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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maldives minister publicly insults Jews

We have discussed the doctors from Israeli NGO "Eye from Zion" have been treating Muslim patients in the Maldives, and that some Muslims there have protested this aid with anti-semitic rhetoric.

This weekend there was more of the same. Here is a report from a sermon given by Minister of State for Islamic Affairs Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed on Friday:
He said that the Jews, who have historically nurtured severe enmity towards Muslims continues to assault the Muslims.

The State Minister warned the Muslims of the notoriety and the betrayal and treachery of the Jews. He said that that yesterday’s Jews are evil predecessors and today’s Jews are worse successors.

History of Jews is full of deception, trickery, rebellion, oppression, evil and corruption. They always seek to cause mischief on the earth and Allah loves not the mischief-makers.

“So it is not it is not acceptable that one who would stab the ummah in the heart could heal the eyes. This philosophy is not acceptable,” he said.

He said that it is not acceptable that we as Muslims are agreeing with the Jews with peace of mind while our Muslim brothers are moaning, while our first Kiblah [Jerusalem] is lamenting because of the tyranny of the Jewish occupation.
Yet Minivan News calls this an "anti-Zionist protest":
Hundreds of people gathered at the protest with some carrying banners in both Dhivehi and English with messages ranging from “Say no to Israeli terrorism” and “Jews said Allah is poor” to “We are with anyone who fights Israel & USA” and “Bloody Zionists”.
But they report on the government's rejoinder to the critics:
In response to the anti-Zionist protests and criticism that the government was engaged in a pro-Israel agenda, Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said that the government “holds friendly relations with Israel, as it does almost every other nation in the world.”

“We are not at loggerheads with any states, though we have some differences with Burma over the treatment of [formerly arrested dissident] Aung Sun Suu Kyi,” he said. “There is nothing special in terms of agreements with Israel.”

Though Zuhair claimed that the Maldives government has been “consistent on criticising Israel over Palestine and other foreign policy issues it did not agree on”, this was not a barrier to humanitarian cooperation, he said.

Zuhair added that by having bilateral relations with a large number of nations, the Maldives was able to benefit from cooperation based on technical assistance, education and humanitarian aid.

He claimed that the medical expertise offered by Eye from Zion was a strong example of this.

We ourselves don’t have the means for this type of surgery, which has so far treated 140 patients in Male’ and 40 people across islands in the outer atolls,” Zuhair added. “In this case, the patients that thankful for the treatment they have received, which outweighs the protests against [the doctors].
No one in the Maldives seems the least bit concerned about the explicitly anti-semitic statements of their minister, however. It looks like he didn't get the memo to always say "Zionists" instead of "Jews."