Sunday, March 15, 2009

Maldives president blocks websites and cracks down on protests

The list of websites banned by Anni's government is growing, all of them on the orders of the Ministry of Islam. According to Haveeru, eight websites have been blocked so far for allegedly publishing anti-Islamic and pro-Christianity content in the Dhivehi, the Maldivian language.

One of the banned websites, randomreflexions.com, an English language one, was reportedly targeted because it evoked debates and discussions around Islam. And, at least one of the banned websites, raajjeislam.com, may have been targeted for political reasons since it exposed tyranny by a state minister at the Islamic ministry. 

The Maldives internet community is a vibrant space which for the last 5 years or so have seen the articulation of a wide range of thematic preoccupations in contemporary Maldives. Religion, politics, sexuality, drug abuse, paedophilia, amongst other subjects have been debated in far greater depth on the internet than in the conventional media. 

When president Anni created a ministry for the conservative religious party Adhaalath's  Abdul Majeed Bari and other hardliners as a reward for their "support" to the coalition, many internet writers expressed unease. Now the sentiments appear justified. The Islamic ministry is blocking dissent, debate, and discussion, in the name of Islam, and president Anni is pretending not to see.

Anni can't have imagined that a week after he announced his intention of turning the Maldives into a safe haven for the world's dissidents, he would have to block websites and send in police to crackdown on protesting resort workers.

While the very foundations of our fledgeling democracy are being threatened, the new president, for now, is chosing to turn the other way and chase international headlines.

Anni has just announced that the Maldives is to go carbon neutral in 2020,  to combat the threat facing the world's environment.

It remains to be seen if Anni will turn to the threat facing Maldivian democracy any time soon.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

although i do not support this we have to admit it is completely in accordance with the constitution, it was only a matter of time before they acted. maldives has no hope of achieving freedom of expression as long as we do not adhere to secularism.

if THIS is aneh dhivehi raajje, i think we were better off in the old one. fuck you very much, anni.

The Shadowrunner said...

Poor anni. He dreamt of a Maldives united - but as with the hardliners, it is kill or be killed.

I guess a "military demonstration" on the building of the Islamic Ministry is justified, too.

Anonymous said...

i think now DJ Majeed is President of Anni

Wakeup Anni camon where is all u sai and u fought freedom of speach my foot what tha fuck is this now Mr DJ Majeed is is stepping on ur dick camon wakeup

The Shadowrunner said...

This is the price for even thinking of negotiating with them. There is no compromise with extremists. Just smash a smart-bomb through their bedroom window.

Yaamyn said...

Secularism is indeed the only way out of this.

How can a constitution of an entire country be based on certain undefined 'tenets' that mean whatever one band of fanatics declare it to be?

The constitution is a joke. But it's only up to the Maldivian population to shed their apathy and take this menace head on!

I'm commenting on several freedom-loving blogs about the Facebook group i created to discuss ways to ban the Adhaalath bastards.. you may join it here :
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=57232602638&ref=mf

Adios.

Anonymous said...

MDP and Adhaalath goondas are evil cousins.Britian knows how to use fickle minded wahhabis to goog use.Hence Wahhabi movement was born - a movement which is a big disgrace for the Muslims.Adhaalath and MDP relationship is all the same.MDP is a creation of British..Adhaalath party also joined the caravan of MDP

How the British founded the Wahabi movement

http://www.ummah.net/Al_adaab/British_Spy_Hempher.html

shaari said...

this is indeed a sad day for democracy. they simply have no right to block these sites. i doubt if anni will stand up to adhaalath & islamic hardliners. if so he'd have stood by Aniya & kept Dr. Aminath Jameel as his running mate.

Yaamyn said...

The point is not if Anni can stand up to the Hardliners. He cannot.

It's if You can stand up to their bullying? I Know i'm trying!

Anonymous said...

You are all gay!

Anonymous said...

@yaamyn

http://www.haveeru.com.mv/english/details/26220/President_Nasheed:_Citizens_won%92t_be_deprived_of_rights_for_criticising_Government

looks like anni is leaving it to you (the citizens), the adhaalath is part of the government after all.

Munzir Ali said...

Why did it come to this?