Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lessons for the Arab Spring from a Tiny Island Nation called Maldives

Islam and Politics
09 Nov 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com

By Jyoti Thottam

Don't be afraid of the Islamists. In the Maldives, the conservative Islamist Adhaalath Party was until recently a key political ally of Nasheed's government. The partnership, while it lasted, wasn't easy. To keep the Islamists happy, for example, Nasheed did little to change the country's extremely punitive apostasy laws. In an interview with me in Malé, Ahmed Shaheed, a top foreign policy official in Nasheed's government, explained the rationale for working with the Islamists — their grassroots appeal: That's where the mullahs excel.

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