15 December 2011

Tackling Extremism

Extremism- the holding of extreme political or religious views (Oxford dictionary)
Extremism-any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society, or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards. (Wikipedia)

OK, Now the question is do we have extremism in Maldives. We claim we are a peaceful heaven on earth. Yet the hard to accept truth, is that we do have extremism in Maldives.

Here I'd divide the extremism on the basis of politics and religion.

Political Extremism 

We have political extremism in Maldives. There are many people, who use a blind eye, when it comes to politics. I'd refrain from naming any, yet if you look at the Parliament of this country, you'd clearly see the proves of what I said on both sides. Example, for some of the government's supporters, from the natural disasters to economic down turns, from the household problems to the violations of laws by teenagers, everything is "because of Maumoon"!!!Believe me, for some of them, if the member in the next chair farts, it Maumoon who is to be blamed. Same applies to opposition. There are several situations where very solid economic reform actions by government was opposed and called as useless, ineffective or at times dangerous. For some members, they are not even ready to call the president as president just because he is from the other party. For them in the history of the present government, nothing, and just nothing was done right!!! I call both the sides political extremists. We need to get rid of it and move on to productive and constructive levels of thinking.

The same is applied to many members of the general public. Example, there are many houses in Maldives who rejects watching MNBC because it is a government channel or VTV and DhiTV because they support opposition. Yet the truth is, if you don't like them, first be patient enough to watch and observe what they say. I surely will not bother watching any of the channels or any newspaper either.

Many government supporters thinks and fully believes that opposition should not go for any protests and they believes opposition does protest only to "stop the government" Likewise, many opposition believed government members only should run the government and they are not supposed to go for protests. What really happen here is that there is no tolerance at all!!! Political extremism is high in Maldives and we need to address it before it gets too late.


Religious extremism

We have religious extremism in Maldives. There are some religious groups in Maldives who fully believed that the people who do not follow "their way" are NON Muslims. They are not ready to accept the moderate levels of religious thinking that we have followed for several centuries. No matter how much we try to hide this, there is high level of extremist  religious thinking in Maldives. There are some who are not ready to give various vaccines to the kids because they are made by "Western Infidel". There are at least few who rejects to send their girls to the schools in the name of Islam. And there are some who are linked to the extremist groups from abroad. At least that is what I heard from government. Even now some of the "Islamic schools" operated in Maldives gives students extreme levels of thinking on some issues such as watching TV. Not to mention, there are situations where some of these schools are so capable that we feel like asking, "OMG where do you get all these funds"


The opposite is also true. There are some in Maldives who calls for freedom of religion. For me, I'd say that is another level of extremism. There are many situations where Maldivians including some government officials are accused of having too close a relationship with some groups who calls for such freedom in Maldives. At least on a blog once I came across a post calling for "gay rights" in Maldives.

Now the question is the outcome. 

Some of the extremist acts, talks, banners, facebook statuses, comments to newspapers could really be a ticking bomb waiting to go off. The news media needs to address this. The educationist needs to focus this. And the politicians including the MPs needs to take urgent and solid action before the we lose our peaceful nation to the dirty and hands of extremists.  We; the public first needs to accept that there is extremism and accept that we need to tackle it.