This refers to the article ‘Occupational Hazard’. The treatment of journalists in South Asian countries is indeed a matter of concern. In fact, this phenomenon is not limited to South Asia. I read a report the other day about the most dangerous countries for journalists. Sadly, among the top ten countries, five were Muslim. Although the Maldives was not included in the top ten countries, it is most likely to join the infamous club if journalists are continuously targeted there for reporting the facts.
Ahmed Abdulla Rilwan’s abduction points towards another ominous reality: the decreasing space and tolerance for diverse points of views. If allowed to persist, this dangerous trend will harm the Maldivian society very badly. Radicalism is a monster that has seemingly taken the entire Muslim world in its grip and the Maldives is no exception. While it is a grave threat for every country per se, no state stands to lose more because of it than the Maldives. Its entire economy depends on tourism and the majority
of tourists who come to the Maldives are westerners. By making demands for implementing a strict brand of Shariah, some elements in society will simply send the tourists away – the biggest source of income for the country. I am sure they do not want that. With that, I hope for a safe return of Abdulla. May no other journalist in the country have to face what he did. Rajjab Sulthan Male, Maldives