Saturday, 20 September 2008

Maldives and its 100% muslim status

When I was growing up, my mom would say, that we were 100% muslims. I always assumed that people had the 100% tick. So one day I asked my mom, are there any 90% or 50% muslims, and she told me to shut it and not to ask any stupid questions. So I asked her why it was a stupid question (in my child's mind it made perfect sense!), she told me to go read the Quran and drive Satan away from my mind. Her answer didn't make sense to be, but I did as i was told, but the question didn't go away!

After a couple of years I realised or rather understood, that the label was for Maldives and not necessarily Maldivians - to simply denote that, there was no other religion (allowed) to practice in the Maldives. I learned at this young age that , to be a Maldivian you first have to be a Muslim.

So I guess my question is, In this day and age, do we still need to hold on to the 100% title? I know plenty of people in the Maldives, who practice other religions. Both in open and in hiding. In hinding because these people fear Maumoon's wreath. In a recent visit to Maldives, I saw statued of the virgin mary and yeah plenty of crosses on sale in the jewellery shops and gift shops. This woudn't be the case as recent as a few years ago! I remember that anything to do with the church or the pope were censored out of Public TV. And talking of television, can you believe the amount of Ganesh, temples, and all the hindu ceremonies shown on tv? A few of the taxi's I travelled in had hindi devotional music blasting off. and yep, a lot of buddhist values and chants are making the rounds as well. If I didn't know any better I'd say, Maldivians were becoming more accepting, while in actual, Maldivians don't regard Hinduism or Buddhism as relgions or rather religions that poses a threat to their faith or the 100% status. But yeah, Christianity does. But then again it doesn't explain the sale of "christian stuff" in the shops.

Again, do we need to keep the status of 100% muslim status, when as a country we are obviously not? Do we really want to be hypocrites to the very religion we represent? what do we have to gain by keeping the status (other than the implicated Saudi dollars). What effect is it having on famlies that do have converts within them? what about these converts themselves? what happened to their rights? And what about all those people who define themselves as "non-practising" muslims (which there are plenty to be found in the Maldives).

Its all very nice and good for the people who are self righteous to say, I should go to hell for even bringing up this topic (again), but hell they are talking about is not in this world, what about the people who feel like they are living in hell already? I say this with the utmost respect, we as Maldivians have to learn to respect other religions and other cultures. That is, if we want to respect ourselves as human beings , and most of all as Muslims.


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

DO's new shade

For someone who is a self professed idiot on politics, I do notice a few things. And yeah I do do read DO occasionally. Of recent I have noticed that, DO has become extremely RED instead of the typical YELLOW it has been using. Wonder whether sappe has gotten tired of colours, or whether, one colur is superior to the other, OR whether RED is just representative of a stronger notion, or simply put a representation of power.

I wonder, what the long term consequences of this change in colour would be, or WHETHER it even has any long term or short term consequence, who knows, maybe he just likes that Red over yellow?

Hmmmmm, I think I am dehydrated, probably ranting again.

Hope everyone who observes Ramadan is having a great time. Those who aren't oh well, have a great time too.

Oh yeah, if anyone is around my neighbourhood, do drop by :)