Radicalization in South Asia: Context, Trajectories and Implications presents a critical overview of radicalism, violence and terrorism in South Asia, a region that is diverse in terms of demography, religion, culture and political ideologies. While diversity could have worked as a push factor in strengthening democracies in the region, historically, fault lines in the South Asian faiths, culture, ethnicity, nationalism and political ideologies have triggered radical movements, and unleashed violence and terror attacks to destabilize democracies in the region. Against the backdrop of the current wave of illiberalism and radicalism sweeping over the US, Europe, Middle East, Australia and Latin America, this book presents the most recent scenario of the context, trajectories and policy implications for radicalism, violence and terrorism in five South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. It emphasizes the comparative insights provided by the changing values of South Asian society to offer a comprehensive picture of radicalization in this region.
Chapter 4: Religious and Political Transformations in the Maldives: The Macro-Level Contexts of Radicalization
The tiny Indian Ocean nation of the Maldives, which claims to be a 100 per cent Muslim State, experienced an impressive political liberalization process from around 2003, transitioning to an electoral democracy in 2009 for the first time.1 The political liberalization was by no means a smooth process. Deep political turmoil engulfed the country since 2003, constantly threatening the liberalization process and later the democratic transition. During this same period, religious radicalism and violent extremism became a major issue of concern for the Maldives. A steady flow of Maldivian foreign fighters joined jihadist groups in Syria ...