Saturday, September 7, 2013

Maldives elections unlikely to improve religious freedom

Tourist hotspot the only place where being non-Muslim is illegal

Former president Mohamed Nasheed, centre,
 claims he was forced to resign in February 2012.
Tomorrow, the country’s almost entirely Islamic population will head to the polls for only the second two-party election of Maldivian history. Yet regardless of the outcome, little improvement is expected in religious tolerance.
Islam is so intertwined with politics in the Maldives that it is the only country in the world where it is illegal to be anything other than a Muslim. Those who convert to another religion can have their citizenship revoked. As such, there is no formal presence of any other religious faith inside the country, although small pockets of underground religious movements exist.

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