abused in the presence of a police officer who paid no heed to the man… I managed to take pictures of the attackers, but as soon as I got home I started receiving calls saying I would be attacked on the streets if the pictures were leaked.”

The injured protester, Hilath, has also previously faced death-threats over his vocal criticism of Islamic radicalism on his personal blog.
— Yameen Rasheed

December 25th 2011

The Intolerant Constitution (original / Archived / Archived full article on Minivannews)

12th century copper plate grants found in the Maldives reveal the blood-soaked, painful process of conversion of the Maldives to Islam. The Sultans of the day went through the trouble of bringing in Buddhist monks and beheading them in the capital.

The modern day Maldives takes a much simpler route. The 2008 Constitution unilaterally declares all Maldivians to be Sunni Muslim without the courtesy of so much as an opinion poll.

Maldivians in general are quite proud of the ‘100% Muslim’ statistic that is frequently bandied about. But it raises a few fundamental questions that are nevertheless extremely taboo in the Maldivian society.

At what point of Maldivian history has there ever been a public census on religion?

Does the Maldivian state even have the right to unilaterally declare a citizen’s beliefs? Which other Islamic State or Empire in Islam’s 1400 year old history has taken this liberty – and under whose authority?
— Yameen Rasheed