Yameen Rasheed, a martyr for the freedom of speech in this darkening age, was searching for his friend Ahmed Abdulla, who had been abducted. “Mr. Rasheed said Mr. Abdulla’s abduction followed a pattern of increasingly hostile actions against those who question how Islam is practiced in the Maldives.”
“Amnesty International noted that the killing of Mr. Rasheed took place against the backdrop of the Maldivian authorities’ growing restrictions on public debate. ‘This crackdown has intensified in recent weeks and must end immediately,’ the organization said. ‘Authorities should protect those who speak out, not try to criminalize them.’”
How bitterly ironic. In the U.S., if you question how Islam is practiced, you won’t get abducted (yet), but you will get shadow banned by Facebook and Twitter, smeared by the Southern Poverty Law Center and others, and the New York Times itself will liken you to the jihadis you’re calling out. Neither Amnesty International nor anyone else will say, “Authorities should protect those who speak out, not try to criminalize them.” And no one will recognize the double standard, either.
“Outspoken Maldives Blogger Who Challenged Radical Islamists Is Killed,” by Hassan Moosa and Kai Schultz, New York Times, April 23, 2017:
MALÉ, Maldives — A liberal blogger who wrote satirical critiques of the Maldivian government and the spread of radical Islam died Sunday after being stabbed in the stairway of his apartment building.
The blogger, Yameen Rasheed, 29, had complained repeatedly to the police about receiving death threats, he said in an interview with The New York Times this year, adding that the police often failed to return his calls or dropped his complaints without investigation.
“In my case, I get multiple kinds of death threats from different people, because I write and do the campaign,” he said. Mr. Rasheed was a coordinator of a campaign to find his friend Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, a journalist for The Maldives Independent who was abducted in 2014.
The police said that Mr. Rasheed was found with multiple stab wounds in his apartment building in the capital, Malé, shortly before 3 a.m. He was rushed to Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital and died soon after.
The Republic of Maldives, a nation of nearly 1,200 islands southwest of India, is best known as a spectacular vacation destination. But the country, with fewer than 400,000 people, has also become a source of recruits for the Islamic State. The government said at least 49 Maldivians had traveled to Syria to fight with the group, also known as ISIS; a 2015 study by an international security firm said the number was about 200.
The population, which is predominantly Sunni Muslim, has traditionally been liberal in its interpretation of Islam, with women rarely covering their heads. But a more conservative strain of Islam has spread in recent years under the increasing influence of Saudi Arabia, which sends religious leaders to the Maldives and offers scholarships to Maldivian students to study at Saudi universities.
A spokeswoman for the hospital, Zeenath Ali Habeeb, said Mr. Rasheed had been brought in at 3:15 a.m. with multiple stab wounds, having lost a lot of blood. He was unconscious and had a very weak pulse, she said, and he died while being treated.
His father, Hussain Rasheed, told the local news media that his son had been stabbed 16 times in the chest, neck and head.
Mr. Rasheed was best known for satirical Twitter posts and weekly posts on his popular blog, The Daily Panic, which riffed on the week’s headlines, often criticizing the government’s use of religion to appeal to the public.
He was also a coordinator of the Find Moyameehaa campaign, which was started after Mr. Abdulla was abducted almost three years ago.
Last year, Mr. Rasheed wrote on Twitter that he had reported receiving death threats to the police and had not received a response. Mr. Rasheed posted screenshots of the many threats he received on his social media accounts….
Amnesty International noted that the killing of Mr. Rasheed took place against the backdrop of the Maldivian authorities’ growing restrictions on public debate.
“This crackdown has intensified in recent weeks and must end immediately,” the organization said. “Authorities should protect those who speak out, not try to criminalize them.”
In his interview with The Times in January, Mr. Rasheed described how bloggers like himself and Mr. Abdulla were targeted by radicalized gangs in the Maldives, from which jihadists recruit fighters for the Islamic State.
Mr. Rasheed said Mr. Abdulla’s abduction followed a pattern of increasingly hostile actions against those who question how Islam is practiced in the Maldives. A couple of months before the abduction, a mob kidnapped several men affiliated with a Facebook group calling for secularism, accused them of homosexuality and atheism, and forced them to cite parts of the Quran before being released.
Mr. Rasheed said that nearly all of the 20 members of the group committed to finding Mr. Abdulla had received death threats, from people who brandished knives in public or through text messages. The messages were often graphic and called for their beheading….