The Indian Ocean paradise Maldives, until recently a moderate Muslim state, is the latest Asian country to witness a troubling rise in ultraconservative Wahhabi Islam imported from the Middle East. Male, the country’s capital. On June 2, Ismail Rasheed, popularly known as ‘Hilath,’ was attacked outside his home when his throat was slit through his trachea, missing a vital artery by millimetres. Rasheed, an outspoken blogger advocating freedom of religion and a fierce critic of the growing religious extremism in the archipelago country, is expected to survive the near-fatal attempt on his life, the second. The gruesome assault on Rasheed cannot be treated as an isolated episode. It is an upshot of the rising religious radicalization in Maldives, whose constitution does not allow any national to practice a religion other than Islam.
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