A case of Rights

19 Sep

Freedom is a right. It is not always upheld by those who are appointed to serve and protect. Yet, the actions of a few do not represent that of the nation nor the institution they belong.

Eggsalad Annie * The Weird Wagon: Heinz Secret Recipe

A worthy and a very relevant piece of writing that brings to the fore, that the people who are to serve and protect sometimes fail to remember who or what they are to protect and serve. And the above link also reminds us of the challenges and the way forward for the Maldives on its way to becoming a liberal democracy that is both compatible and competitive in the global village.

I had a lengthy discussion on the subject with an expert in Male’ who argued that it is the collective decision of the people of the land that should prevail and that should be honored over the “rights” of a handful who garner the backing and the support of high profile international organizations. He said that we do not have to respect those who do not have the decency to respect the expressed positions of the people of the land.

The great majority of the people in this country believe that all Maldivians should be Muslim, as we have been for centuries. Then, is there a greater force that can compel that the Maldives should be a secular state with the freedom of individuals to practise a faith of their choice?


Posted by on September 19, 2007 in Democracy nd Reform


3 responses to “A case of Rights

  1. mhilmyh

    September 19, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you Shihab, for the clarification.Since we are a 100 per cent Muslim country as per our consitution, regardless of how many of us like it or not- we are all Muslims. And Maldivian Muslim who wants to renounce Islam and change to some other faith must face the Islamic law and be prepared to face the consequences of doing so including losing Maldivian citizenship unless the constitution is changed to allow non-Muslims to hold citizenship.Still I feel the state should not impose a religion on its citizens. Though I am not advocating for it, I feel having a temple some where for people of other faith is no reason why Muslims can’t practise Islam. Same sex is not allowed in Islam and Muslims should accept it becoz we are Muslims. Others can believe what they want about their sexual orientation and it is their business. But they should not try changing Muslims to accept same sex and that is not freedom of religion as I know it.

  2. Shihab

    September 19, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Dear Hilmy, He was actually referring to international bodies who vouched for freedom to intall houses of worship to practise other religions, change one’s religion after having embraced it (eg. the Malaysian case you highlighted), allow same sex partnerships, and so on despite the collective majority decision not to allow the same.

  3. mhilmyh

    September 19, 2007 at 7:51 am

    ShihabYou have shown some serious issues that needs addressing in our society.The Heinz Secret Recipe is a relevant example of the challenges to free speech even in the most liberal democracy of the United States.We should respect the collective decision of the people. I agree to this.What does the expert mean by saying we should not respect someone who doesn’t respect the collect will of the people? If such a person does not break the law by not respecting the people’s position, what should we do with him?

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