That battle had been won. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s 30 year rule had come to a close. Maldivians had finally arrived in the “anneh dhivehiraajje” (other Maldives) that was promised by Mohamed Nasheed and the Maldivian Democratic Party. A different Maldives. One with liberty and justice, where people would be free to express themselves, to be themselves.
It was in this intoxicating atmosphere of promised progress that Mohamed Nazim boldly asked Zakir Naik what the punishment for apostasy in Islam was. He said the question was important to him as he himself was an atheist. What was the penalty for him, he asked, standing in the middle of a crowd buzzing with shock and rage. One can only imagine the fear, clearly visible through his body language, that he must have felt at that moment. Naik, perhaps not wanting the bad press of a murder happening at one of his events, deflected the question and said that it would be up to the Maldivian government to decide. And decide they would.Read More