To­wards ex­trem­ism

Southasia - - CONTENTS - Fathima Na­jee­bulla Male, Mal­dives

This is with ref­er­ence to the ar­ti­cle ‘A case for Aid?’ by Dr Ikra­mul Haq and Huza­ima Bukhari. The govern­ment of the Mal­dives may not re­al­ize it yet, but it will com­mit a big mis­take if it lets for­eign forces in­ter­fere in its in­ter­nal mat­ters. It is mov­ing on a path of re­li­gious ex­trem­ism and the con­se­quences of tak­ing this course can be dis­as­trous. I won­der why it does not learn from Pak­istan’s ex­am­ple. Dur­ing the war against Rus­sian oc­cu­pa­tion of Afghanistan, Pak­istan ac­cepted aid to pre­pare a rag­tag army of mil­i­tants to fight against the Rus­sians. Most of the mem­bers of this ‘army’ were in­ducted from re­li­gious sem­i­nar­ies. A large por­tion of the aid also went into pro­mot­ing re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion and open­ing new sem­i­nar­ies in the coun­try. The Rus­sians were de­feated and the war ended. What the ar­mies cre­ated to fight the in­fi­del forces have been do­ing since then is known to all.

The Mal­dives earns most of its rev­enues through tourism and tourists visit the coun­try in large num­ber be­cause it of­fers en­chant­ing scenery and a peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment. If the peace is dis­rupted, no one would come to the Mal­dives. This, in turn, will ruin its econ­omy. I’m sure the govern­ment and the people of the Mal­dives do not want to suf­fer this fate. They should de­cide soon what is best for them.

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