15 February 2008

Secularism is not something for Maldives - Umar Naseer.

Presidential candidate and Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) leader Umar Naseer have said that secularism is "not something for Maldives" and that it is bad for the country.

Secularism is not something for Maldives. Secularism is a pill. It is a medicine, very good for countries with multi-race, multi-religion, multi-culture. But if this pill is given to a wrong patient, like Maldives, where we have a single religion for the past 400 years, then this pill can cause irritation in your stomach. So this secularism is not good for Maldives." Umar was quoted as saying.

Speaking to MinivanNews Umar said that being a 100% Muslim country, Maldives needs a "special version of democracy" where things like secularism, pluralism, homosexuality, abortion and alcohol are excluded. He said that IDP's policy is that of one religion, one race, and one language.

I am sure all the political parties would agree with me on these points, but the question is how committed are people when you have to really defend that" said Umar, who describes himself as a "moderate" Muslim. He warned that religious extremism will become a serious problem for the Maldives and that if he wins the election, he would not be soft on fundamentalists.

source: minivannews.com


Anonymous said...

lol. granted we gotta go slow, but maldives is not multi-ethnic? arabs, africans, indians, pakis, ... i guess we're as mongerelish as the US. and that one religion thing... lol. i know lots of maldivians who's proof against that :D oh well the guy is a riot. if he wanted votes or whatever he's after, why cant he just tone it down and say we need to test the waters of secularism instead of jumping into the sea? maldivians arent ready because of being brainwashing, not because they wont be intolerant of secularism if they're led to it slowly... oh well in anycase the post was funny.. not multi-religious.. lol..

alif said...

guys...i don't understand what you guys are trying to prove here.. whats the purpose of this blog. are you trying to promote secularism or promote religious freedom??? I find it hard to understand what religious freedom you are referring to... I don't see a single country where there is such thing called religious freedom. even in US, there is no such thing.
As Maldivians, we must be proud and protective of our religion. I suspect secularism and diversity per se is a just another way to overcome our unity and bring about changes that destroy the harmony in our society.

Anonymous said...

"where we have a single religion for the past 400 years"
and before that? Maldivian history started with the spread of islam? change is inevitable. maldives changed from hinduism to bhuddism to islam. just because it has been muslim for 400 years doesnt mean that we arent capable of changing again. it is possible. and it wont be so bad if we do it the right way. if we had resisted change like mr. naseer is proposing, then we'd still be hindus.

"Umar said that his Party's policy
is a one religion, one race, and one language policy"

err.. isnt that a tad bit bordering on fascism? i mean even islam is tolerant of multi-ethnicity. hasnt mr. naseer, a self-proclaimed muslim, read the quran 49:13? and why the limiting to one language? one state language is ok, but we shouldnt be so afraid of other languages. i dont see why people are so afraid of diversity. resisting it might delay it, but it wont control or stop it. If mr. naseer had read the bible he would have seen that even God was afraid of unity and confused the nations with multiple languages. not that i believe in that story, but as a religious man he ought to understand the significance and read the political message in that myth. unity shouldnt be proclaimed under such specific ideas as race or culture, but rather on something more general and shared by all humans or animals even.

"Umar said that being a 100% Muslim country; Maldives needs a 'special version of democracy' where secularism, pluralism, homosexuality, abortion and alcohol are all out."
why is it so hard to accept that maldives is not a 100% muslim country? it is so only on paper. there are lots of maldivians who are of other faiths. forcing people to conform to a rigid rules will never work in a free state. it might temporarily work in a police state, but there will soon be an uprising. please read some history.

personally his policies only instill fear in me instead of hope. his drug policy is ok, but shouldnt it allow some slack for non-addictive drugs? his ideas remind me of atwood's 'the handmaid's tale', scary and depressing. people are not animals to be beaten into shape. running a country is very different from training an army. please note the difference.

fundamentalism is a problem. the root of the problem is religion itself. it is religion which breeds religious fundamentalism. if there were no moderates then there would be no extremists either. religion is a good example. it has tried to put people into a rigid frame but failed time and again. isnt that a lesson mr. naseer? doesnt that show that pushing people will only lead them to revolt? what i would say is that his rigidity reminds me of the extremists that he hate so much, both are unyeilding and intolerant. its really sad. sad such policies like Hitler's are still being propagated in the world. sad that nations are seen as sheep that should be drugged on religion and beaten to obedience. sad that our aspiring leaders are ignorant/apathetic of world history and modern culture. depressing indeed.

and alif have you read the first amendment?

our values arnt dependent on a nation. they should be based on reason. we all have a brain, we dont have to follow the US or the west like sheep, but evaluate them and if they pose no harm for humans/animals then whats the harm in following them? similarly we should evaluate our values and discard those that violate human rights. i am proud of my culture and my country where pride is necessary, but i rebuke and forsake anything thats harmful or intolerant.

i sense that you're afraid of change. yes we all like the comfort and constancy of life. the predictabality gives us a sense of security. but if this security is the result of oppression suppression and intolerence and violation of human rights then would you support that? i dont think so. please try to understand how a society united on unjust principles is doomed to fail. this is why secularism is good. it wont lead to destruction of social harmony. think about it.

Simad said...

he's right

moyameehaa said...

alif,about your question (is that even a question?)..this blog is just trying to keep an eye on the status of freedom of religion in maldives. and bringing news related to secularism.giving facts and news on the topic..like an archive.

Dhivehi Resistance said...

There is nothing moderate about Umar Naseer or his agenda.

Anonymous said...

the novelty of a system, a blief or thinking such as secularism is bound to facinate some. but taken on its merits i dont think it has been beneficial when applied in the history of the world. take for example the french rennaisance and contrast with the struggles to american independence. in this case its evident when its the clash of politics rather than belief on belief the blood shed is less. so it can be safely said that its a tried and tested and failed ideology. take another lesson in USSR? has it not failed? is not russian orthodoxy thriving now?

coming back to maldives i too believe secualarism shall have no place in maldives. not because i cannot stomach one or two other parallel sets of belief side by side, i can and i would love to. there is always merit in diversity. but the question here is much more important than our preferences for diversity or monopoly. at stake is a future of a nation. and a system which is tried and tested and found wanting cannot be the ideal choice.

Anonymous said...

@ anon there are no perfect systems of govt.

there are only better systems and worse systems

any system which gives importance to a single leader, single religion, or single race etc is worse than a pluralistc system.
so we have secularism and Umar Naseer's shacklerism, what do you want?

If you have a better way then those two, please let others know it as well.

Anonymous said...

"where we have a single religion for the past 400 years"
we converted to islam in the 16th century? i was taught that it was in the 12th century. lol this guy ought to learn his history. what a nut. or is he referring to a new version of the islamization mythistory in which Muhammed Takurufan sealed up bad-boy Andreas Andre in a bottle and cast it into the bermuda triangle? sheesh and here i was thinking the red bull drove all the maldivian bhuddists into sea in 1153. god i must be retarted or something. after all i am just a snotty kid with too much time on my hands, and he's mr. big military guy in a suit with manicured nails running for prez.