LIVE: Maldivians gather in Male for 'religious' protests

Dec 23, 2011 - 03:55 4 comments
  • Supporters of religious organisations and opposition political parties gather at the Tsunami Monument area on December 23, 2011 for what they claim to be a protest aimed at "defending Islam". HAVEERU PHOTO/ NASRULLA SOLIH

  • Supporters of religious organisations and opposition political parties gather at the Tsunami Monument area on December 23, 2011 for what they claim to be a protest aimed at "defending Islam". HAVEERU PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • Supporters of religious organisations and opposition political parties gather at the Tsunami Monument area on December 23, 2011 for what they claim to be a protest aimed at "defending Islam". HAVEERU PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • Supporters of religious organisations and opposition political parties gather at the Tsunami Monument area on December 23, 2011 for what they claim to be a protest aimed at "defending Islam". HAVEERU PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • Supporters of religious organisations and opposition political parties gather at the Tsunami Monument area on December 23, 2011 for what they claim to be a protest aimed at "defending Islam". HAVEERU PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • Supporters of religious organisations and opposition political parties gather at the Tsunami Monument area on December 23, 2011 for what they claim to be a protest aimed at "defending Islam". HAVEERU PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

  • Supporters of religious organisations and opposition political parties gather at the Tsunami Monument area on December 23, 2011 for what they claim to be a protest aimed at "defending Islam". HAVEERU PHOTO/ MOHAMED WAHEED

Protestors are gathered at the Tsunami Monument area in what they claim to be a demonstration aimed at "defending Islam" in Maldives.

01.06 (December 24) - MDP has also ended its rally after religious protestors completely vacated the Tsunami Monument area. However, it was announced that the party will hold a demonstration at Artficial Beach at 4pm later today.


00.28 (December 24) - MDP has adjourned its rally for a few minutes. Senior officials announced that the rally will go on until the religious protestors completely vacate the Tsunami Monument area.


00.25 (December 24) - MP Imthiyaz: No negotiations with terrorists; good governance does not involve deceiving people and using religion as a political tool.


00.24 (December 24) - MP Imthiyaz Fahmy is addressing the MDP supporters.


00.15 (December 24) - The ruling MDP has also announced an end to its rally by calling on authorities to arrest former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his half-brother Abdulla Yamin. However, Moosa Manik is still addressing the party's supporters.


00.12 (December 24) -





00.12 (December 24) - Some of the MDP supporters gathered at its camp on Ameenee Magu have come out on the road. They are also chanting "Allah Akbar (God is great)". A Haveeru journalist saw some MDP supporters knocking down a man in tradition Pakistani dress who passed by its camp.


00.10 (December 24) -







00.07 (December 24) - Moosa Manik: MDP will gather at the Artificial Beach today afternoon even if the religious protestors end their demonstration.


00.05 (December 24) - MDP President Dr Ibrahim Didi: MDP will only be able to defend Islam.


00.00 (December 24) - The religious protestors have ended their demonstration peacefully after eight hours.


23.56 - Alhan: Gasim Ibrahim and Dr Hassan Saeed participated in the protest in order to overthrow the government. The government cannot be overthrown "as long as we are alive".


23.53 - The religious protestors are ending their demonstration with a prayer led by Sheikh Ilyas. MDP, however, is still holding its rally at the camp. Riot police are present near the camp.


23.40 - MDP officials are urging the religious protestors to end their demonstrations.


23.10 - MDP's Deputy President Alhan Fahmy is addressing the party's supporters at its camp.

Alhan: The current government is a legitimate government; we will go to the area where the protest is being held if the police do not "clear up" the streets within one hour; we call on President Nasheed to command the armed forces to clear up the streets.


23.06 - A pickup is driven around capital Male calling for ruling MDP supporters to gather at the party's camp on Ameenee Magu.


23.00 -







22.57 -







22.50 - Sheikh Ilyas Hussein is addressing the protestors.


22.46 - Gayoom: Maldivians are not forced to be Muslims but they chose to believe in Islam; allowing a religion other than Islam in the Maldives will create divisions among the society; Maldivians should have the right to defend the religion of Islam; I call upon the government to stop its efforts to weaken the Islamic faith.


22.43 - Organisers are delivering a statement from former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.


22.41 - Fares-Maathoda MP Ibrahim Muthalib is addressing the protestors.


22.30 - The ruling MDP has started a rally at its camp on Ameenee Magu. Interim Chairperson Moosa 'Reeko' Manik said the party has not ended its protest but that it was a beginning of a series of protests.


22.26 - MP Nihan has concluded his address by urging the government not to carry out any anti-Islamic activities.


22.24 - Villi-Maafannu MP Ahmed Nihan Hussein Manik is addressing the protestors.


22.23 - Protestors have given a one-hour ultimatum for the government to ensure them that the idols erected in Addu will be removed.


22.17 - Ibrahim Didi: We are carrying out the highest level of Jihad, which is saying the right word in front of an unjust ruler; we call on all the clubs and organisations in the country to work in defence of Islam.


22.15 - Civil Society Coalition's President Ibrahim Didi is addressing the protestors.


22.13 - Opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) council member Umar Naseer also addressed the protestors.


22.06 - Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran has revealed the fourth demand: to close down the more than 40 brothels in the country.


22.05 - Dr Hassan has concluded his speech.


22.03 - Dr Hassan: We should bring change for the good in the 2013 presidential election; We are now required to ask a question that we never had to ask in 800 years.


22:00 - Dr Hassan: Our head of state is trying to create divisions among us; the real debate should be on economic issues rather than religious issues; we want our head of state to implement Islamic Sharia principles along with creating a sound economy.


21.57 - Dr Hassan: Politicians like us want to encourage religious scholars and organisations to voice against anti-Islamic policies practised in the country; the Maldives constitution does not allow anything other than Islamic Sharia; the people only want to have Islamic Sharia implemented in the country.


21.55 - Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) Leader Dr Hassan Saeed is addressing the protestors.


21.54 - MP Saleem has concluded his speech.


21.50 - MP Saleem: President Nasheed should not think that he can live forever; we must identify good religious scholars.


21.48 - Eydhafushi MP Ahmed 'Red Wave' Saleem, from the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), is addressing the protestors.


21.34 - MP Mahloof has concluded his speech.


21.32 - MP Mahloof: Government has destructed Arab-Islamic education and erected idols across the country; there's no chance for media to work freely; government is strengthening its relationship with Israel and trying to allow an Israeli airline to operate flights.


21.25 - Galolhu-South MP Ahmed Mahloof, from the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), is addressing the protestors.


21.07 - Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran has revealed the third demand: not to allow Israeli national airline to operate flights to Maldives.


21.02 - Sheikh Shameem has concluded his speech. Organisers are showing video footages of comments made by President Nasheed on several occasions about religious issues.


20.54 - Sheikh Shameem: I apologise to the people for working to bring this government to power during the 2008 presidential election.


20.51 - Religious scholar Sheikh Adam Shameem is addressing the protestors via phone from Malaysia.


20.40 - Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran has revealed two out of the protestors' five demands: to remove the "Idols" put up in Addu and President Nasheed to condemn UN human rights chief Navi Pillay's comments about flogging and the Maldives constitution.


20.08 - Dr Afrasheem has concluded his address.


20.03 -




Protestors perform ablution in order to perform the Sunset Prayer at the Tsunami Monument area.





20:02 - Dr Afrasheem: The moderate way is the religion of Islam itself; our leaders should be aware of the fact that moderate Islam is upholding the Islamic values whenever it is threatened.


20.00 - Dr Afrasheem: Our protest in not aimed at overthrowing the government; we are voicing against the anti-Islamic activities being carried out by the government.


19.58 - Dr Afrasheem Ali, from the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Parliamentary Group, is addressing the protestors.


19.47 - Organisers have called on people to provide food and refreshments to the protestors gathered at the area.


19.43 - Protestors have resumed their demonstration after the Evening Prayer.


19.25 - Protestors have adjourned the demonstration for the Evening Prayer. They are performing the prayer at the Tsunami Monument area.


19.14 - Chief opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef is addressing the protestors.


19.04 - Sheikh 'BA' Naseem: We should voice against any anti-Islamic activities in the Maldives and defend the religion.


19.02 - Sheikh 'BA' Naseem, who previously served as the president of ruling MDP's Religious Scholars Council, is addressing the protestors via phone.


18.48 - Shaheem has concluded his address.


18.46 - Shaheem: We don't hate the people from our neighbouring countries like India and Sri Lanka; this is the Victory Square. 


18.43 - Shaheem to President Nasheed: We love you; we supported you because you pledged us to respect and uphold the religion of Islam; if you don't uphold Islam, we will by the grace of God defeat you in the 2013 presidential election.

18.42 - Shaheem: We don't support terrorism and terrorists.


18.35 - Religious conservative Adhaalath Party's chief spokesperson Mohamed Shaheem is addressing the protestors.


18.26 -

Protestors gathered in Raa atoll Hulhudhuffaru to voice against the government's religious policies. 





18.03 - Protestors are performing the Sunset Prayer. Men and women are praying in separate places allocated for them.


18.00 - The protestors, led by Sheikh Ilyas, are making a prayer. Some were seen crying while Sheikh Ilyas read out the prayer.


17.55 - Organisers have said that the protest will go on indefinitely if the people want and that Sheikh Ilyas Hussein will deliver a religious sermon after the Sunset Prayer. They are preparing to perform the prayer.


17.51 - Gasim: We don't know a moderate version of Islam; there's no chance for a religion other than Islam in Maldives; we want to receive Islamic and other forms of education in Maldives; this shouldn't be made a political matter.


17.49 - Jumhooree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim is addressing the protestors.


17.46 -

Thasmeen arrives at the Tsunami Monument area to participate in the protest.





17.44 - The protestors are taking an oath "to defend Islam". Sheikh Shaheem is administering the oath.


17.42 - Opposition protestors have announced that more than 100,000 protestors are gathered across the country to voice against the government's religious policies.


17.42 - Yamin: The most important blessing we have is the religion of Islam; the government is challenging Islam.


17.40 -







17.35 - Yamin: Government is systematically working against Islam; President does not care about Arabic education; we can't produce professional judges by abolishing institutions like Arabiyya School.


17.32 -





17.30 -

Opposition protestors at Tsunami Monument area.




17.29 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Parliamentary Group Leader Abdulla Yamin is addressing the protestors.


17.23 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Opposition Jumhooree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim has arrived at the area.


17.22 - Hussein Fiyaz Moosa, Artificial Beach

MDP has officially ended its protest. President Mohamed Nasheed is walking to the presidential residence Muleeage. However, MDP supporters are having Bondibaiy - a local variant of sticky rice - at the Artificial Beach.


17.21 - Opposition protestors are calling on authorities to remove the "idols" erected in Maldives.


17.19 - Hussein Fiyaz Moosa, Artificial Beach

President Mohamed Nasheed has left the area.


17.16 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Religious protestors have announced that they will perform the Sunset Prayer and Evening Prayer at the area.


17.15 - President Nasheed has concluded his speech. Meanwhile, chief opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali is addressing the protestors gathered at the Tsunami Monument area.


17.13 - President Nasheed: Government asked people to gather at this area to show support to moderate Islamic ways; your number has told me how I should act [in religious matters].


17.10 - President Nasheed: Political figures should reveal their religious ideologies before the 2013 presidential election; religious scholars should tell people about their religious beliefs.


17.08 - President Nasheed: We are labelled as anti-Islamic because we don't support female circumcision, marrying nine-year-old girls and having concubines.


17.07 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Sheikh Imran: I have sacrificed my blood for this demonstration.


17.03 - President Nasheed: We've completed reforming our fiscal system; housing and transport arrangements are being made. We can't achieve these things by going to the pre-Islamic days.


17.01 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Sheikh Imran: Maldivians want to die as Muslims.


16.59 - President Nasheed: We shouldn't fear foreign countries; highlights employment opportunities and government's social protection plans.


16.57 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Religious conservative Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla is addressing the protestors.


16.56 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Chief opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali has arrived at the area.


16.55 - President Nasheed: Government introduced a taxation system; reduced budget deficit; next year will be a "duty-free year".


16.51 - President Nasheed: Government will preserve the religion of Islam in the Maldives; highlights the government's economic achievements.


16.50 - Violence erupted during a protest held in Haa Dhaal atoll Vaikaradhoo against the government's religious policies, injuring three. The three have been taken to the island's health centre.


16.47 - Hussein Fiyaz Moosa, Artificial Beach

President Mohamed Nasheed has started addressing the protestors.


16.45 - Hassan Mohamed, Tsunami Monument area

Senior political figures, Islamic scholars and a large number of people are gathered at the area.

16.42 - Hussein Fiyaz Moosa, Artificial Beach

President Mohamed Nasheed has postponed his speech as more protestors are gathering at the area.


16.41 -

MDP supporters gather at Artificial Beach.









16.40 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Mulaku MP Abdulla Yamin, from the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), has arrived at the area. Senior opposition political figures are also at the area.


16. 37 - Abdulla Jameel, Tsunami Monument area

Abdulla Mohamed from the civil society coalition: Religious protestors received death threats; organisers were investigated by authorities; there is no moderation in Islam.


16.34 - Hussein Fiyaz Moosa, Artificial Beach

President Mohamed Nasheed has arrived at the area to participate in the protest.

MDP supporters gather at Artificial Beach.




16.32 - Hassan Shifan, Artificial Beach

Thimarafushi MP Mohamed Musthafa has arrived at the area for the protest. Musthafa earlier signed a petition which opposed the protest being held by the ruling MDP "calling for moderate Islam".


16.22 - Hassan Shifan, Artificial Beach

Ruling MDP's interim Chairperson Moosa 'Reeko' Manik, cabinet ministers, parliamentary group members and other senior government officials are participating in the protest.

Riot police prepare for the protests.






16.20 - Hassan Shifan, Artificial Beach

President Mohamed Nasheed has not yet arrived at this area to participate in the protest.


16.19 - Sofvan Ibrahim



16.18 - Abdulla Jameel, Tsunami Monument area

A large number of people are gathered at the area for the protest being organised by religious organisations and opposition parties "to defend Islam".


16.13 - Hussein Fiyaz Moosa, Artificial Beach

The protest organised by the ruling MDP has not yet started. The party's Parliamentary Group members and senior government officials, including ministers are gathered at the area.

Riot police prepare for the protests.




16.07 - Ahmed Hamdhoon, Tsunami Monument area

Opposition protestors have started their demonstration. Some opposition MPs are also gathered at the area. Organisers have asked the protestors not to create any violence during the demonstration.


15.45 - MDP supporters are gathered the Artificial Beach while religious protestors and opposition supporters are gathering at the Tsunami Monument area.

Heavy police presence is observed at the area.

Police are patrolling the capital Male while riot police officers are stationed at the Children's Park.

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