The Maldives is at no risk of an Al-Qaeda attack, Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed told local media following claims in the UK press by former President Mohamed Nasheed that the Maldives faced rising Islamic extremism.
“There is no basis to Nasheed’s claims. The Maldivian Security Forces are working round the clock with international agencies. The Police receive up to date intelligence information from those agencies. There is no information thus far of any danger to the Maldives from an Al-Qaeda attack,” Jameel was reported as saying.
“Nasheed is just trying to hog the headlines by referring to Islam as he has no more pitches to make in the political arena. Because if he claims that there are religious extremists in the Maldives, it would make it easier for him to attract the attention of the international community.”
“They are talking about alcohol-free resorts, about getting non-drinking tourists to come in from Iran. I can easily imagine holidaymakers being prosecuted for kissing in public, as in some Muslim countries,” Nasheed told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper. The former president also noted recent calls from the country’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs to ban mixed-gender dancing, and dancing by adolescent girls.
“If the country is being radicalised every day, then the staff in the resorts, and their families, are being radicalised also. That must have some impact on the resorts in the medium and long term,” Nasheed warned.