Dunya Maumoon has characterised Ahmed Shaheed as a traitor to the Maldives after a video of Shaheed, where he largely sticks to the talking points of pro-Israeli western leaders and media, made the social media rounds on Sunday. Shaheed was a former Minister of Foreign Affairs under presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed while Dunya held the same designation in the Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom administration.

In a video originally posted to social media by by ‘Combat Antisemitism Movement,’ and which has since been removed, Shaheed is seen expressing his solidarity with Israel.

“I would like to thank the ‘Combat Antisemitism Movement’ for enabling me to express heartfelt solidarity with everyone in Israel, with Jews everywhere and all those who have worked with me these past six years in combating antisemitism. I can’t even imagine what you are going through now. Especially those who have lost entire families and loved ones with the number exceeding 1,000 in a pogrom which has been carried out inside Israel. There can be no justification whatsoever for the unspeakable acts that have been carried out by Hamas terrorists and no place for such barbarism. They demand unqualified condemnation, as many world leaders have done, and as I do. Such cruelty cannot come from anything other than a visceral hatred of Jews which is why I have spent so much of my time focusing on combating antisemitism and all forms of hatred. I pray for the safety of those taken hostage and join those calling for their immediate and unconditional release. I also pray for an early respite for all civilians caught up in this conflict. I wish there was something positive I could say, except that I pray that all people of good conscience come out of this dark crisis stronger than before in our commitment to uphold our shared humanity,” Shaheed is heard saying in the video which was recovered and shared on social media by other users.

Dunya’s response to the video, as that of many other Maldivians and others in solidarity with the Palestinian cause, appeared heated.

“As a Maldivian, I am ashamed that another Maldivian has taken such a stand. A former Foreign Minister making such statements will have a negative impact on [all] Maldivians. Such are actions by traitors to the country,” Dunya shot back on social media.

Meanwhile Shaheed’s social media presence on “X” appears to have been deleted with clicks on his profile being forwarded to a “account doesn’t exist” page on the platform.

Dr Ahmed Shaheed is currently the Deputy Director of the Essex Human Rights Centre, and is a Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, designated on 1 November 2016, by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). He held the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, between 2005 and 2007, and President Mohamed Nasheed, between 2008 and 2010.

Dunya Maumoon was Minister of Foreign Affairs, between 2013 and 2016, in the Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom administration.