It has been an eventful month mainly dominated by ultra-hardcore tree huggers on one side and skeptics on the other, who incidentally appear to be too stupid and arrogant to accept the crisis which has been constantly gripping the planet for a century. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen was on every news channel, and as if that wasn't enough, numerous talk shows and documentaries were dedicated to the event. Countless street protests, cynical arguments, sugar coated comments by politicians and passionate debates later, the final outcome of the conference turned out to be rather bleak. No surprises there.
Here're some of the reactions from various leaders who attended the event.
"We've come a long way but we have much further to go." - Barack Obama
"We have made a start." - Gordon Brown
"The meeting has had a positive result, everyone should be happy." - Head of the Chinese delegation.
That's how politicians say "We've gone absolutely nowhere with this, what a bloody waste of time." Plus, I think we should all be worried when communist China uses the phrases "positive result" and "everyone should be happy" in the same sentence.
Anyway, our very own Anni had a lot of exposure during the whole event. I would like to think he managed to enlighten people about the plight of this country with his performance during the debate, and also the somewhat corny THREE-FIVE-ZERO speech. Some people appear to think we've elected a pot smoking hippie as our President.
But let’s leave that aside for now, shall we?
It was a little over a year ago when Danny Boy (let's see if this nickname sticks) began his helm as the President of this tiny Republic. We all had huge expectations, some downright unrealistic, but I don't think anyone will deny that he had a massive job on his hands. A debt-ridden economy that had been further crippled by corruption was just one of the things he had to take into consideration. Also, there was the tiny matter of a global recession. And he was not, in any shape or form, helped by a significant chunk of the population who had been brainwashed into believing that the sun shone out of Maumoon Abdul Qayyoom’s every orifice. No, I don't think even he expected things to be this hard. His fantasy of resolving this country’s problems within a month went down the drain. The whooping sound of yellow-clad street dorks were cut short. Voices of dissent took over. We Maldivians are so fickle.
Having said this, I think he has done a pretty decent job so far. He has managed to successfully initiate some very important projects that are bound to help the country prosper, like the transportation system, plans to develop metropolises in other atolls, cutting the cost of our overly large Civil Service to name just a few. Plus, he is also carrying out the unenviable task of undoing and editing all the mishaps of the previous government. The great thing about Danny Boy is that he's an extremely enthusiastic character. BUT that does not mean I’m going to take him as some sort of Messiah and nod along with everything he says. For an instance, I do not agree with some of his foreign policies. I don’t want us to become pals with Israel, whose hands are dripping with the blood of our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Before you begin to accuse me of anti-Semitism, which is utterly ludicrous, please consider these excellent articles:
The stench of hypocrisy on Israel is simply too much for us. We also must not forget the Salha Mosque Massacre in 1948; the first Houla Massacre in 1949; the Qibya massacre in 1953; the second Houla Massacre in 1967; the Hanin Massacre in 1967; the Yareen Massacre in 1974; the Aitaroun Massacre in 1975; the Bint Jbeil Massacre in 1976; the Al-Ouzaii Massacre in 1978; the Rashaya Massacre in 1978; the Kawneen Massacre in 1978; the Adloun Massacre in 1978,; the Khiam Massacre in 1978; Al-Abbasiyeh Massacre in 1978; the Sabra and Shatila Massacres in 1982; the Sohmor Massacre in 1984; the Bier al-Abed Massacre in 1985; the Iqleem al-Toffah Massacre in 1985; the Aitaroun Massacre in 1989; the Al-Zahrani Massacre in 1994; the Mansouri Ambulance Massacre in 1996; the Nabatiyeh Massacre in 1996; the first Qana Massacre in 1996; the Jenin massacre in 2002, the second Qana massacre in 2006, and the Ghaza Massacre of 2009.
These are only the large scale murders; the atrocities committed by Zionist terrorist groups like Irgun, Lehi and Haganah while all the Western pro-Israeli forces sat around twiddling their thumbs must be taken into account. And we can write whole books about the Palestinian exodus, of the way they were forcibly ejected from their homes with no hope of returning. So yeah, let’s become pals with Israel! Or as Aisha Hussain points out, let’s get under the sheets with them for a one-night stand!
Oh, and I don’t know what’s the deal with making alcohol available in inhabited islands. How on earth is that going to help the Drug Problem? And finally, I am extremely dissatisfied by the way his government treated the post-secondary students. Those who got the best results in the A’ levels in my batch (which ended 18 months ago) are still awaiting good scholarships. Whenever we make some noise regarding this, Uz. Hassan Latheef would come out with a handful of scholarship offers from places like Bangladesh, China (and once, even the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus!), dump them under our noses then declare something along the lines of, “Are you happy now, little whelps?” Politely of course.
I think Danny Boy will be the first person to admit that he’s nowhere near perfect. After all, his Islamic knowledge is no better than that of the average 12-year old Maldivian. To his great credit, he acknowledged this during the start of his tenure, and decided to let the people who know their stuff to control the Islamic affairs of this country. I think he should consult these people more often, rather than wasting all his energy desperately vying for the position to be the darling of the Tories.
Anyway, the decision to bring Islamic issues under the control of the Ministry of Islamic affairs made certain people rather unhappy. You know the apostates, the contributors at Minivan News and the cronies who support everything they say. Together, all these Brown Sahibs will vilify the great religion of ours, mock our Prophet (s.a.w) and his companions and label anyone who defends our religion as a Wahhabi at every chance they get. (They also appear to think the rise of Salafi knowledge in this country is going to make us all run around the streets, waving knives and screaming, “Kill all Amreekans!” May Allah provide them the right knowledge) I sincerely hope Danny Boy’s ideas are not on the same wavelength as the Brown Sahibs. Because if they are, then sorry, I’m going to refrain from voting for him next time around.
Sometimes you’d wonder if there is any difference between the Brown Sahibs and the Islamophobic bigots we see elsewhere around the world. So quick were they to praise Danny Boy’s decisions to strengthen ties with Israel, to legalise the sale of intoxicants in inhabited islands. They freaked out at the news that Dr Bilal Phillips was going to visit our country, and constantly bemoan about the fact that more and more of our women are adopting the burqa. It’s funny how certain people become so bothered when women decide to cover up, as in accordance to how it is explicitly prescribed in our religion.
“Me, wear the burqa! Never! Do you really think I’m going to let the chance to show my stuff slip away like that? Maybe, just maybe, when I grow older and everything starts to get all saggy, then I might change my mind.” – What the anti-hijabi activists are really saying.
They want us to take heart from the so-called developed, forward-thinking nations who have made several attempts to ban the wearing of the hijab yet have no problem in allowing people to strip naked in public. This attitude is not new for Maldivians; I suppose some of our ancestor’s more eccentric genes must have sneaked through. Remember when the famous Islamic traveler, Ibn Batuta visited our country? He acted as a Qazi here for several months and was understandably dismayed to find that our women strutted around topless. His advice fell on deaf ears.
Brown Sahibs, especially the ones who consider themselves Muslims, dislike being reminded about their religion. Maybe it’s because of guilt or embarrassment. Whenever they hear a learned scholar preach, they’ll attempt to find faults to mock them. And if by chance they’re stuck in the same room with an Islamophobe and a learned, respected sheikh, you can be certain that they’ll always side with the Islamophobe. Whenever a bigot insults our religion, the Brown Sahib won’t defend it but will end up sheepishly siding with the nutter.
Anyway, I’ve managed to rant a lot but cut me some slack; I haven’t had time to write a reasonable post for a long time. The message I want to give to all the open-minded folks out there is to be careful of the enemy within. The Brown Sahibs are more dangerous to our society than those dodgy missionaries who’re constantly trying to infiltrate our ranks. We should all do our best to advice each other, to correct the faults of one another and to hold on firmly with our faith.
"By the 'Asr,
Indeed all of mankind is in a state of loss,
Except those who have eemaan,
Conduct righteous actions,
Call each other to the Truth,
And call each other to having patience."
- Surah Al-‘Asr
Also recommended: The Basis of Unity by Yasir Qadhi