Sunday, October 9, 2011

Islam,Terrorism and Jihad
08 Oct 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
Maldives Faces up to Extremism

By Sudha Ramachandran

But newly democratic Maldives is up against a serious challenge - religious extremism. Maldivians are Sunni Muslim and adherence to Islam is required for citizenship. Historically, religion has been an important part of the daily lives of Maldivians, but the Islam followed here was never rigid or puritanical. Maldivian Islam is suffused with local cultural practices and faith in Islam has co-existed with the belief in spirits - djinns. Alongside praying to Allah, Maldivians turned to magic and spells for protection against evil spirits. Traditionally, women did not veil their faces or cover their heads and men did not grow beards. Interaction between men and women was allowed and arranged marriages, practiced in most Islamic societies, was never the norm here. -- Sudha Ramachandran

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