Category Archives: Society

Violent extremism in the schools of Maldives

Today I came across this amazing piece of writing, which – according to a friend, was circulating in Viber groups. The author is Mr. Ismail Shafeeu, who is said to have worked at all levels of the education sector over the past years and is currently pursuing his education further. (Kindly note below is a crude translation.)

“There are 2160 expatriate teachers who are teaching in the schools of Maldives this year – 2019. In the past years, we have had even more. Moreover, over 85% of doctors and nurses working in the Maldives are foreigners. And 90% of them are not Muslims.

The said expatriates live a peaceful life, with dignity and respect. If the schools in the country had a curriculum promoting religious extremism, would they have been able to live in peace?

As a person who have worked at all levels of the school system, I can confidently say that there is no part in the education provided in the schools that promotes hatred or violence against non-Muslims. The result is that (including myself) the most beloved of teachers of any Maldivian is either a Sri Lankan or and Indian. If schools promoted religious hatred this would not have been the case.

Therefore those who say that the schools in Maldives teach religious extremism are saying so without any basis. Such research is based on heresy, fabricated information, and lies produced by them. These will not be considered in distinguished academic discourse.

The great majority of those who have lost civility and good character are mostly those who have not completed the school system. They had not completed formal schooling up to grade 10 or 12 in a school. It is highly unlikely that a person who have completed and gone through a good education in their school days will have such extremist leniencies. This is sufficient to realize that the school curriculum in Maldives does not promote religious extremism.

Indeed. Allah has set limits in Islam to protect the fundamentals of the humanity, civilization, wealth and religious matters. Those who criticize religion do not want to be bound by those limits. It is evident from what they write. There agenda can only be achieved through the elimination of the Islamic curriculum in schools. Therefore they voice out against the basis of the curriculum which is the Quran the Ways of Prophet Muhammadh Rasool S.A.W. There can be no other reason.”

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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Nation Building, Neevey Adu Kon Adu, Religion, Society, Uncategorized


Building a culture of tolerance and respect

What can schools, colleges, universities, councils, NGOs and scholars do to instill a culture of tolerance and respect in the next generation of our youth?

I asked on Twitter. And there were some very thoughtful responses, including: (i) teachers need to show tolerance and respect through action and role modeling instead of giving advice on it (ii) empathy and respect needs to be taught – above all (iii) teach the akhlaaq of Prophet Muhammadh Rasool S.A.W. (iv) teach to read, learn and understand (v) build national unity on a common vision (vi) introducing nature play weeks (vii) community gardens and libraries (viii) reading to children, and engaging with them and having a dialogue (ix) teach chidlren the value of walking instead of riding on motorbikes.

These are all fantastic thoughts. I am sure there will be many more creative ideas and thoughts. The implementation needs to be decentralized I believe.

Building communities that are tolerant and peace loving and promote respect, should be decentralized and owned by the communities themselves. It should happen and be led at the island level in atolls and ward level in cities.

The central agency for building tolerance and respect should be the respective council or ward boards. Local players should fall within the jurisdiction of the community leadership, and the national mechanisms should provide resources and technical expertise. Not impose, but facilitate on request.

Tolerance and respect can only be sustained when it is the responsibility of communities rather than to serve the interest of officials elsewhere and detached from the communities.

If we don’t act now, we may be faced with a bleak future sooner than later.

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Posted by on October 8, 2019 in Civil Society, My Argument, Nation Building, Society


My Voice Counts

What a beautiful slogan it is! And indeed a meaningful and worthwhile one too.

The Human Rights Day message of the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN reads, “Everybody has the right to have their voice heard and to have a role in making the decisions that shape their communities. Each one of us should be able to choose those people who will represent us in all governance institutions, to stand for public office, and to vote on the fundamental questions that shape our individual and collective destines.” Read the full message here

The message is preceded by the qoute, ”

“Where we come from does not determine who we can become. … No matter who we are, no matter whether we are man or woman, or rich or poor: My voice, my right. My voice counts.”

The Maldives Human Rights Commission issued a seven line message which included a four line salutation to announce that it was also the 9th anniversary of the commission and to send greetings of the day to those residing in the republic.

Human Rights Day 2012











The commission also held a grand ceremony to mark the occasion at Traders Hotel, the top hotel in the country with the voice of the Vice President that counts in a nation where the average man seems to have lost his voice or say. In a separate function held at the Foreign Ministry, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs defended the position of her government on the human rights front and challenged accusations of negligence by stating that the Maldives holds the Vice Chair of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and that no country has expressed concern over the country’s human rights record.

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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Politics, Society


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The drug addict with a story that is really convincing

This afternoon I bumped into a guy who came up to me and greeted me with Assalaamu Alaikum. I returned the greeting. He spoke to me by name and asked me whether I knew him. I told him that I was trying to recollect where we have met and who he was, with a Smile.

He then asked me whether I know where I am from, and I told him yes! He said that when we become Male’ians it would be difficult to remember our roots. I told him it wasn’t and that I was still trying to recollect who he was.

He told me that he was from Hithadhoo (which is my home island) and said that he is a cancer patient. He showed me some scars on his hand and legs. He also said that he has come to Male’ to go for treatment abroad and that the person (he told me the name too) who sponsored his treatment had told him that he would have to board in Male’ himself while waiting to go to India.

This person (let’s call him Wisham) told me that since it was difficult for him to fend for himself in Male’ he has decided to go to Addu and he has come up to me to ask for assistance to pay for his passage. I asked him how much it was and he told me that it was 265.00 Rufiyaa. I asked him which boat he was going on, and he told me he was going to go on Aagalaa Boat.

At that point, I told him that I would arrange to pay Aagalaa Boat. I told him I will call them and that he could go. He then told me that he had a bad experience before where a person told him to stay in a guest house and when he had to leave this person was not there or could not be found to make payment.

I explained to Wisham that I have had similar bad experiences in the past and I cannot trust strangers to give them money. That I would be more than willing to help a person in need, as much as I can. He then got a bit upset and said that he was not comfortable taking money from a person who cannot trust him, and it would be alright even if I did not call Aagalaa to make payment.

He went unhappy and upset.

On my way back to office, I bumped into the businessman Wisham had mentioned. I shook hands with him and asked whether he remembers this person. After a while he asked me about the appearance of the person and the following is what he had to tell me:

One day Wisham met him by the mosque and he asked for some assistance as he was stuck in Male’ and did not have any means to look after himself, and was fighting cancer. This gentleman had given him 500 Rufiyaa that day. He said he had known him from somewhere with others he was friends with.

Later on another day he had again come to him and told a long story and had said that he was going for treatment abroad and was badly in need of money. He needed a few thousand dollars. The businessman, who usually did not take much money around with him, had a thousand dollars in his pocket that particular day and he had given Wisham the 1,000.00 US Dollars. He came across Wisham a couple of weeks later, and he asked how things were, and he was told that everything went well and that he was going back to Addu.

Then, much later he got a call from another friend, who inquired whether he had given a particular Wisham a thousand dollars for treatment. He said yes and he was told that this person had come to the other businessman saying that he had lost the thousand dollars and the ticket and the passport in the mosque and had come for assistance.


Wisham is going around with this story and it may be you that he will come to next!

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Society


Attention Seeking Behavior

I am sitting here at the Maldives Islamic Bank. There is a gentleman sitting beside me who is on his third phone call since half an hour.

He is speaking loud enough for everyone in the sitting area to hear. He is talking about his girlfriend, his wife and family, and his party. And also his relationship with powerful party icons and the party media outlet. It is really disturbing but I dare not say anything!

In the middle of all of this now he says this is my personal affair and nobody else’s business!

He is now inquiring about who would be the chair of the women’s committee. He thinks that it was fixed.

He is now again gone back to talking about who doesn’t take a “bit” when there’s the opportunity. And goes on to talk about who is whose “bit” and so on.

What privacy of the man’s personal matters!

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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Society


Luxury Living from taxpayer money for some while others are deprived of the basic health needs

It is very interesting!

I am sitting here reading a news item on Sun Online (Dhivehi Edition) which says that the auditor general has said that the People’s Majlis Administration has spent 50,000.00 Rufiyaa toward four dependents of MPs who are not eligible for dependent’s health insurance.

This means that the Majlis spends over 12,000.00 Rufiyaa towards the premium of health insurance of a dependent. The amount an honorable MP takes as health insurance would perhaps be higher.

It struck me because yesterday I came across a father of thalassemia child who was running up and down and going to one government office to the next, in order to get a test done, which cost a mere 1,500.00 Rufiyaa. This is November and the child’s insurance cover has dried up under the Aasandha Scheme. Now there is a cobweb of bureaucratic maneuvers which are required of the parent, which gives him only the hope that his application for the assistance may be considered.

This is the country we live in. A country run by a regime which will give preference to the elite in how the taxpayer money is distributed among the subjects.

I suppose I should not say too much. Our leaders have far important things to get embroiled in than take care of the socially disadvantaged and children.

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in CAWM, Society


Government and Customer Service

Reception Counter at a Government Office













I am at a government office. There are two people at the reception. One is attending to a customer, the other is explaining how to make saagu bondibaiy to someone on the phone. The conversation then takes a turn and she asks from the other person how to make a dal dish.

Finally I was attended to by another staff who came to the reception counter. I went in to meet a particular official, presented my case and came out. The roadha kurukuraa phone call was still unfinished.

I walked out with yet another episode of customer service in a government office.

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Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Society


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Challenges for today’s children

Today we live our lives with new found freedoms. It is what we achieved through vast sacrifices by individuals and groups later backed by well meaning sympathisers of human rights and democracy.

We have transformed from a society in the shackles of a mass collective mindset controlled by a dictator to one of beauty in the harmony of diversity which promote nirvana.

We wanted a decent life, free from oppression, absent of fear, and trickled with abundance and prosperity. That was our wish. We delegated our responsibility for this daunting task, to people who struggled for us and stoop up to oppression.

They embraced the new found responsibility a source of great opportunity and means to better themselves, their kins and their masters and soldiers. The people became an instrument of power and not the source of power. Power became a right of the servants of the ruled.

Confused? Yes, that is exactly what seems to have happened to the people. The people they entrusted their well being with seem to be good at two things – cutting deals to protect their interests; and fabricating lies that are sensational, to maximise their benefits.

Amidst all the drama and the confusion, children are watching it all. Sometimes the fanatics also actively engage children to maximise numbers and to indoctrinate children to be future active devotees of the cults.

Children grow up surrounded by role models whose success formula us arrogance, unreasonableness and complete disrespect for anyone except thyself. They see that the beauty of freedom and liberty is to have no bounds. Nirvana to them is complete pleasure and it has no values. The society they exist in have no social fabric.

AND. And, and… the bastards who claim they know everything, when it comes to children, they expect the children to be exactly like the saints of yesteryears – pure and respectful and dignified [whatever that means!] and peace loving.

Strong words, Yes! Wrong attitude, Yes! – that is what we need to equip children with, if they are to survive in this country as adults tomorrow.

Get Lost! [heybayyaa rakkaavey! – “thank you” in the new dictionary to initiated by Maldives parliament]

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Society


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Freedom of Movement and Democracy

Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shafeeu obstructed by a group of islanders from getting on to Kolamaafushi. | via Sun Online

The local media reported today that a group of islanders have obstructed the Minister of Fisheries from getting on to Kolamaafushi, an island in Gaafu Alifu Atoll. The minister is reported to have gone to the island along with the Cabinet Secretary of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s government. The cabinet secretary Dr. Abdulla Nazeer is from the island.

The minister is said to have been later allowed onto the island after the Dr. Nazeer negotiated with the group of islanders. However, other members of the minister’s entourage were not allowed onto the island.

Maldivians have a new constitution, which they believe have given them unprecedented freedoms and liberty to do whatever they wish without bounds. Political parties deem it fit to take the new found liberty to their own hands as they see fit. In essence, there are no courts or law enforcement agencies who can check the free will of the people who chose to observe their own version of vigilante justice.

Maldivians are tribal by natural selection and design. That had been the tradition of the forefathers who had lived on these islands. The true history has however been successfully buried along with the rest, by social engineers who thought they would bury it forever. The liberties of a constitutional monarchy, a monarchy style presidential form of government, and later a liberal democracy have manifested the true character and tribal nature of the giant within.

Values that give distinction to civilized cultures are alien to Maldivians in general. Such things as dialogue, civilized conversation and argument are second place to the more respected art of arrogance and unreasonableness. Reasoning and logic are non-existent.

It is against this backdrop that the treatment of those like Fisheries Minister Shafeeu, and of President Nasheed and President Waheed, by the “democracy loving” and “annihilate-the-rest believing” hooligans who brave the islands can be understood.

Maldives has been known to those who have not lived here as a paradise on Earth. It is however, the most scariest dwelling on earth for those who are compelled to make a living on its capital Male’ which hold a third of the population of the country. It is a concrete jungle which is more like a constructions site, with the roads a resembling a huge vehicle deport. Young people who have no value of human life roam the streets. They will blame that on the higher ups who dwell on lawlessness as a means to prosperity.

The challenge of overcoming tribalism in the Maldives is going to take decades. Overcoming tribalism and removing the public from the slavery of the monarchical clans is going to take ages.


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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Society


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Democracy and Children in Maldives

My #DQT moment today was with a child. In a #heart2heart conversation that we had, the child said that grown ups were all the same. That we were too preoccupied with politics all the time. The child said that we grown ups always talk about their party and the other party and the leaders they love and the leaders they hate. That grown ups were corrupting the minds of young people. This when asked, what friends of the same age thought of politics and who they supported.

According to the child they had no leaders they liked. They made fun of the leaders and one another. To them, once elected to leadership positions what they were concerned about was only how to get things better for them, and getting higher paying jobs for their family and friends.

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Society


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