In recent months several newspapers, blogs and academic outlets have highlighted the tumultuous domestic skirmish between Nasheed and Waheed in the Maldives as well as the strategic balancing act of the archipelago state between India and China, writes Djan Sauerborn for the International Security Observer (ISO).
Surprisingly however the troubling rise of religious fundamentalism within the Maldives has not fully moved into the limelight of international media and organisations. This is especially astonishing, because the battle between moderate and extremist forces within the country not only has a strong impact on the upcoming elections in September but also on civil society as a whole.
Islam, which only decades ago did not play a major role within the public sociopolitical sphere, has turned into a divisive “game changer”. Moderate, peaceful and inclusive forms of religious expression are being violently pushed aside by adherents of fundamentalism.