Archive for 04/27/2013

The Maldives: Dramatic Rise In Violent Jihadist Activities Are Placing The Islands’ Economic Wellbeing In Jeopardy

04/27/2013 1 comment

Carrying around books about Christianity in the Maldives can now get you arrested. Preaching any religion other than Islam and you’ll likely end up in prison. As Muslims begin taking Islam more seriously on this tiny archipelago state, a marked increase in violence and extremism means this paradise haven may soon become a paradise lost …

By Animesh Roul, ISN – “The Indian Ocean archipelago state of the Maldives is best known for its scenic and secluded tourist resorts. An estimated 400,000 people live on approximately 1,200-2,000 small islands, grouped into 26 atolls.[1] The tourism industry accounts for 30% of its gross domestic product, with an estimated 900,000 foreigners visiting the country each year.[2] In the past decade, however, the Maldives has experienced political uncertainty and growing religious extremism.

In 2008, the Maldives held its first democratic presidential elections. Mohamed Nasheed defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had ruled the country for 30 years, winning 54% of the vote.[3] During the election campaign, Gayoom and his supporters accused Nasheed, a Sunni Muslim, of spreading Christianity in the Maldives.[4] In December 2011, after three years in power, Nasheed and his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) faced massive protests by opposition parties, religious groups and their thousands of supporters in the capital Male.[5] Called the ‘Defend Islam’ protests, the organizers accused the Nasheed administration of defiling Islam, arguing that Nasheed promoted Western ideals and culture and restricted the spread of more austere Islamic practices.[6] The protests continued into 2012. On February 7, 2012, a bloodless coup toppled the Maldives’ first democratically-elected government.[7]

Since Islam was introduced in the Maldives in the 12th century, religious practices in the country have been moderate. Yet in the past decade, the country has grown increasingly religiously conservative. This became especially evident following the implementation of political reforms and the transition to multiparty democracy in 2008, which gave a greater voice to religious conservatives and those calling for the rigid implementation of Shari`a (Islamic law) in the Maldives.[8]

This article examines religious conservatism and extremist violence in the Maldives, as well as cases of Maldivians joining jihadist groups. It finds that religious conservatism is on the rise in the Maldives, which could result in more violence and affect the country’s lucrative tourism industry.

A Move Toward Religious Conservatism

For hundreds of years, Sunni Muslims in the Maldives have largely practiced a more liberal form of the religion. Yet during Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s three-decade autocratic rule, the Egyptian-trained religious scholar enacted a number of measures that, at least inadvertently, encouraged more Read more…

Categories: Radical Islam

Morocco: Nation’s Highest Islamic Institute Issues Fatwa Demanding Death Sentence For Christian Converts

04/27/2013 3 comments

BosNewsLife – “Christian converts in Morocco feared for their future Thursday, April 25, after the country’s highest Islamic institute issued a fatwa demanding the death penalty for Muslims who renounce their religion.

The Supreme Ulema Council of Morocco (CSO), a body of Islamic scholars headed by King Mohammed VI, said that Muslims who reject their faith ‘should be condemned to death.’  CSO is the only institution entitled to issue ‘fatwas’, or religious decrees, in Morocco.

The ministry of Islamic affairs declined to comment on the issue.

The fatwa dates back to April 2012 when a legal report was prepared by the government, but it wasn’t published at the time, according to local media.

Mahjoub El Hiba, a senior human rights official in the Moroccan government, denied to reporters that the government received a fatwa on ‘apostasy’ — the word used for abandoning Islam — as the Arabic-language daily Akhbar al-Youm had claimed.


The different statements could not be immediately reconciled, but local Christians expressed concern about the situation, saying it could lead to a new crackdown on the country’s tiny Christian community of some 22,000 people.

‘There’s a lot of confusion and discussion in Morocco right now about the fatwa,’ said a pastor near the city of Marrakech in a statement distributed by advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC). ‘We fear that if the fatwa is approved, the government will use it to harass us and even arrest us during our meetings,’ the church leader added, speaking on condition of anonymity.

‘The [Islamic] fundamentalists will have an excuse to harm us,’ the pastor reportedly said.

ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, Aidan Clay, agrees that the fatwa adds to concern about the position of Christians in the Islamic nation of over 32 million people.” Read more.

Flashback: ‘Arab Spring’ Contagion Strikes Morocco: Islamist ‘Justice’ Party Wins Vote in Election – “Morocco’s moderate Islamist PJD party won the most seats in the country’s parliamentary election, final results showed Sunday, in the latest sign of a resurgence of faith-based movements since the Arab Spring uprisings. The victory for Morocco’s Justice and Development Party came a month after Tunisia handed power to a previously-banned party of moderate Islamists. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is also expected to do well in an election starting Monday.” Read more.

UK: Muslim Council Worker Jailed After Being Found With 352 Discs Containing Terror Material And Beheading Footage

04/27/2013 3 comments

For peaceful purposes …

By JAYMI MCCANN, Mail Online – “A council worker who was found with 352 computer discs containing terrorist material, including footage of executions and the 9/11 attacks, was today jailed for two years.

London Borough of Hackney revenue officer Khalid Baqa, 48, also used his work computer to watch the footage and trawl Islamic websites.

He stashed the discs – which contained 26 hours of speeches by the hate preacher Anwar al-Awlaki – in his car and his children’s bedroom.

One disk was found inside a laptop provided for him by the council, where he worked for 22 years before being sacked after his arrest..

Baqa, who work colleagues said underwent a transformation in 1996 by growing a long beard, wearing traditional Muslim dress and shunning everyone, said he was storing the discs for someone else.

London’s Old Bailey today heard the material contained footage of beheadings and executions, the explosions of improvised explosive devices, the last will and testament of one of the London bombers, footage of the 9/11 attacks and jihadi fighters in combat.

Sentencing Baqa, from Barking, east London, Judge Christopher Moss QC said: ‘It is quite clear to me – and you accept – that you well knew the generality of what these discs contained, namely encouragement of, and indeed instruction in, violent acts of terrorism.

‘It is from such material that those who are already radicalised or about to become so derive their knowledge, instruction and involvement in the ways of violent terrorism.

‘That is why it is so dangerous and that is why the courts must deal with it so severely.’

The father-of-six had pleaded guilty to two offences of disseminating terrorist publications earlier this month.

A further seven offences of having material likely to be useful in terrorism were ordered to lie on file.” Read more.

Categories: Radical Islam
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