Ismail Mohamed Didi, the 25 year-old air traffic controller who was found hanged from the control tower of Male International Airport at 4:00am on Tuesday morning in an apparent suicide, was seeking asylum in the UK for fear of persecution over his lack of religious belief.
Islamic website Raajjeislam reported yesterday that Ismail “was a person inclined to atheism” and had “declared his atheism to his friends.”
The website alleged that Ismail had refused to follow religious sermons.
“This is an issue that a Muslim government should consider,” the website said. “Because when these types of people die, they are buried in the same [cemetery] where Muslims are buried. Their funeral prayers and body washing are also conducted as for Muslims. It is questionable as to whether this is allowed according to Islam.”
Over two emails sent to an international humanitarian organisation on June 23 and 25, obtained by Minivan News, Ismail admits he is an atheist and desperately requests assistance for his asylum application, after claiming to have received several anonymous threats on June 22.
In the emails, he says he “foolishly admitted my stance on religion” to work colleagues, word of which had “spread like wildfire.”
“A lot of my close friends and girlfriend have been prohibited from seeing me by their parents. I have even received a couple of anonymous phone calls threatening violence if I do not repent and start practising Islam,” he said.
“Maldivians are proud of their religious homogeneity and I am learning the hard way that there is no place for non-Muslim Maldivians in this society.”
– Via Minivvanews (2010)