Three Maldives government ministers have been suspended for making unpleasant remarks on Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep. Even after this, the Indians’ rage has not subsided. Meanwhile, the leadership there is constantly touting the two countries’ friendship as a means of damage management. All of this is happening because the Maldives’ economy is heavily reliant on Indian tourists. Every year, lakhs of Indians visit Maldives for vacation.
What is the extent of fundamentalism?
Now Lakshadweep can replace it. By the way, even America has said about the Sunni majority Maldives that it is an extremely extremist country, whose people have a soft attitude towards terrorists. To a large extent, this is also true. This country, which once had a Buddhist population, rapidly changed to a Muslim population. Now the situation is such that non-Muslims do not even get citizenship here.
What do historians believe?
Most experts believe that Kalinga king Brahmaditya ruled there before the Chola Empire. This dates from the ninth century. Following this, the Chola dynasty rose to power through royal marriages. In the 11th century, the Maldives was ruled by Mahabarna Aditya, as evidenced by inscriptions.
The last Buddhist ruler also converted to Islam
Buddhism was already flourishing there before to this. The majority of the population was Buddhist in the third century BC. Both religions continued to thrive together with the arrival of Hindu monarchs. Buddhist stupas can still be found on more than 50 of the islands. However, the majority of them have been damaged or broken. Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, the last Buddhist monarch of Dhowemi, turned to Islam in 1153.
Why did this happen?
In truth, Arab tradesmen have been coming and leaving in this island country for a long time. Initially, it was all about business, but they eventually began to spread their religion. Following the king’s conversion, practically the entire population converted to Islam, and the nation was Islamized. This is recorded in the book ‘Note on the Early History of the Maldives’.
What kind of Religious environment is there?
This Indian Ocean island nation has become 98 percent Muslim. Other religions make up the remaining 2%, however, they are not permitted to practice their religious symbols or celebrate festivals in public. Even if one wants to obtain Maldivian citizenship, he must be a Muslim, preferably a Sunni Muslim. Religious concerns are overseen by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs (MIA).
Non-Muslims cannot practice their religion in public
Even though this is a tourist destination, tourists are not permitted to practice their religion. They are not permitted to worship in public areas. The report from the United States was likewise authorized. In the year 2022, the US Department of State issued a report on Religious Freedom in the Maldives. According to reports, three Indian visitors were arrested for placing God idols there. There are approximately 29 thousand Indians in the country, but they have either accepted Islam or hidden their official religion.
What is the connection with ISIS?
This country, made up of roughly 1200 islands, is thought to have the highest number of youth per capita population that went to fight for the Islamic State. According to the US Department of Treasury, more than 250 persons from this country traveled to Syria to join ISIS between 2014 and the beginning of 2018. In terms of population, it is the largest in the world. Many of these people were slain, and the majority of Maldivian women are being held in facilities in northeast Syria. To reintegrate them, the Maldives government established a National Reintegration Center.