Yes, let's talk about sex! Me, being a tad melodramatic, will start by telling you all a little story.
The first time I was made to sit down and listen to The Talk was a few weeks after I began grade 6. I was eleven years old at the time. My classmates and I were taken to the school hall where our Assistant Principal was waiting for us, a book on her lap and her face bearing a very serious expression. We were immediately wondering what we had done to displease her.
So we tentatively seated facing her while she patiently waited till we settled down. Then she opened the book and held it up. We squinted to see what it was. It was an illustrated diagram of the male genitals. Several people sniggered, but the noise was instantly quailed when she glared at us.
"Do you know what this is?" She asked us. Of course we do, I thought. It's the male genitals. You can close the book now. She didn't, and continued with this rather unusual session.
"These are called the private parts. I'm going to tell you a few things you need to know about your private parts..." and she told us how important it was to not let our "private parts" be seen by anyone else, unless during unavoidable circumstances like sustaining an illness (I thought getting hit by the ball while out playing football and sustaining testicular torsion would have been a better example; the mind conjures horrible images sometimes).
But anyway, during the days that followed there were plenty of private part jokes floating around. Most of us didn't really take the session too seriously. We were made to sit through plenty of similar sessions and I noticed that the attitude of my classmates were pretty much the same.
This type of attitude is not limited to just immature adolescents. You make someone talk about sex on television and you'll hear people all over the country either freaking out or cracking dirty jokes. I suppose this is understandable to an extent, since quite a lot of negative Western aspects have seeped into our once disciplined culture. But if you take one brief look into our past, you'll discover that we have a rather cringeworthy history whenever sex is involved.
Remember the story of how we converted to Islam? About the Rannamaari? Weren't you surprised (and somewhat amused) to discover that the frightful monster that for some reason always feasted on young, virgin girls was merely the king carrying out his part time duty as a rapist? How about the way our earliest type of poetry, the Raivaru, lost its credibility when it was used as a tool to hurl out X-rated lyrics towards our pious women? Or how the discipline of our nation was on the verge of a serious meltdown when Mohamed Amin Didi came to power? Yes, homosexuality was common practice back then, bet your Dhivehi teacher never told you that, eh? Our first president managed to stamp it out of course, let's give credit to him for that. But what was his reward for all the positive changes he brought to this country? Getting beaten up, tortured and banished until he passed away. He forgave all Maldivian citizens except for the two blokes who injured his genitals. And recently we discovered this guy. One would fear that this is not an isolated case. Not only do we have such perverted sickos lumbering all over the country, but cases of premarital / extramarital sex and sexual assaults are on the rise. We've undone all the good work Amin Didi did for us.
Now, the solution. Predictably, I'm going to say it is our religion, Islam (I'll just ignore the groans coming from the Kemal Ataturk Brigade). In Islam, sex is not considered to be dirty or a source of shame. Rather, it is one of the natural inclinations given to us by Allah that need to be fulfilled every now and then, similar to the same sort of unavoidable desires such as eating, drinking, sleep etc. However, like everything else sexual desire can only be fulfilled by following a certain set of rules which can be clearly learnt from the Quran and our beloved Prophet's (peace be upon him) Hadith.
Don't get me wrong now, it's not that I'm against the awareness sessions being conducted in schools and youth centres. I just think the information are not being provided in the correct manner. Having attended plenty of such sessions, I can say that I've always felt there was an important element missing from them; the religious perspective. Brilliant though our psychologists and behavourial experts are, they simply don't have sufficient knowledge when it comes to religious matters. For an example, they can tell us about all the different types of contraceptive methods and when the session ends, some of us would be under the impression that as long as we use contraception, everything will be alright. For an instance, I was questioned in a survey conducted by WHO recently and the interviewer asked me all sorts of awkward questions (my cousin, who was with me at the time, was kicked out of the room to give me privacy). He began listing all sorts of contraceptive methods, most of which sounded rather repulsive, and he finally quzzed me about the diaphragm.
"Diaphragm?" I asked incredulously. "How on earth does that work?" I was thinking about the diaphragm pumps used in chemistry labs while transferring solutions into pipettes.
The interviewer did not appear to share my amusement.
"So which methods will you use?" He asked.
"Let's see, er...which methods..that's a tough one. I don't like many of the methods you've mentioned."
"Just name one or two then."
"I'll definitely not use a diaphragm."
These people never mention things like the importance of abstinence before marriage, the dangers of homosexuality and incest etc.
As a result today, we have an underground gay community and ignorant dunderheads who're always quick to say, "Oh, I don't have a problem with a person's sexuality." Oh yeah? Look what happened to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. And before you think of pelting me with hollow insults, take a look at the statistics provided by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency that is always on the frontline when it comes to infectious and dangerous diseases in the United States:
Compare the number of cases of AIDS transferred by male-to-male sexual contact to that of high-risk (note the word high-risk) heterosexual contact. Interesting, isn't it? Of course, such statistics are rarely spoken aloud. It's called political correctness, see, which roughly means manipulating the truth in such a way that people are made to hear things the way they want to hear them.
It always amuses me how the many so-called developed countries of the world actually consider pornography and incest to be perfectly acceptable. Look at this:
"In Israel, incest between adults (of the age of 18 years and above) is not a crime"
Ha! Ridiculous! Not only are such atrocities legal in some countries, but pornography is a billion dollar industry, and cases of pornography-related sexual assaults are not rare. In fact, plenty of serial killers have admitted that the motivation of their crimes were as a result of watching violent pornography.
We all know that incest, pornography, sodomy and fornication are crimes in Islam. So how can we curb all the immorality that are rapidly spreading throughout our society? Well for one thing, we shouldn't just shun them into a dark corner and pretend they don't exist, which was a habit of a certain former President of ours. You might remember him; huge ego, has an irrational fear of fireworks...yes him. No, we should tackle the problems head-on using the powerful tool we call Islam.
Oh, and I've managed to find a couple of excellent articles:
Islamic perspective on homosexuality
Homosexuality in the light of Islam