Because fangirls are crazy, and that Affan dude from Maldivian Idol should seek an immediate restraining order, this week: aqeeda remains endangered, corruption is part of YAG’s nature, Vaguthu website is temporarily worth visiting, and President Nasheed drops by in Colombo.
These are short takes on the headlines of the week gone by.
Muizzu opens a Disabled Parking zone
Oh boy this is a good one.
— housing.gov.mv (@HousingGovMv) February 2, 2017
I am beginning to see why Muizzu removed the disabled-friendly pavements last month. You see, if you’re a disabled person in Malé, you could just park your wheelchair here and walk the rest of the way. Crazy how nobody has ever thought of that before!
But I keep coming back to that picture.
To begin with, it appears Muizzu brought 14 cans of paint – and a gentleman with a stick – just to draw a narrow white line around a wheelchair.
There were actual press people on the spot covering this – did none of them think to ask the Muizzu Ministry officials if they knew what disabled parking spots are actually meant to be?
And where did they get that wheelchair for the photo from? Is there a handicapped man patiently standing just outside the frame there waiting for this bullshit to be over?
So many questions.
Second Maldivian jihadist on trial for fighting in Pakistan
Wanted glorious death and 72 virgins. Wound up in court instead. Veri sed stori. I crei. 🙁
Raajje TV journalist’s trial resumes
Raajje TV’s Hussain Fiyaz Moosa is accused of “placing his right hand on a policeman’s chest and shoving him away”.
According to police testimony, it really really hurt.
The journalist denies the charges completely.
I’m not saying that the police is lying under oath to the court – but I should point out that they also swear an oath to Allah every morning vowing to uphold the law and constitution.
Meanwhile, two other Raajje TV journalists were also convicted on a separate offence, and fined MVR 28,800 each.
Vaguthu website defaced
This godawful shit-fountain of a “news” website operated by sexually frustrated teenagers was temporarily taken over by someone.
For a glorious few hours, the usual embarrassing rubbish on the website was replaced with content of much greater class, quality and journalistic value: explicit porn.
Unfortunately, they took down the porn and now the website is full of unholy filth again.
Maldives clerics roll out wide-ranging religious agenda
Some fifty Maldivian and foreign clerics gathered for a three day conference entitled ‘Do not overstep the limits set by Allah’.
They made a whole bunch of recommendations that I’m not going to recount here.
A few of those recommendations stuck out to me, however. Mostly the ones about ‘providing accurate information about Jihad’ to school children.
They recommended amending school curriculum, modifying textbooks and censoring media content in order to further control the religious narrative. This would help prevent young men from being ’emotionally compelled’ to engage in mass murder in foreign countries, they said.
Excuse me, but that is complete horseshit.
There is virtually no difference between the pan-Islamist jihadist ideology espoused by Al Qaeda and the Maldivian state ideology. It is religious propaganda by the Maldivian government that has cultivated the paranoid, simplistic, xenophobic worldview that plagues mainstream Maldivian society.
Literally every Friday, Maldivians are told there exists some sinister foreign cabal trying to destroy Islam in the Maldives. It is not the jihadists doing this, it is the Maldivian state.
The Maldivian state and jihadists work like a tag team. One sows the hatred, the other reaps the harvest.
The solution to this problem clearly isn’t more of the same. It is quite the opposite. We need less state control over mosques. Less airtime for mullahs in the media, less paranoid sermons on TV and radio, less thought control, and less room for them to dick around with school children’s textbooks and curriculum.
Maldives holds landmark conference on tourism and terrorism
Maldives Police Service and British counter-terrorism experts met with tourist sector personnel on Kurumba resort to discuss measures to protect tourists from potential terrorist attacks.
A single terrorist attack could cripple the economy, the tourism minister pointed out at the conference.
Now that ISIS is losing in Syria, and the wannabe martyrs are returning home, this sounds like a useful initiative.
(The government would gain some credibility in this regard if they put war mongering sheikhs in prison where they belong, instead of appointing them to top fatwa councils)
President’s announcement revives rumours about the sale of Maldives atoll to Saudi Arabia
There has been speculation for some time now that the regime intends to sell an entire atoll to the Saudis.
“The Saudi rulers have a special interest in Faafu Atoll”, said Yameen, talking about an unspecified ‘massive project’.
Observe the deafening silence from the Wahudat-Istiglol warriors who once went hoarse over an Indian company being given a contract to manage a local airport for 20 years?
Nasheed arrives in Colombo
President Nasheed arrived in Colombo. He met party officials, foreign diplomats, and a whole bunch of citizens who flew out to meet him.
Court throws out lawsuit challenging new call for candidates for local councils
The appellate court threw out the petition by MDP after their lawyer failed to turn up to the hearing.
The MDP lawyer, too, was in Colombo to meet Nasheed. :/
Police officers await January wages after Finance Ministry rejects salary sheets
“I can guarantee you 100 percent that there is no issue with cash flow,” a finance ministry official reportedly said.
That sounds suspiciously like the exact sort of thing you would say if you had cash flow problems.
Yameen dismisses concern over massive piling debt
“Those who shiver over the high debt we have to shoulder can keep shivering. We are going forward with this debt because we do not shiver”, said Yameen
I do not know what any of that means.
But I’ll let my grandchildren know they cannot afford food because we once had a president who, presumably, listened to Coldplay.
Bank of Maldives announces record profits
While they were raking in the moolah, the bank manager who blew the whistle on massive theft of public funds through BML accounts spent most of the year in jail.
Corruption is part of human nature: Yameen
He’s not wrong, you know.
Also, in entirely unrelated news, YAG has always struck me as a man deeply in tune with his nature.
MIRA celebrates collecton of MVR 2 billion revenue in January
Image Source: @MIRAmaldives
No, MIRA. No. You’re a state tax collection agency, not a for-profit company. So put the balloons and printed banners away, and go back to making incredibly racist video ads.
Maldives local council elections postponed a second time
The vote will now take place on April 15, apparently. Hey, take your time guys. It’s just elections, after all. Nothing super important, really.
(Also, not to suggest that the current Elections Commission is stupidly incompetent, but back in Fuwad Thowfeek’s day, they held several rounds of national elections, sometimes with about an evening’s notice)
Over 16 million in unlawful expenses by Health ministry in 2014: Audit Report
But Affan is cute, no?
Maldives will not yield to external pressures and introduce Freedom of Religion: YAG
If he ever goes a week without saying this, I’ll assume he has changed his mind.
Teachers sacked, suspended for wearing niqab
The Ministry of Education has sacked a teacher because she refused to take off her niqab in class.
I have conflicted feelings about this.
On one hand, the niqab is clearly a garment that seeks to exclude women from society. Also, laws and work place dress codes exist for a reason. She must have known about the dress code before opting to wear the mask. So, there’s a fair argument in favour of dismissing her just on those grounds.
But on the other hand, here’s a trained teacher – the only one available on the island, apparently – being barred from turning up to work at a school.
Should the response to an exclusionary garment be exclusion from the mainstream workplace? I don’t know a definite answer to this, but forcing a woman who wants to work to stay at home instead does not seem to me to be a very bright solution.