Maldives – A Return to Religious Conservatism: The Diplomat

“As Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen completed three months in office on February 17, one could not help but notice the Indian Ocean archipelago’s return to religious conservatism and its growing engagement with China,” writes Vishal Arora for the diplomat.

“The Maldives, a string of 1,192 islands, has made several moves to cement the supremacy of Sunni Islam since Yameen was sworn in as president in November 2013.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has set its top priorities for 2014, which include blocking all religions except Islam in the nation, ensuring that all laws and regulations adhere to Islamic principles and developing and strengthening the Islamic Fiqh Academy to issue fatwas.

The ministry has also signed an agreement with the Saudi Arabian Muslim Scholars Association to receive a grant of MVR1.6 million, or $104,166, for the “mutual goal” of developing and improving the study of the Quran and religion.”

Read more