It is after the Madhaha program just after the Friday prayer broadcast on TV Maldives. Usually, the Madhaha program will go on until. This is my favorite program on TVM which I watch without fail every week. Suddenly at 1.25 pm there is the unannounced interruption to the program with the preaching by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom during the first Ihyaa Program of the month of Ramadan organized by the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs.
He is talking about information in this program, and the critical issue of verifying the accuracy of information that is spread over the complex networks using advanced technologies. He also mentions about disinformation and the use of it for strategic purposes by individuals; uncesored. He says the same is true for information about Islam today. He says we don’t know about the truth of the information we get through the media today.
He goes on to say that we should verify the information avialable through the media today by informed persons. He agrees that it would be a difficult thing to do.
Then he says that “Knowledge Based Society” is not a reality of today. Yet, that a knowledge based society is a reality of Islam. He goes on to prove this point from the Quran. [So, this is the point of his preaching on the first day of Ramadan.] The same argument he has given using the same verses for three decades now, each time on a different topic. The best part is that he does it everytime, as if it is completely new.
The front row is filled with peope who he need to educate on Islam; people who are most confused about Islam. They are the people in his cabinet and key government portfolios. The most interesting thing is that they can do this so many times a year and not give a damn about the teachings of Islam bestowed upon them by their beloved President.
The tone and intonation of the President’s voice and his gensture and facial expresssions clearly show that he is speaking to a congregation of people who are illiterate on the subjec that he is talking about. The faces of the school children in the congregation show that they are not hearing anything new; completely blank and confused.
Then he comes to the point, and says that the decision on the sighting of the moon for Ramadan can only be done properly by those who have the knowledge of it. And goes onto say that only scholars can only fully appreciate the greatness of God.
So, I can really understand now why a person like me cannot be a proper Muslim. People like me cannot appreciate Islam because we are not scholars like our President. Islam is a religion for the scholar and their followers. It must be the reason why, our country also has been turned into a country for the scholars and their followers. The rest can suffer in the gutters.
Then he corrects himself politically by saying that it is a must for any Muslim, to educate himself. That therefore, Islam is a knowledge based society. Yet, he doesn’t say that the Muslim societies are the most illiterate and backward societies in the world today. He doesn’t say that this is a gross neglect on the part of the leaders of the Muslim world who are more concerned about their grip on the people.
Listening to the President today and also on two occasions in the past week, I have a stron feeling that he will make an excellent head of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, when he retires from the current job.
As the speech came to a close, the two o’clock news is on. Now the top news of the hour is the President’s speech and the anchor reads her part and then again the President is on record saying the same things she said that he said.