Tourist paradise rocked by political uncertainty: Vancouver Sun

The United States and India have been watching with concern as radical Islam, fuelled by Saudi Arabian Wahhabi and Salafi charities, takes root in the Maldives, stoking fears the archipelago could become a terrorist haven, writes Jonathan Manthorpe for the Vancouver Sun.

At the same time Washington and New Delhi are mistrustful of China’s growing influence with the Male government.

There is apprehension the Maldives could become yet another supply base for China’s navy. India, Beijing’s regional rival, is already concerned that China’s naval link’s with Pakistan and the Bay of Bengal ports of Burma are part of a containment strategy.

The march of radical Islam in the Maldives began in the 1980s during the dictatorship of Gayoom, who allowed Saudi Arabian Wahhabist charities to establish themselves in the Maldives and who oversaw a radicalization of the education system.

Many Maldivian students now go to radical madrassas – religious schools – in Pakistan for higher education. Several are known to have become affiliated with al-Qaida as a result.

The increasing popularity of puritanical Islam in the Maldives sits uneasily with the country’s main industry as an upmarket tourist destination, which accounts for 30 per cent of the annual gross national product.

Aspects of Shariah religious law, such as the banning of alcohol, prohibition of men and women dancing together, and public flogging for adultery, are applied in the capital Male. But these restrictions are not imposed in the tourist resorts on the 250 inhabited islands of the archipelago.

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One thought on “Tourist paradise rocked by political uncertainty: Vancouver Sun”

  1. This article is completely biased. This is part of the tactics Nasheed and his allies always used to get the international medial attention.

    No matter how hard Naheed and his allies try to ruin this country but I doubt that they can succeed.

    Maldives will continue to be moderate Islamic country and Nasheed and his cronies can not change it.

    Nasheed is the man who had encourage the radical islam to if ever to take the root in Maldives.

    Nasheed is the man who gave a cabinet profile to Adhaalth , so called the radical group.

    When Nasheed does something radical, minivan is trying to promote that in good faith and when some one else, it become an issue.

    The real radical faction in Maldives is Nasheed and victims of gnashed cronies and they are the most dangerous people in Maldives and is a threat to national security.


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