* The Maldives’ reliance on one major industry has undoubtedly accelerated its recognition of the threat jihadists pose to its existence. Larger countries with more diversified economies should also note the measures this Muslim-majority country has taken to protect itself: Are the Maldivians a bunch of Islamophobes? “Maldives cracks down on Islamic extremism,” by Amal Jayasinghe for Agence France-Presse:
MALE (AFP) – The Maldives unveiled tough measures to combat Islamic extremism and protect its vital luxury tourism industry after an unprecedented bombing wounded British, Japanese and Chinese holiday makers.
A Maldivian woman (right), wearing clothing covering her from head to toe, waits for her car in Male. The Maldives unveiled tough measures to combat Islamic extremism and protect its vital luxury tourism industry after an unprecedented bombing wounded British, Japanese and Chinese holiday makers.(AFP/Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)
An order from President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said fundamentalists should not be allowed to conduct religious services and that foreign clerics should not be able to enter the country without special permission.
* Do they know something we refuse to acknowledge?
The decree, which also outlaws head-to-toe covering for women, comes in the wake of a bombing on September 29 which wounded two Britons, two Japanese and eight Chinese tourists visiting a park in the island capital of Male.
The bombing has unsettled the Maldives, a nation of 330,000 Sunni Muslims who have been practising a liberal form of the religion and built South Asia’s most successful economy with the region’s most exotic and upmarket destination.
But the opposition Adhaalath Party said banning the full covering and the full veil for women could not stop “terrorism.”
* That’s right. As long as they read the Koran…
“The government is going to fight terrorism by banning the beard and the burka,” Adhaalath party leader Abdul Majeed Abdul Baari told AFP. “We are asking the government to study the causes of terrorism and extremism.
“Economic conditions also form part of the problem, but the main issue is the ideological differences and we need to address them.”
Under the tough new measures, the government will also not recognise educational qualifications obtained from madrassas, or Islamic seminaries.
Maldivian authorities are holding more than 50 people suspected of links to a radical Islamic sect in connection with September’s bombing.
That amazingly versatile Islamic garment, the burqa, is not only handy for oppressing womenâ€”it’s also the perfect multi-culturally immune disguise for robbing banks: Burka Bandit Hits Hiddenite Bank.
HIDDENITE, N.C. â€” Police are investigating an unusual robbery in Hiddenite. Someone dressed in a burgundy burka walked into the People’s Bank at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, showed the teller a handgun and demanded money.
The robber then took off down N.C. 90 in a burgundy sport utility vehicle.
Authorities are looking into whether this bank robbery can be connected to one in Morganton. An androgynously dressed person held up a bank there last week.
Officers aren’t sure whether they’re looking for a man or a woman in either case.