Islamism and radicalism in the Maldives
Hafez, Mohammed M.
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This thesis aims to explore the rise of Islamism and Islamic radicalism in the Republic of Maldives. It analyzes the causes and grievances which have fueled the rise of political Islam, as well as its radical elements, and the main groups operating in both the political and social space (as well as on the fringes), including an analysis of their main ideological drivers and their social and political outlook. The closed and conspiratorial nature of the Maldivian political environment, as well as the use of repression to quell political dissent and the manipulation of Islamic religious ideals to cement political position was one factor that led to the rise of Islamism and Islamic radicalism. Another was the rapid modernization that introduced alien concepts and values into Maldivian society. These militated against the traditional norms and cultures and wrought havoc on the social structures, causing intense alienation and social dislocation. All these changes were taking place in a context where Maldives was being infiltrated by radical elements, both local and foreign. They made ample use of the social conditions to craft and narrative that was conducive to their recruitment and radicalization efforts.
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