A group of eight men attacked Adam Ghafoor and his friends in a café in Male, Maldives on June 8th, accusing them of homosexuality and atheism. The friends had met for breakfast after a session at the gym and were dressed in shorts and tees.
“You homosexual atheists are destroying our country – we will not stand back and watch you do it,” said the member of the group to Ghafoor and his friends.
Apparently, a man dressed in Arabic clothes approached Ghafoor, a government employee and criticized him for wearing shorts and not covering his awra (intimate parts) before asking him to recite the Shahada (Islamic creed). After the exchange between both men got aggravated, the interrogator’s accomplices attacked Ghafoor, threatening to slaughter him on the streets if they saw him again.
Soon after reports of this incident caught the attention of the media, there were reports of a vigilante group abducting individuals who have been advocating gay rights and secularism on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Like Ghafoor, these individuals were also interrogated about their Islamic faith after being accused of being homosexual or atheist.
According to local media, these incidents took place after a Facebook page called Colorless, created by liberal activists, was hacked into on June 8th. The Facebook page was deleted immediately and a group called Shariah4Maldives campaigned for the removal of all anti-Islamic content on the internet. However, when asked, they did not admit to being involved with any vigilante activity in Male. Both President’s office and police authorities have refused to comment about the attacks.
Photo Credit: Minivan News