Imagine getting harrassed on twitter by a bunch of people you claimed didn’t know english or have smart phones 😂— ބ̸̤̯̍̏ު̵̩͔̬͑͝ރ̴̢̝͓̅ަ̶̜̌͊ކ̴̱̮̚ަ̶̹̱̥̽ށ̸̘͒ި̵̻̘̍̆͗❓🎈 (@Burakashi) January 27, 2019
The Maldives is one of the most oppressive countries in the world. It has a constitution that makes the lives of non-Muslim and LGBT Maldivians illegal. This makes life incredibly difficult for any progressive Muslims that want to bring about reforms as well as saying anything against extremist sheikhs will get you labled an apostate. Progressive Muslims like @moyameehaa (Ahmed Rizwan / Rilwan) and @yaamyn (Yameen Rasheed) who have spoken out for Maldivian minorities, progressive Islam, and secularism have been taken away from us. Sheikhs are not safe either, as one of the only moderately progressive sheikhs, Afrasheem Ali, was also brutally murdered in 2012.
First they came for the bloggers, and I did not speak out— Mohamed Shuraih (@MohamedShuraih) January 27, 2019
Because I was not a blogger.
Then they came for irreligious, and I did not speak out
Because I was not laadheenee.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak for me.
The greatest battlefield in the war for the hearts and minds of Maldivians is the internet. Bloggers like Hilath Rasheed have been the targets of escalating campaigns of harassment and death threats. In 2012, Hilath himself barely survived his neck being slashed. This was after years of attacks against people deemed laadheenee.
Maldivian extremists have used the internet for their terror and propaganda activities. One of the earliest Maldivian extremist groups, of which Rilwan was an ex-member, called “dot” or “dotu” literally got it’s name from “dot com”. Right now there are dozens of terrorist recruitment facebook and twitter pages, telegram, whatsapp, and viber groups, and websites brainwashing Maldivians with extremist propaganda.
Their latest efforts including making a list of Dhivehi Kaafarun (Maldivian infidels) on twitter (which twitter support refused to remove, the account is still active), and a telegram group called “MV Murtad Watch” (Maldives apostate watch). This has also not been removed despite even making the local news.
Maldivian extremists are free to spread hate on the internet. Especially if they use Dhivehi, a language that cannot be automatically translated. This means that the support staff of these platforms often don’t even know how to recognise hate and fear speech when it is written in Dhivehi.
Murtad Watch MV is still active on @telegram. They claim to not be making death threats.But they state multiple times the verdict for apostasy is death. After which they list pictures, names & personal info of alleged apostates. Calling stoning cruel is enough to get labeled one. pic.twitter.com/hqcOXAI0fb— ބ̸̤̯̍̏ު̵̩͔̬͑͝ރ̴̢̝͓̅ަ̶̜̌͊ކ̴̱̮̚ަ̶̹̱̥̽ށ̸̘͒ި̵̻̘̍̆͗❓🎈 (@Burakashi) January 27, 2019
murtad watch is like "these people are apostates & apostates should be killed. here are their personal info. BY THE WAY THIS IS NOT A THREAT"— 🎈Thihen Vany (@basneyheemaa) January 27, 2019
that's a death threat. why would police do anything? when these groups commit murder police's job has always been to cover up the murder
The troubling news yesterday was this. That tweeps are being forced to abandon social platforms due to a concerted effort by those that fear expression.— Hamid Shafeeu (@shafeeu) January 28, 2019
If we don't prevent such thuggery the vibrant internet circles that has positively influenced our society will be abandoned. https://t.co/S8DqwuETHT
I hope I have set the scene for you. An intolerant constitution that outright bans thinking and freedom of conscience. Extremists getting away with murder, and using technology as a means of oppression in a highly connected and tech literate society, while the multi-million dollar companies that run them turn a blind eye.
It’s so fucking insulting that Maldivians have to fear for their lives because of goddamn @telegram groups, but meanwhile there’s western experts writing books claiming we go gaga at the sight of an iPhone. I wish these terrorists didn’t use phones, would make our lives easier 🤬— ބ̸̤̯̍̏ު̵̩͔̬͑͝ރ̴̢̝͓̅ަ̶̜̌͊ކ̴̱̮̚ަ̶̹̱̥̽ށ̸̘͒ި̵̻̘̍̆͗❓🎈 (@Burakashi) January 27, 2019
Enter Francesca Borri with the radical insight that there is only one bookstore in Male’, all the while seeming to imply that most Maldivians don’t know English.
And that there is no local cuisine.
Page 39. “I think that the Maldives are the only country in the world where there is no local cuisine”.— Nash (@NashNasheed) January 26, 2019
Okay. Now this is going too far 😡
And that Maldivians are amazed by smartphones.
Page 53. “A text arrives and my phone lights up... there’s an ooh of general amazement because it’s an iphone and no one has ever seen an iphone here”. 🤦🏻♀️— Nash (@NashNasheed) January 26, 2019
Seriously @francescaborri? Starting to doubt that you were even in Male’.
Btw. Tweet sent from my iphone.
But perhaps most insulting is the fact that we’d give a damn about the Olympics when we could be watching football. Also how the heck do you reckon people cut up the “Battle of Aleppo” for broadcast television? Do you think they had an HBO style miniseries?
Hey @francescaborri what medieval technology do you think this Maldivian terrorist group used to post this to Facebook? A 🥥 ? Can you help decipher the strange language they’ve used to threaten my life? I’m sending this via economy pigeon. May it reach you safely. Pls send halp. pic.twitter.com/wNvYbd06kZ— ބ̸̤̯̍̏ު̵̩͔̬͑͝ރ̴̢̝͓̅ަ̶̜̌͊ކ̴̱̮̚ަ̶̹̱̥̽ށ̸̘͒ި̵̻̘̍̆͗❓🎈 (@Burakashi) January 27, 2019
You get the picture. A hastily strung together piece of orientalist trash that makes the situation worse for people suffering because of Maldivian extremists. The last thing progressive Muslim, non-Muslim, and LGBT Maldivians need is more misinformation out there. Especially not from someone with a savior complex.
How can you trust anything written in this book when it features so many blatant fabrications? Fabrications deliberately worded to make Maldivians sound like backwards people rife with extremism who can’t read and are technology inept.
Well I’ll have you know us Maldivians are backwards people who are incredibly tech literate. And we can read too, to the shock of the author who is currently at the receiving end of the wrath of Maldives twitter.
Here are some of the funniest and most insightful tweets directed at this latest savior who thought they could turn a profit on the suffering of the global south. These are the words of Maldivians speaking about their own country. Listen to them.
Dawn breaks in the civillized world..and @francescaborri wakes up to blinking of thousands of notifications on the declaration of war from the native barbarians of the Maldives..and is hit with despair on the realization 'damn the natives has i-phones' 😱— Aishath Ibahath (@AishathIbahath) January 28, 2019
When western "journalists" parachute in to a South Asian country and assume they know everything and that they are always right.— Junayd 🇲🇻 (@mjunayd) January 27, 2019
A Frenchman, who did the same, told me after visiting Maldives that Borri "took a lot of liberty" when writing her book. As in, she made up stories. https://t.co/wnBPUZgoi1
But you could see how it perpetuates an idea of Maldivians that’s quite patronizing, even to the extent of orientalism, right? I mean, I do agree that extremism is at a critical stage here, but surely that could have been said without this inaccurate depiction of the rest?— Aryj (@Arrryj) January 27, 2019
So tell me, how did you come up with this shit? 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻 I graduated in an IGSE Cambridge examination back in 2008...from my island. Got an A in English. Even starting primary school, I had access to books from authors like Enid Blyton, R.L Stein and Louis Cooper... 🤦🏼♀️— ShinyShine (@ShinyShine18) January 27, 2019
When someone from the global north decides to do a book about one of the smallest countries in the global south without much research and one that won't easily be scrutinised for the factual inaccuracies, with sweeping generalisations, this happens. Awesome thread btw https://t.co/0TKA9KmHV4— Ahmed Tholal🎈 (@Tholman_79) January 27, 2019
Oh look, @francescaborri what do we have here:— Hawwa Shakeela (@HawwaShakeela) January 28, 2019
Two books that were sold in bookshops in Maldives...
Written by Maldivian authors, in English language...
On Maldivian cuisine...
Edited by Maldivians too. @7StoriesPress Seems like you’ve been caught peddling drivel. https://t.co/hWaVwZkG3n
It’s funny as fuck bcz you all crying about misrepresentation and erasure in this book, while 90% of you are complicit and guilty in the erasure and subjugation of minorities, your own people ffs. Fuppaafa 💯 islaamey FK in maraashey kiyaane aneh neyvaiga. You trash as fuck— ekoe (@ekoemikoe) January 27, 2019
(rough translation of the dhivehi sentence: “All puffed up, saying something about Islam and how we need to kill the gays with the other breath.” [FK stands for Firihen Kulhin - homosexual men, or Firihen Kulhi - gay sex. Both are often used as a slur by homophobes. It’s common sight growing up to see it scrawled across the walls of school toilets, usually followed by the name of the person. Like “FK Adam”. This is done to intimidate LGBT students and students suspected of being LGBT. ] )
What is internet? What is tech? What is proliferationalizationism?— ޖިންނި އަލީ 🎈❓ (@shaari) January 27, 2019
(“Dhon meehaa” literally means “fair skinned person”. It is the word used by Maldivians for “white people”. And it’s true, turn a Maldivian upside down and shake them little. The contents of an Apple Store will fall out).
*Maldivians saying shit at Maldivians*— ali. (@AliAHilmy) January 28, 2019
*some rihaakuru-hating faranjee says shit at Maldivians*
Maldivians: goaru hell
We— WTFazeelu (@Phasycxz) January 27, 2019
need a bookstore here in Maldives 😔
I think the verdict of this would end up like, i condemn thee @francescaborri to 1 year of internship at Divehi Bahuge Academy 😅 so that by the time she's done there she can translate this godforsaken book to Divehi so us natives could actually learn about ourselves— Aishath Ibahath (@AishathIbahath) January 27, 2019
Just had garudhiya, baiy, theluli faiy and theluli mas.— Junayd 🇲🇻 (@mjunayd) January 27, 2019
The height of Italian cuisine!
In Maldives we have no local cuisine to the point that when we attempted to make that shit, we sucked so much that we left it to cook for days and that is how we had rihaakuru and now we just eat that— thikujja stan account (@ahunafu) January 27, 2019
Hi @francescaborri Let's from up north shall we?— Hussain Jinan (@profEuLOGist) January 28, 2019
This is called Haalu folhi from north Maldives & it is so thin that it can be considered among the famous Indian roomali roti but it's entirely different concept in making, texture and eating.
📸: https://t.co/XtmLamb0aS pic.twitter.com/GSq097EpPd
At the end of the picture that sentence, is that saying the minority that speak English is rich and WHITE????— Sharlight❓🎈 (@sjaufar) January 27, 2019
Francesca Borri Vaguthu— Threefish 🎈❓ (@three3fish) January 27, 2019
(vaguthu [“time” lol] is a Maldivian tabloid rag that primarily posts moral panic inducing “journalism” about Maldivian minorities).
Maldives has no local cuisine?!? I wasn't bothered when the author called us all extremists cause that's just typical white people racist fear mongering but NO LOCAL CUISINE??— Faafa🎈 (@psychofart) January 27, 2019
Ive half a mind to make a thread about local cuisine & tag the author in it. https://t.co/QrpE3QPBcP
just because I am so offended I am going to write my whole masters thesis on Maldivian food— Malsa Maaz (@malsamaaz) January 27, 2019
Guys... This all because you people keep on making valhomas pasta and rehi pasta.— iju. (@iujaz) January 27, 2019
.@francescaborri says in her book, that at @VelanaAirport "Three children stare at me the way children in Africa who have never seen foreigners stare at you"— Maahil🌺❤️🍃 (@MaahilMohamed) January 28, 2019
😂 seriously! This book is offensive, very unethical and VERY unprofessional. Go throw your racist slurs elsewhere
I’m tweeting from my iphone while I’m eating ‘Rihaakuru ‘ u know.., local cuisine. 😎 After finishing my food, I’m going to the ‘book store’ next to my house with English Arabic n international language books. 🖕🏼that’s for u 😉— Jen (@jennasym) January 27, 2019
Hello uncultured jihadi Maldivians without bookstores tweeting using rocks and smoke signals or whatever,— insaan🎈❔ (@pikomonster) January 27, 2019
If you have a moment, please do send a messenger pigeon with your thoughts about @francescaborri’s book to google DOT com review
What’s what? Click https://t.co/822PDLTTgR https://t.co/uR1UpoAFkm
people are saying @francescaborri makes sense despite exaggerating some stuff. but i think her “exaggerations” demonstrate an extremely skewed, clearly orientalist perspective which entirely rescinds her entire narrative. she lacks any coherent context. what a silly woman— xiena saeed 🎈 (@dorinbakedbeans) January 27, 2019
Thanks @francescaborri. The roasting you're receiving is really entertaining. The tweets coming from iPhones are especially tasty. Almost as tasty as our cuisine, and now I'm craving some rihaakuru dhiya. Ta Ta, gonna go have some while I keep up with this roasting.— Nomura-sama has slain Nabith (@nabithahmed) January 27, 2019
What an ignorant writer @francescaborri is! Our school system is based on the English language since decades ago—almost every Maldivian can converse in English. Many physical+online bookstores in Male. I own an iPhone. Tweet at me and I will send you recipe for Rihaakuru Dhiya https://t.co/TA773n5PgQ— Maahil🌺❤️🍃 (@MaahilMohamed) January 27, 2019
Its from a parallel dimension...on Earth 51, maldives is like that 🤪 tuna has run out of the oceans and no more rihaakuru and palms sold to dubai hence no coconut for mashuni...— p3st (@p3st) January 27, 2019
Your portrayal of maldives as backwards and having little or no indentity of its own (except the one you try so hard to force on your readers) is proof that you wrote this on hearsay and some internet research done whilst sitting on your ass at home.— Ahusan (aka.Jack / Pusheen) (@awhosun) January 27, 2019
Such a shame you have such false information in your book on #Maldives, @francescaborri. Speaking of cuisines, my Italian friends when in Maldives prefer roshi+mashuni to continental breakfast. And speaking of iPhones, we have higher per capita cellular subscriptions than Italy! https://t.co/pH09QoM6lL— Professor Ugail (@ugail) January 28, 2019
Hi @francescaborri, there are about 4 main bookstores with multiple outlets in Malé and many independent ones that stock many titles in English.— 🌞 (@izznzz) January 27, 2019
This tweet was kindly translated to English by a member of the minority and sent from my garudhiya baiythashi. https://t.co/iSloEziYl1
Did I really eat anbu maja and shit fire out of my asshole only to be told that Maldivians don’t have a cuisine I-— scheherazade ✨ (@ayyshanada) January 28, 2019
We have many qualified people capable of producing an accurate assessment of radicalisation in Raajje that @francescaborri so spectacularly failed at. If one good thing comes of this, can it be that? Or is it only the dhon meehaa who can talk abt it w/out fearing for their lives?— Azka (@Azka__Anees) January 27, 2019
Nothing brings Maldivians together like a good roast 🔥.
Update: Just to add to the absurdity
I met with her. Specifically told her I had no interest in being quoted in anything and only met her once she agreed we'll just have a chat off the record. Ended up having stuff I never said printed in my name in some article she wrote.— EhJu (@EhJu) January 28, 2019
I was talking about a previous article. Didn't know I was mentioned in the book. Will take a look at the book and see if the words are mine. In any case, I didn't want to be named/published in anything.— EhJu (@EhJu) January 29, 2019
Borri walks in to a souvenir shop to buy a palm-thatch hat. The Maldivian Shopkeeper tells her that it is not a traditional Maldivian hat, but, Borri— a white woman from Europe— knows better. She knows that the shopkeeper's ancestors wore palm-thatch hats.— Junayd 🇲🇻 (@mjunayd) January 28, 2019
Is it Guatemala or Honduras? Later also referred to as Jamaican but who cares.— Sara Naseem 🎈 (@sara_naseem) January 28, 2019
And of course it's not the local who would know 'the hat everyone wears here', but @francescaborri. She's frustrated about being corrected because we don't fit her version of the truth. pic.twitter.com/mHLZUXWE1k
Reading through @francescaborri’s previous works & unsurprised by the racist narratives about Muslim communities, but still astounded she continues to get published. White privilege 🤷🏽♀️— Ish 🎈 (@IshAfeef) January 28, 2019
Her response to Maldivians in 2016 was equally apalling -https://t.co/3DDL0hnjmY
In a fun turn of events, Romana Rubeo, another Italy based journalist covering the Middle East, writes about the Hamas interview and calls Borri's writing "lacking in credibility" and a "typical orientalist intellectual". 🤭https://t.co/sa4PqL84e0 pic.twitter.com/1oL4pKfoAx— 🐐🐐🐐 (@immimmii) January 28, 2019
This is an open letter to @7StoriesPress @francescaborri @AnneMilanoAppel— くたばれ🎈 (@hoshiyoshii) January 28, 2019
An apology is needed from those who worked on Destination Paradise. This book is a misrepresentation of Maldives and perpetuates otherism and depicts an orientalist view of foreign cultures. pic.twitter.com/yHZiiWQHMB
Struggling to comprehend all this. An Italian lady writes a tone deaf, orientalist piece of trash that totally erases Maldivian indigenous cultural practices, has errors and fabrications, but is somehow recommended as “what SA is reading” to @Himalistan by some British expat! pic.twitter.com/J6s1ial0mg— ބ̸̤̯̍̏ު̵̩͔̬͑͝ރ̴̢̝͓̅ަ̶̜̌͊ކ̴̱̮̚ަ̶̹̱̥̽ށ̸̘͒ި̵̻̘̍̆͗❓🎈 (@Burakashi) January 29, 2019
Even @ahmedshaheed recommended this book. This is how the voices of global minority countries like the Maldives are drowned out. This is how lazy ass orientalist European writers can make a quick buck and career out of who can most successfully execute a gimmick about our lives.— ބ̸̤̯̍̏ު̵̩͔̬͑͝ރ̴̢̝͓̅ަ̶̜̌͊ކ̴̱̮̚ަ̶̹̱̥̽ށ̸̘͒ި̵̻̘̍̆͗❓🎈 (@Burakashi) January 29, 2019
And we’ve read the whole thing now too. Yes us stupid outraged Maldivians who were gonna burn down the internet over nothing. Yeah we read the whole thing, and it makes us wonder how ignorant and arrogant you had to have been think this was worth recommending at all. pic.twitter.com/DO95E0DBZ4— ބ̸̤̯̍̏ު̵̩͔̬͑͝ރ̴̢̝͓̅ަ̶̜̌͊ކ̴̱̮̚ަ̶̹̱̥̽ށ̸̘͒ި̵̻̘̍̆͗❓🎈 (@Burakashi) January 29, 2019
Guess I must have hallucinated seeing this local craftsman .
And this one as well.
I must be delirious from all the poisonous reef fish I’ve been eating.