The act of carrying a book through an airport isn’t something that you would expect to be arrested for is it? Not in Britain and certainly not in the United States where there is a constitutional right to free speech. OK bringing a copy of Mein Kampf or something else controversial into the UK may raise a few eyebrows and invite questions from the bright sparks of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs but that is probably as far as it would go (However as a reader as kindly pointed out the Anarchists Cookbook could cause arrest at a UK airport).
However in the Bearded Savage nations this is sadly not the case.
The Maldives are tropical islands in the Indian Ocean with one of the most scattered populations on Earth and with many uninhabited islands. The place abounds with beaches and sounds like a paradise, apart from one thing, the state religion is Bearded Savagery
Islam and the practice or promotion of any other faith is illegal.
An independent news site for the Maldives, Minivan News, reports that:
“Customs officials at the Male’ Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) on Thursday seized 11 books about Christianity, typed in Dhivehi, from a Bangladeshi expatriate who came to the Maldives via Sri Lanka.
Speaking with the press last Thursday inside the Customs Building, Chief Customs Officer Ahmed Samah identified the Bangladeshi expat as Jathish Bisvas, 44.
Samah said the 44 year-old man had arrived to the Maldives on a tourist visa and that it was the first time he visited Maldives.
According to Samah, customs officials were suspicious that the expat who had tried to bring the banned items into Maldives had links with a person in Male’. Samah said the Bangladeshi man had made a booking with a hotel in Male’ but did could not identify which hotel it was.
Samah said later the same day a Maldivian national was caught with similar books, after arriving to the Maldives from Sri Lanka.
The books he brought were not typed in Dhivehi, according to Samah.
Furthermore, Samah said it was highly possible that a Maldivian was behind the illegal smuggling operation given the quality of the Dhivehi language used to type the book. He also said it was a “very serious case if a Maldivian is behind this.”
The news site added:
“The pair have been handed over to police and customs and police are conducting a joint investigation into the case.
According to the Maldives Religious Unity Regulations, it is illegal in the Maldives to propagate any faith other than Islam or to engage in any effort to convert anyone to any religion other than Islam. It is also illegal to display in public any symbols or slogans belonging to any religion other than Islam, or creating interest in such articles.
It is also illegal in the Maldives to carry or display in public books on religions (other than Islam) and books and writings that promote and propagate other religions, and the translation into Dhivehi language such books and writings on other religions.
Violation of the Religious Unity Act is subject to two to five years in prison and fines up to MVR 20,000 (US$1300).”
So there we have it, yet another Bearded Savage nation that forbids religious freedom. Maybe those Islamic groups and their fellow travellers who whine on about ‘islamophobia**’ here in the UK should be reminded of this universal Islamic intolerance for the peaceful beliefs of others. Before the Islamic conquest of the Maldives, it appears that Buddhists and Hindus lived there and practised their religions openly.
In whatever place on the planet Islam sets up shop and gains power you see a reduction in one of humanities basic freedoms which is the freedom of belief.
Wikipedia entry on the Maldives (yeah I know it’s wikipedia but sadly in this case it is more accurate and independent on this issue than the BBC site, as the BBC seems to have a policy of not offending the Bearded Savage nations)
Hat Tip The Religion of Peace website
** Racism is stupid but being afraid of Islam and seeing that it needs to be fought is the height of common sense.