Brave – or perhaps a little foolhardy – Mohamed Nazim attended a lecture being given by a prominent Islamist in the Republic of the Maldives and announced during the Q&A session that he did not believe in religion.
Now, the Maldives get a bit of attention because they’re worried climate change will turn the Republic into an underwater attraction.
There is less focus on the fact that democracy in the Maldives, such as it is, is deeply immature and that citizens are legally compelled to follow Islam. Atheism is not an option.
Mr Nazim’s startlingly enlightened revelation did not go down well with the religious crowd. He was attacked and taken into custody by the police. Since they see him as an apostate his beheading was demanded.
Before any atheist solidarity campaign to save the god-botherer-bothering Mr Nazim could be established, another newspaper article from the Maldvies suggested that he had seen the light and ‘reverted’ to Islam.
Mr Nazim issued a statement apologising for his behaviour and claiming that he is now a good Muslim. The atheist solidarity campaign I imagined setting up failed to get to him before the two Islamic scholars who visited him in the police station and provided two days of religious counseling (presumably Mr Nazim had nothing else to do).
Funnily enough, Mr Nazim appears to have chosen to become a Muslim rather than to have his atheism-inclined head separated from the rest of his body.
Hopefully the Maldives will stay above the sea level long enough for their society to progress to a point where people can choose for themselves which religion, if any, they want to follow.