Here’s the full story on the latest cycle of violence, kidnapping and appalling ass-hattery that passes off for “Islam” these days in the Maldives.
Apparently, if the Prophet were alive today, he’d be stalking people on Facebook, and leading a gang of petty hoodlums to kidnap, harass and torture young people off the street. This is what Islam is all about, after all, if you ask some “better” Muslims than I am.
First, the immediate facts:
A gang of allegedly 40-50 hired hoodlums have been going around abducting people on their hit list. The victims were then roughed up, “interrogated” – i.e., had their religious beliefs and qur’anic knowledge questioned and “tested”, and were made to recite the ‘Shahadah’. They were also apparently forced to hand over their Facebook passwords, and asked to identify the people behind some online Atheist/Secularist pages that appear to be run by Maldivians.
One of the victims was an administrator of this Facebook page called ‘Colorless’. Now, I have quite a few things to say about Colorless, and none of it is complimentary. Yet, tempted as I am to take an entirely neutral, non-committal stand on this abduction business.. it turns out I am not quite – and don’t want to be – colorless. Kidnapping and torturing people is just wrong.
The question now is, who is behind this?
As it happens, it is an exceedingly easy question to answer. Because what the mainstream media calls ‘vigilantes’ aren’t even attempting to keep their identities secret. The person who took over the Colorless page is this gentleman, who the Almighty appears to have graciously blessed with tough muscles and an impressively hard head.
Despite being a “proud Muslim”, he refreshingly makes no attempts to hide his identity or intentions – and is eagerly egged on by a coterie of fans. At first, I was tempted to believe it is his great faith in the Almighty that explains his total lack of fear or caution. But then, it could also be this:
Serendipitously, it turns out that the gentleman’s faith in the Almighty is further reinforced by the confidence he has in the country’s Home Ministry, and the Ministry of Wahhabi Affairs.
Apparently, these are pictures of recent meetings to discuss ways to deal with the problem of ‘atheists’.
For a moment there, I was almost impressed with his devotion. It is not every day you meet a non-hypocritical “true Muslim” Islamic warrior on the Internet. But, with all due respect, it’s rather easy to be brave when you’re attacking people with the sanction of the country’s security services and the Wahhabis.
Those were the facts.
Now, the larger picture.
Open secret #1 : The Maldives Police and Military services contain plenty of jihadist sympathizers. The day our jihadist chickens currently in Waziristan and elsewhere come home to roost, these proud men in blue and green will be among the first to join them.
With that in mind, here’s a screenshot someone sent me last week, taken from a Facebook page belonging to a media outlet of Maldivian mass murderers currently active in Syria, which taunts the police and names yours truly and President Nasheed among ‘countless others’ that they wish to ‘investigate’.
My first thought upon reading that was that this hapless gentleman (who posted the above threat) needs some remedial classes on proportion and ratios, for he thinks a guy in New Zealand “mocking a hijab” is at least as horrifying a crime as mass slaughtering of human beings in Syria.
My second thought was, of course, holy shit. I’m going to die.
Now, unlike our fearless Islamic vigilante heroes, I cannot afford to be brave. I do not have the backing of the country’s security services, and the Maldives Police Service has made it abundantly clear that they will NOT investigate any attack on me.
(They also refused to investigate the Hilath attack case, despite being handed photographic evidence. The Police intelligence at the time easily identified the individuals involved, but the investigation was not allowed to proceed)
For all my tax money that goes to pay their salaries, the only service I can get in return from Maldives Police is baton charges, random threats, harassment, and rude anonymous comments on my blog – and being prevented from voting in elections.
In what should come across as great news to Sheikh Shaheem and his boyfriends, anybody who wants to harm me will be in quite an excellent legal position, and need not fear for any consequences for there will be none.
So I can’t be brave, and yet, I can’t be willfully blind either.
This ‘Maldivian Atheists’ page has been in the news earlier this year, for posting the kind of stupid, provocative cartoons that is inevitable when a 14 year old gets access to an Internet connection. The Police announced that they’d begun investigating it in March 2014.
It is now June 2014, and this Bilad-al-Mass-Murder group has promised to “investigate” individuals too. Within days, the ‘investigations’ have begun, and it is apparently proceeding with the blessings of the Home Minister and Minister of Wahhabi Affairs, and the Police.
The objective, far as I can see, is to get rid of critics – not necessarily of Islam, but of the government and its Jihadist sympathisers, who seem to think the Adhaalath Party is a religion.
Free speech is clearly a worse crime than pedophilia and murder, after all, we have known murderers and pedophiles walking about freely in the Maldivian capital. But notice how there are no government backed vigilante mobs hunting them down.
I also point out that there are already renewed calls to shut down Minivan News, the only mainstream news site in the Maldives that allows a platform for free expression in its comment section.
Shariah4Maldives call for Minivan News to be taken down next due to comments published on page
— Daniel Bosley (@dbosley80) June 10, 2014
Once Minivan News is shut down, there will be only pliant, spineless, deferential news sources like Sun Online and Haveeru in this country – that can’t even publish a news story about the Pope, and would gladly help keep the citizenry in ignorant subservience to the state.
I’m not allowed to upload a news about the Pope bc it’s “irreligious” but apparently it’s OK to show idol-worshiping Hindi dramas on TV.
— Farah Ahmed (@farraah93) June 9, 2014
Plotting to kill someone because he/she said something on the Internet is literally the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard in my whole life.
And naturally, every stupid idea ever conceived has its die hard fans in this god forsaken country. Sample this:
Facebook page #DhivehiAtheists/MaldivianAtheists is sick! They should be killed!
— Khadhy (@Khadhdhie) June 10, 2014
Hama rangalhu kanthah kuraa goiy. Keerithi Rasoolaa ge cartoon kurahaafa dheenah joke jahaafa nikan thibeveytho balaabala.
— Shaff (@ShafrazNaeem) June 10, 2014
*sigh* and those are our ‘moderates’.
Below is a link to the said offensive page. Remember, you have a choice to NOT click on it, for you are armed with the knowledge that there are admittedly quite provocative cartoons and such.
Now, if you did click on that link, it was entirely your choice. You brought it upon yourself. Anything that happens as a result of your choice is to be blamed entirely on you and is nobody else’s fault. How is this a hard concept to get?
I do not use Facebook much, but I have vaguely known about the existence of that page from at least earlier this year. I simply have chosen not to visit it. This has served me exceedingly well.
All this fanatical violence and anger and state backed gangs. Ugh. Thank god Maldivians will ignore all of this, and retire to their familiar, cocooned existence of denial when the World Cup starts in a couple of days.
Meanwhile, there is a marauding mob with a hit list prowling on the streets.
[I just had the supremely depressing realization that if I get killed during the effing World Cup, it probably won’t even make it to the news. Tell mom I love her.]