Modern Maldives and the necessary virtue of homophobia

Azra Naseem

Homosexuality is spreading across the Maldives like a plague. This lewd, dirty and haram behaviour, which defies belief and defiles humanity, is being promoted to young Maldivian minds, especially children and adolescents through the online platforms which the young use with such enthusiasm today. It is part of a deep dark propaganda, pre-planned long-term, disseminated under the labels of ‘human rights’ and ‘civil rights’ that seeks to spread this filthy ideology across the entire world. It is a way of thinking that accepts abnormal ideas, such as same sex relations and gender transition, as normal and reasonable. 

The threat from messages shared across the Internet with young Maldivians are making them homosexual. A nationwide battle—with parents, teachers, schools, government and of course religious clerics and law enforcement, on the frontlines—is required to police the awakening of sexual feelings for people of the same sex among the young people. Everybody must be vigilant for homosexual tendencies within their communities, and every citizen must take on the role of being the guardian of the other’s sexual orientation and experiences. 

I didn’t make that stuff up. The Religious Council of the Adhaalath Party did. The Home Minister, Imran Abdulla, is the  leader of Adhaalath. This is a party which has no electoral representation but has won political power through top jobs in the coalition government awarded to them for entirely political reasons. 

Adhaalath views are, of course, Imran’s views. It was always on the cards that as Home Minister in the coalition government, he would push the Adhaalath agenda. Imran came under criticism from his clerical tribe for not taking tougher action against gays, so he confirmed his commitment to the homophobic cause by issuing a statement that promised to crackdown on any lurid behaviour. 

To prevent the wrath of Allah, and for the general well-being and security of the community, such acts must be absolutely forbidden, so the clerics keep shouting from every available platform.

Thing is, homosexuality is already very much forbidden in the Maldives. The penal code prohibits sexual intercourse between same sex couples and prohibits same sex marriage. The Qur’an itself does not specify a punishment for homosexuality but The Maldives Penal Code does: up to eight years in prison, lashings and/or fines. According to the Penal Code, whenever the Quran is silent on a specific punishment, what the Penal Code says will apply. 

As the country’s laws show, tolerance of homosexuality is nowhere on the agenda. The Maldives is already one of the worst places in the world to be gay in this century, but the punishment is insufficiently spectacular or brutal to satisfy the homophobia of Maldivian clerics and religious leaders.

So this is what they say should happen:

Under the circumstances, we call upon relevant authorities to identify those who commit such filthy acts, those who are involved in the commission of such acts, those who spread such acts amongst the people, and to judge them under Islamic Sharia and to punish the guilty according to Sharia. Additionally, we call upon the relevant authorities to identify those who engage in human trafficking and to also punish them according to the just punishments specified in Islam. We also advice all citizens to fear Allah and to distance themselves from such filthy and lurid acts.

Homophobia as a campaign platform

Maldivian Islamists really fancy a spot in the upcoming Presidential election of 2023. Homophobia has presented them with the perfect platform. 

The Maldivian population, of course, has its share of same sex couples and other sexual minorties. Unlike countries where ‘western notions’ of civil and human rights have taken hold and States are finally opting to stay out of people’s sex lives, Maldivian political and religious leaders are very firmly ensconced in Dhivehi bedrooms, strictly regulating whom consenting adults can have sex with. 

The clerics have carved themselves an especially comfortable space among bedroom furniture in the last decade. Dressed to perform with swishing robes and long beards and prayer-scarred foreheads, they have been relentlessly dispensing marriage and sex advice to the Maldivian public—how many of his four wives must a man pleasure in one night, and how often; how should a girl’s clitoris be trimmed for optimal male sexual pleasure; how many times a man can be reasonably expected to tolerate a wife’s No to his sexual needs before he can justifiably hit her; what sexual position does the Sunnah say best satisfies the husband, etc etc—through every Internet platform available to them. And their followers have lapped it all up, every Like, every Thumbs Up, every Fist Bump validating clerical power over Maldivian sex lives and the power of Islamist patriarchy. 

Given the position which the coalition government, and the public, have willingly handed over to the clerics in deciding what Maldivians do in private, it is not surprising that Islamists are almost fighting each other over who can be more homophobic. 

The Islamists probably did not have a hand in setting up the ‘honey trap’ for several politically prominent gays in which they have been secretly recorded having sexual relations with a foreign male sex worker. But, the footage, which was leaked on social media over the past few weeks, has given Maldivian clerics the airtime and the column inches they so desperately needed to become an indispensable player in the coming elections. 

Vote for me, I hate Gays

Ali Rameez, a SILF for many, has already tested the presidential waters. The Sheikh on a Bike has always been quite the narcissist (the last time I criticised him, he and his tribe accused me of mocking Prophet Muhammad). 

“So many people want me to become president”, he gushed to a reporter recently. Nobody has publicly admitted to asking any such thing of him; but, they would be sorry to know, Rameez presumptuously continued, he has not yet decided to run. 

He was simply doing his duty as a good Muslim touring the islands during Eid to rain some homophobia on everyone’s parade. 

Gays, he said, cannot be allowed to set foot on a Maldivian island. They must be turned away, shamed, hated, ostracised and punished. Welcoming them to your islands, he said to his followers, is welcoming sin itself. His holiness could not contain his disappointment with people of an island who had welcomed an alleged lesbian on their shores.

Should they have thrown the harlot to sea? He left that part for between the lines.

Wish as you may, Ali Rameez is not an aberration, he is the norm. He has been the most successful catch of the early Salafi recruitment drive in the Maldives. He dropped his love-mic, rocked the Da’wah, and has ever since dedicated his entire post-popstar life to spreading the Salafi word. 

Ali Rameez no longer sings to please the female heart and no longer earns his money serenading the female body. He now only sings to praise God and if he speaks of the female body today it is as its male owner. He speaks as a man who considers a girl to be a woman once she reaches puberty, as one who can rightly marry four of them, as a man who can have sex with them as their husband even if they don’t want it. He now only speaks of woman as someone with whom he can do as he pleases because he is male, and therefore, superior. 

Ali Rameez will not allow a society in which two consenting adults have sex outside of marriage but wholeheartedly supports one in which sex with a girl child is fine as long as the man marries the child first. 

If anyone is putting filth into the minds of young Maldivian children it is not the deeply closeted Maldivian sexual minorities but the so-called ‘scholars’ who want Maldivians to embrace an intolerant, aggressive and punitive Islam in which society is not only forbidden from any acts not allowed in the first three centuries of Islam, it must also embrace the barbaric punishments of those ancient times.

Watch as the network that Salaf and Adhaalath actors have in mind kick into action and they declare a Gay Hunt across society, spreading fear, inciting hatred, and imposing brutal punishments on Maldivian minorities that all citizens must enjoy and applaud to prove their own virtue and Muslimness.

Don’t be surprised if society goes along with it. Ali Rameez is probably right. Most Maldivians today would love him to be president.

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