We are no fundamentalists, says new Maldives govt
Last Updated: Monday, February 13, 2012, 16:46
Male: The new Maldivian government has brushed aside claims that Islamic harliners' influence was rising in politics, saying Maldives was not a country of fundamentalists.

"We are not fundamentalists," said a close aide of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan today when asked about claims that Maldives' political scene had witnessed a rise in hardliners.

"The fundamentalists are those who strap bombs to their bodies and blow away," Masood Imad, a friend and Press Secretary to the new President said.

He said a person with a beard cannot be considered as a hardliner.

"It is sunnah... Don't judge the book by its cover. Read it and understand it," he said.

Over the past few months, certain quarters have expressed concern over the rising influence of the hardline elements in the country.

The Wall Street Journal in a report had said that "hard- line Islam is an increasing part of the political scene and played a role in overthrowing the democratically elected government".

Incidentally, the country's new Home Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed infamously published a controversial pamphlet accusing ousted President Mohamad Nasheed of working with "Jews and Christians" and against Islamic ideals.

Hassan's new cabinet also has elements of the erstwhile Maumoon Abdul Gayoom era that lasted for 30 years.

Maldives is an atoll nation of around four lakh people, with Sunni Islam the only religion followed in the country and adherence to it is required under the Constitution.


First Published: Monday, February 13, 2012, 16:46

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