Elections in Maldives postponed in response to the most insidious of vote-rigging plots.

Ever participated in an election while wondering if you were being controlled by black magic to vote a certain way?  Well, authorities and election officials in Maldives are onto that shit.

A vote-rigging row has erupted in the Maldives ahead of Saturday’s presidential election amid suspicions that one party is using cursed coconuts imbued with black magic spells to sway voters’ political allegiances.

The claims came after a coconut, described as “young”, was placed near a polling booth in an alleged bid to disrupt the upcoming elections.

The fruit had been inscribed with verse from the Koran and placed near the booth at a school on the remote Kaafu atoll – Guraidhoo, one of the islands that make up the Indian Ocean archipelago state.

Black magic is often used to prevent people from voting or influence them on the islands.

And the police reacted as you would expect them to react to such a grave threat:

Following the discovery of the ‘cursed’ coconut police brought in a ‘ruqyah’ practitioner (white magician) to examine the coconut.

The expert found the black magic element of the coconut was fake, Maldives channel Minivan News reported. “Because it’s a fake the police are not worried,” the source said.

Oh thank heavens that this particular black magic element was fake.  You can imagine the ramifications if this had been one of those real black magic elements.  I think it’s kind of amusing that nowhere do they consider prayer an effective way of altering elections (otherwise it would be prohibited).  But black magic coconuts?  Those could do some real damage.

Prayer: less powerful than black magic coconuts.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Nobilis

    Oh, please, can we mock poor people in foreign countries some more? I feel SO much smarter when we do that.

    • Mike De Fleuriot

      Hey, I mock you Americans all the time, and no one complains. Turn about is fair.

      There are two ways these ignorant primitives can change the way the world views them, one being to give up their ignorant primitive belief systems and the other being to provide proof that their ignorant primitive belief systems are not.

    • islandbrewer

      Don’t worry. Next time someone like multi millionaire Rick Perry or Pat Robertson or some other American calls upon white magic voodoo to move an election or make it rain in Texas, they’ll be mocked.

    • DavidMHart

      No one’s mocking themfor being poor and foreign here*. They are being mocked for believing something patently absurd and superstitious. And don’t forget: mockery of absurd beliefs is not fruitless – if it becomes embarrassing to admit to believing something because you can’t show it to be true in the face of people laughing at it, then it loosens the grip that the absurd belief has on people’s minds, at least a little bit.

      Of course, the people that these really people need to be laughed at by are other (less superstitious) Maldivians, but still, you’ve got to start somewhere :-)

      *[EDIT: except possibly for Mike de Fleuriot with the word 'primitive'. I'm sure you don't mean it that way, but it's a kind of de-humanizing thing to say, given its long history of use by imperial powers of all stripes to justify the oppression of the people judged to be less than fully civilized]

  • phantomreader42

    No, no, no. You’re supposed to put the LIME in the coconut!

  • Drakk

    This is what American Christians would do, if they actually believed that prayer could influence the outcome of elections.

    The fact that they don’t, despite there being far more people praying around election time than there are people carving magic coconuts, indicates to me that actually, they don’t think prayer works at all.

  • S MacIsaac

    The use of an inscribed young coconut is common in traditional/Islamic rituals on many of the Indian Ocean islands. I recall carrying out considerable research with traditional practitioners a few years ago. In banishing rituals the coconut may be ultimately split in two or floated out to sea on the tide. Not having seen the inscription I cannot comment on the details, but the authorities were wise to have taken this seriously as it would have been taken seriously by significant members of the local community. The use of the coconut is symbolic as is the use of other foods and drinks in many religious rituals worldwide.