Is it a natural right to be gay?

10 Sep

One of the comments on Nasheed’s blog Talking Point states:

“Sir, could you clarify your personal position on gay issues. … Yourself being a lawyer, I would appeal you to respect our natural rights. Good lawyers do not always take the populist stand. They have to stand for rights of minorities.”

I found this comment very relevant to this point in time, in our social transformation from being an alleged dictatorship to a liberal democracy. And more so at a time when we are grapling with the identity of what it is to be Maldivian. (Shahuru has an interesting post on his blog ra:zuwa: on “how the rightful freedoms of a maldivian citizen should be defined”.)

Our parliamentarians in the Special Majlis who have been charged with drawing up a new constitution for the country; who have already cost us a million Rufiyaa per head of the “honorable” members, who have miserably failed to deliver anything concrete except to make a mockery of this nation and its public institutions; were so anxious to find out whether the people wanted a President or a Prime Minister to head their government. They lacked the interest and the intellectual resources to gage the pulse of this nation except one in which they had a personal and selfish interest: whether Maumoon should stay in power or not. Though the decision to replace or impeach Maumoon lies with the Parliament, the Special Majlis too seems to be busy with the executive rather than legislating what they have been paid for.

I would refrain from making a judgement on the goodness or the badness of homosexuality or the practicality of a state based on religion or not. However, I see that it is quite necessary to explore and come to a decision on whether the basis of the state would be following the religion of Islam or not.

And as I believe there is no distinction between fundamentalism and liberal Islam, because Islam is one and there cannot be several forms of Islam. Hence, the question is one that has to be tackled if the rights of the minorities will have to be taken into account in the reformed and modern version of the nation of Maldives.

I am honestly not quite sure we can fool Allah! Are we going to be credited with safeguarding Islam if we state in our constitution that all Maldivians must be and shall be Muslim. Can we also at the same time, allow for un-Islamic values and practises at the same time.

Take our schools for example. The values that we teach our children by practise are those which are the exact opposite of Islam. I am not saying that we have to be extremists in the practise of our religion. Yet we have to create conditions that promote the values of Islam, which we do not in our schools. We find excuses in the scarcity of resources when justifying our decisions, yet can we justify to Allah when we face Him?

My argument is that it is quite ironic to determine and to insist that all Maldivians must be Muslim when we do not create conditions for a “Culture of the Islamic Way” in building our nation.

We have to decide how tolerant we will be toward other faiths and beliefs, though we need not open places of worship of other religions in the country. A decision will have to be made how we will deal with open converts of Maldivian Citizenship to other faiths! These are the real issues. And everyone seems to be willing to shelve them till they erupt like a volcano.

I have posted a poll to find out the opinion of the visitors to this blog as to whether we should have a secular state or not. Your participation in this poll will be appreciated.


Posted by on September 10, 2007 in Democracy nd Reform


2 responses to “Is it a natural right to be gay?

  1. shahuru

    September 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Hilmy puts it right when he said ‘sensitive and complex’.Like shihaab says, should we stop insisting that we all be Muslims?Because we cannot practice Islam perfectly,Should we better stop trying to be perfect Muslims?,Because we cannot implement everything, everywhere,Should we stop trying to implement what we can and already do? Because we cannot teach all morals to our children,Should we forget about teaching morals as a whole or all we can?,Because we cannot do anything that perfect anywhere, anyway,Should we stop doing all we can and imitate what we think that others do perfectly well there?, Or Because we too are a people in time,Should we not bring intent on our destiny; or is it Europe can choose, US can decide, we follow is our fate, you tell me, I have no clue either?…………………….Like hilmy says; we aught decide whether it is rationally correct to have a religion in a territory or if we can at what territory?Home? Yes, for children because they are weak, we feed them? That’s why?Nation? No, because all adults (people) are not weak, some can challenge? Nowhere? Yes. No. why?This is getting too complex and sensitive, I guess!

  2. mhilmyh

    September 10, 2007 at 7:04 am

    Hi ShihabHere is my understanding of this sensitive and complex issue.Religion is sacred to human beings. We do not have to impose religion on territories like countries or buildings or other infrastructure.There is no complusion in Islam. Therefore whoever embraces Islam, does so out of personal conviction. Hence our constitution should not force Maldivians to be Muslims.Muslims are required to live according to sharia laws.The problem arises when politicians use religion as tool to gain political advantagewithout having any intention to practise religion as it should be done.Religion calls for social justice but our 100 per cent Muslim country is not the least bothered about it. The elites and powerful are able to get away by misusing their authority and trust, sometimes worse than what happens in secular states.One of the worst characteristics that Islam detest’s is hypocrisy. Because hypocrites lack a sense of shame and rely on lying it is very difficult for them to see common sense.Non-Muslims have a right to live their lives within common law and Muslims should be tolerant and should not deprive them practising their faith because of what they believe or don’t believe.

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