The Maldives Wednesday unveiled tough measures to combat extremism and protect its vital luxury tourism industry after an unprecedented bombing wounded British, Japanese and Chinese holiday makers.
An order from President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said fundamentalists should not be allowed to conduct religious services and that foreign clerics should not be able to enter the country without special permission.
Ban on women’s covering: The decree, which also outlaws head-to-toe covering for women, comes in the wake of a bombing on September 29 which wounded two Britons, two Japanese and eight Chinese tourists visiting a park in the island capital of Male.
Officials said Gayoom’s order underlined a desire to stem fundamentalism that could undermine the tiny atoll nation’s status as one of the world’s top destinations for well-heeled tourists. “The president addressed letters to the ministries of education and higher education and the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs outlining the measures to curb religious extremism,” the government said in a statement.
Under the tough new measures, the government will also not recognise educational qualifications obtained from madrassas, or Islamic seminaries. afp