2 Nov 2010

Are Islamic extremists in the Maldives keeping under-age concubines as sex slaves?

Hilath Online - A blog on Life From Maldives

July 20, 2009

Discovery of under-aged female sex slaves in Maldives

By Hilath

Today afternoon one of my friends who works in the field of gender issues in Maldives called up and told me this unusual story which has come to light. She said that I should post it on my blog and that there may be no other way because she is not sure how the mainstream Maldivian media can deal with this and is not even sure if the hospital (which I will not specify) will even officially go on the record about this sensitive incident.

Here’s what happened according to her who is very well-connected I can assure:

A woman wearing the abaya (burka, the all-covering veil) took a little girl to a hospital because there was unusual vaginal discharge from the girl.

The doctor examined the little girl and asked the woman whether there was a possibility that the girl was sexually abused.

The woman replied that during the time when she (the woman) is having her periods, she supposed her husband may have had sexual relations with the little girl instead. The little girl “is a jaariyaa”, the woman replied, but not clearly specifying just whose “jaariyaa” the little girl was.

Jaariyaa or câriyes, according to BBC’s page on religion, are concubines.

BBC, on its religion page titled Sexual slavery – the harem, has this to say:

Muslim cultures are thought to have had more female slaves than male slaves. Enslaved women were given many tasks and one of the most common was working as a domestic servant.

But some female slaves were forced to become sex workers: not prostitutes, as this is forbidden in Islam, but concubines. Concubines were women who were sexually available to their master, but not married to him. A Muslim man could have as many concubines as he could afford.

Concubinage was not unique to Islam; the Bible records that King Solomon and King David both had concubines, and it is recorded in other cultures too.

Being a concubine did have some benefits: if a slave woman gave birth to her owner’s child, her status improved dramatically – she could not be sold or given away, and when her owner died she became free. The child was also free and would inherit from their father as any other children.

Concubinage was not prostitution in the commercial sense both because that was explicitly forbidden and because only the owner could legitimately have sex with a female slave; anyone else who had sex with her was guilty of fornication.

*** *** ***

My friend was appalled at the discovery of this underage girl who has been kept as a slave for sex by this extremist family in Maldives.

“Tell me, Hilath, today I am totally confused as to whether what I am practicing is really Islam. This woman and her husband are not practicing the Islam that I know. Is Maldives really an Islamic country following the Islamic religion? Or are we following something else?”

I’m equally shocked too.

Just on Saturday around a 100 extremists gathered at the Artificial Beach and made so much noise about Islamic Sharia. They were happy with flogging an 18-year-old woman for extra-marital sex.

But after the discovery of this underage female sex slave, I have to question: who decided that that 18-year-old woman was not a “jaariyaa” also and therefore had not committed any sin?

In fact, if you consider that woman’s case, the Criminal Court punished her with 100 lashes for reporting sexual abuse carried out against her when she was a child. As Maldives Dissent rightly pointed out on its blog: aren’t we supposed to protect children from against pedophiles? Pedophiles like this veil-clad woman’s husband who is keeping this little girl as his sex slave, to have sex when his wife is menstruating?

My source told me that at the time when Maldives Police Service violently clashed with extremists in Himandhoo island, a little girl from that island was brought to the office of the Gender Ministry where she was given counseling because she too had been kept as a “jaariyaa” in that island.

“It wasn’t clear whether her ‘master’ actually had sex with her. But she was given counseling anyway,” my source told me today.

I will relate some of my other misadventures with extremists in Maldives:

I know a woman in Male’ who suddenly became pious, started wearing the headscarf, went to Hajj, has “books” and “leaflets” covering EVERYTHING including, unusually, a 2 rak-at namaadhu (prayer) which “will absolve all your previous sins however grave they are.”

If only things were that easy!

Anyway, what is unusual about this woman is that neighbors started gossiping about her because she was being mistress to a married man, and as far as the neighbors knew, she did not marry this man.

I asked her why she was being the mistress of a married man and committing extramarital sex even after she had gone to Hajj (pilgrimage) to cleanse all her sins and she replied: “We are married in the eyes of Allah. There were two male witnesses and that is all that is needed in the court of Allah. We do not need a Maldivian court to legalize our marriage which Allah has already legalized.”

What can I possibly say to THAT?!

Continuing yet another adventure with extremists:

There is this younger brother of one of my school friends who has transformed into an extremist. He has grown a beard and wears truncated trousers. But he is still on heroin and even sells it as far as my friend’s neighbors tell me.

When another friend of mine asked him to justify his use of heroin, he replied: “I do not use the ‘vaanuvaa’ stuff. I only use the ‘pure’ heroin which does not make you ‘masthu’ (intoxicated) and therefore you are fully conscious all the time and therefore cannot be considered as affecting your ‘hama budhdhi’ (consciousness) and therefore the ‘hukum’ (as prescribed by the Quran) of ‘bangu raa’ (alcohol or equivalent intoxicants) do not apply.”

Asked on why he sells heroin, he is said to have replied: “I only sell to people who are not Muslims. Islam teaches us to destroy our enemies.”

For him, all Maldivians who are not extremists are Kaafirs (unbelievers) and therefore he is justified to sell heroin to them because he feels a religious duty to put an end to these Kaafirs’ lives.

I am surprised why it has not occurred to him that the real reason why he sells heroin is only to sustain his own drug habit.

Yet another incident:

There is this group of extremist male teenagers who get together at the house of a friend’s friend to watch porn. When a friend confronted them, one of them replied: “We don’t miss a single namaadhu (prayer). We even go to mosque ‘jamaa-aiy’ (congregation). Every time you pray namaadhu, Allah washes away all the sins you previously committed until that time.”

Convenient way to justify watching porn, isn’t it.

And yet another:

Then there’s this unusual case of an extremist I am quite acquainted with: he is married but he still has extra-marital sex from “dates” he sets up on Mig33. I asked him how he can justify fornication, and he replied: “Religion and sex are two separate things. Sex is biological and therefore nothing can control it.”

I told him that as far as I know religion is an ethical and moral code that covers all aspects of one’s life. I told him that as far as I know Islam is very much against extra-marital sex.

Or is there something I don’t know or I am not getting?


I guess the discovery of this sex slave girl is just the tip of the iceberg. We need to define what is meant by the “tenets of Islam” in the Constitution. But I don’t want extremists like Adhaalath to make that definition for us. I want moderate, independent, true Muslims to define these tenets and clearly make a ruling regarding “jaariyaas” and “whom their right hands possess.”

Otherwise, Maldives society as we know now today, will cease to exist. And things like slavery and child abuse will continue, all in the name of Islam.

Ever since the Islamic Ministry under the monopoly of Adhaalath closed down Simon’s blog (and later revoked that ban) I have been very careful not to publish any material that could be considered anti-Islamic. But if you look at the comments made to this blog by anonymous cowardly hypocrites, I guess extremists will try to distort information and allege that this website is also un-Islamic, like how they distorted facts about Mariyam Omidi and Minivan News and held that protest on Saturday. As long as the government leaves these “tenets of Islam” in the Constitution undefined and vague, I guess extremists will have room to present false information as true, and make halal what Allah has made haram in Islam and vice versa.

As far as I know there is nothing on this website that is anti-Islamic. Of course if the Islamic Ministry or Adhaalath or any other extremists deem that I am a thorn in their back, preventing them from carrying out their pervert sexual fantasies and dark desires of violence in the name of Islam, I guess there is always the possibility that I can be publicly beheaded by accusing me of being anti-Islamic.

But I do hope that if the government considers I am a thorn in its back, at least they facilitate me to go into self-exile. In fact, the climate of Tahiti would comfortably agree with me. And I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life in a sane, serene place like that.

However, as long as I am forced to remain in Maldives (due to financial and other reasons), I cannot afford to be complacent and remain quiet while these hypocrites in broad daylight continue their crimes against the innocent women and children of this country.

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