What happens when the youth of a country is direction-less ? What will happen when the energy of youth is diverted towards wrong cause and wrong path? The future of such a country will be bleak and filled with darkness. Maldives is one such country where the youth are being channelized towards the path of hatred and violence but the Government sits quietly doing nothing.
Recently, a Maldivian was arrested by police for hoisting the flag of Islamic State at the artificial beach in Male and is under judicial remand. No further inputs were given by the police on pretext of security, the all-so-common alibi. But there are questions left unanswered and the Government, the highest authority in any country, should give answer to the public, especially on matters concerning the future of the country.
This is not the first time that the ISIS has raised its ugly head publicly in the open. There has been ample examples of its strong presence and foothold in Maldives. A protest was marched by pro-ISIS people in September 2014, bearing the IS flag and with placards reading ‘To hell with democracy’, ‘Democracy is a failed system’. The march ended with a communal prayer wishing success for Islamic ‘mujahidheen’ (holy warriors) fighting in conflicts across the world. The Government allowed such a march to take place openly, was a rude shock and a clear indication of the incapability of this present Govt.
Following such an open dare by IS, the Govt. officials big-mouthed that extremism does not have any place in Maldives. But little of these words were converted into action. Even the former ousted President Nasheed claimed that more than 200 Maldivians are fighting in Syria and Iraq with extremist militant groups. But the Government, instead of investigating into the matter, just refuted the claim saying the that figures are far less than claimed by Nasheed. Figures, less or more, are a source of concern.
All this time, the Govt just sat pretty on its thrown and was concerned more with filling their bank accounts than saving the youth of the country from darkness called IS. How serious the Govt. is about this, can be gauzed from the fact that the NCTC hotline is unreachable and the Govt. officials are laughing at such incidents. How grim the situation can be, when the Government just laughs off such a threat to liberal and open-minded people. Around 250 Maldivians are fighting in Syria and Iraq – the highest per capita in the region, but still the Government keeps quiet. Six Maldivians fighting with the al-Qaeda-affiliated Front have been killed in battle. But the Government still keeps mum. Government says that they have been taking remedial measures but the figures point otherwise. There has been a constant increase in the number of youths leaving country to take the ‘dark route’. No official figures has been given by the Government.
The Government, has always downplayed the threat of extremism in the Maldives over fears it may impact the country’s luxury tourism sector. But what good such a tourism sector be without the youth of the country. The Government is oblivion of the fact what dire consequences such a organized radicalization will lead to. Or is it that the Government just pretends that everything is under their control by putting up a facade that radicalization does not take place in Maldives. What more a proof one wants than the IS flag being raised in the heart of Maldives. We urge the Government to take steps before this menace called ISIS takes over Maldives and makes it into another Iraq or Syria.