Mariya Didi honoured by the United States



10 March 2007

Mariya Didi is the tall unveiled lady in the centre facing Secretary Rice

On 7 March 2007, the United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice inaugurated the Secretary's International Women of Courage Award. Ten Women from Afghanistan, Argentina, Indonesia, Iraq, the Maldives, Latvia, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe received the award this year. Through this annual award the United States honours the courage of extraordinary women worldwide who have played transformational roles in their societies.

According to the State Department, achieving the United States' mission of advancing democracy, prosperity and security worldwide is not possible without the empowerment of women. If women cannot participate in the political process, there can be no real democracy. If women were deprived of economic opportunity, development is crippled. If women were not educated, they cannot pass knowledge to their children and there is no true security for the next generation.

In its citation conferring the award to Miss Mariya Didi of the Maldives, The State Department stated that:

“In a Muslim country making an arduous transition to a democratic system of government, Ms. Mariya Ahmed Didi is one of six women in the 50-member parliament, and one of only two elected women (the other four were appointed by the president). Ms. Didi organized the first-ever women's rights rally in Maldives in March 2006, in response to plain clothes police arresting a female activist from her home late at night. Ms. Didi has faced physical harrassment [sic], and arrest. She remains tireless and tenacious in her efforts in a political scene dominated by men. She serves as a role model for a nation full of young women just beginning to become active in politics.”

The State Department's citation overlooks to mention Miss Didi's political party the MDP, even thought at least one web site affiliated with that party seems to be assigning credit to the party. The British-based Dhivehi Observer appears to be congratulating MDP for Miss Didi's award. In a direct affront to civilised norms, the opposition MDP, like the Maldive government, has a written commitment to violating article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that relates to freedom of religion. We hope that Miss Didi does not subscribe to this policy of her party. The Maldives is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Our contact within MDP and Dhivehi Observer insists that MDP deserves credit as the party gave Mariya her "platform". This is not necessarily true as she was elected to parliament as an independent and joined the party much later. Her family had the "platform" for centuries.

This web site congratulates Mariya for this outstanding personal recognition from the citadel of virtue, the United States.

Many of the recipients of the award were from countries, including the Maldives, where traditionally women enjoyed greater freedom compared to what they do now. For example in the Maldives, until 1953, women had the right to become the head of state. As the the traditional matriarchal society crumbled under the weight of Islam and its chauvinistic mullahs, women gradually lost their rights, beginning in the early 20th century.

Right now, the mullahs who take orders from Islamic centres such as Medina, Jamia Salafia Islamia in Pakistan and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Kampus Gombak in Malaysia appear to be winning in their unrelenting campaign to force and coerce Maldive women into the obnoxious burugaa veil also known as hijab. In countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and to some extent Indonesia, many women these days have acid thrown at them in order to force others to submit to the burugaa. It is interesting to note that many of the recipients of the honour are from countries where women have already given in to the acid. According to Mohamed, a woman has ten genitalia. When she gets married, her husband covers one, and when she dies her grave covers the ten.
(see Kanz-el-Ummal, volume 22, Hadith No. 858 and Ihya Uloum ed-Din by Ghazali, Dar al-Kotob al-Elmeyah, Beirut, volume II, Kitab Adab al-Nikah, p. 65)

We commend Miss Didi for not insulting her distinguished female ancestors by succumbing to this ghastly head dress instituted to help perverted men keep their private parts under their dishdashah robes. She is truly patriotic in this regard, unlike many of her contemporary female compatriots who have sold out to the colonialist burugaa.

Miss Didi told Jane Morse of USINFO that she has been denounced by Islamic critics as a “messenger from the Pope”. Christianity is currently the ultimate anathema in the Maldives. While the Maldive media routinely accuses the United States military of defiling the Koran, the Maldive authorities do the same to Christian scriptures. The Maldives has a ban on religions other than Islam and routinely jams Divehi language Christian broadcasts. It also confiscates and defiles Divehi language Bibles and crucifixes in addition to Buddhist and Hindu sacred imagery.

Miss Didi hails from two aristocratic families from Malé, the Kakaage and the Henveyruge that have been at the forefront of Maldive politics continuously over the last several centuries. The Kakaage family is noted for its strong ladies who were known to display outstanding mettle, particularly in times of national and family crisis. The family also carries an enduring reputation through the centuries for producing honest and able public servants who abhorred corruption; they would rather give up public office than aggrandise themselves at the expense of the public purse. The editor of this web site is both proud and humbled to be associated with Mariya’s noble family through his marriage.

Well done, Miss Didi and keep up the good work! God Bless America!

Not a burugaa in sight! The Kakaage extended family on 1 January 1953,
the day Maldive women lost their centuries-old right to be head of state.
Mariya's father Tuttu Ahmed Didi is in the back row, 5th from left.
Her eldest sister Anvarie is in the front row, 4th from left.
In this traditional family, seniority derived from age rather than gender.

Maldive mullahs rebuke Mariya Didi

24 March 2007

We understand that the Maldive mullahs are extremely upset about the International Women of Courage Award. An article in an anonymous web site (these anonymous fanatics are invariably cowardly unless strapped with sticks of gelignite) called on 22 March, described Mariya Didi and several other Maldive opposition women activists as "lumps of excrement" for their alleged anti-Islamic sentiments. The Divehi language article went on:

"Look at the 'women's courage award' [sic] recently given by the American State Department to women in Islamic nations who are noted for their antagonism against Islam. This award is made as part of a hostile conspiracy to eradicate Islam from the world. Having made the award to Mariya from the Maldives, ask her what she has done in terms of women's rights! It is evident from the statement by the American State Department that the reason why she received the award was her remarks about the increasing number of religious extremists and her campaign against learned men's call for women to wear the burqa in this country. In her interview with the BBC, Mariya displayed her opposition to Islamic education.

This typically ad hominem outburst from the mullahs came in the wake of a Divehi language article by an MDP official in Minvan Daily on 20 March. Under the title Are women germs that spread social disease? the article questions Islam's requirement for women to wear the obnoxious hijab also known as burqa.

It is interesting that in spite of its Islamic stance, uses the Gregorian calendar in the Christian era. That is likely to be an inadvertent admission of the well-known shortcomings of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Some analysts allege that the web site is run by one of several rival clans within the ruling Maldivian People’s Party (DRP). Most of these clans are led by prominent blood relatives or in-laws of the Maldive president of the republic. A Maldive political scientist who contacts us said that it is possible that the burugaa article was a set up by one or more of these ruling factions to deflect attention from the Buddha statue erected on a Maldive tourist island by a British tycoon with the apparent blessing of the Maldive authorities. The obvious question that follows from this assertion is how a Maldive ruling faction persuade a prominent opposition activist to create a convenient red herring.