When one man in the Maldives confessed that he was no longer a Muslim, all hell broke loose.
That’s what you would expect in a country that requires its citizens to be Sunni Muslims.
That man, Mohamed Nazim, eventually recanted. Of course, he was still a Muslim.
That’s what it took to stay alive.
Ismail Mohamed Didi couldn’t deal with that. In an email, he had written that he was an atheist. A news website got ahold of it and published it.
He said his colleagues had spread word of his apostasy and that his closest friends would no longer meet him.
He was afraid for his life and knew no-one in the country who could help him, he added.
The website said his employer at the airport had launched an investigation into his lack of belief and referred him to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs.
He couldn’t deal with the stress anymore… and so, on Tuesday, he went to work and killed himself.
He was found on Tuesday hanging at his workplace — the air traffic control tower at the international airport in the capital, Male.
It’s horrible. Depressing. Maddening. This is is direct result of what happens in a theocracy. You’re not allowed to think for yourself.
I don’t know if there’s a way to fix it, but if there was, it would start with Muslim groups publicly denouncing this country’s practices. They need to openly state that freedom of religious belief is vital to any nation, and it’s perfectly ok for people not to be Muslims.