The Maldives are heading towards becoming a Wahhabist country, a puritanical interpretation of Islam only seen in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The Maldives Islamic minister, Dr Ahmed Ziyad Bagir, signed a religious cooperation agreement along with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Salih ibn Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad Al Al-Shaykh on Thursday.
Through the cooperation, Saudi Arabia would help the Maldives strengthen its alms system, translate religious books to the local Dhivehi language and facilitate the exchange of visits by religious scholars of both countries.
The Maldives minister stated: “By the grace of God, this agreement will also expedite the work on the mosques that are being constructed with assistance from Saudi Arabia. We’ll also be able to improve the standard of Imams.”
Article 9, Section D of the Maldives constitution states: “that a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives.”
As well as constructing many mosques, Riyadh has also provided scholarship opportunities to Maldivian students annually to undertake courses religious studies.
King Salman had visited the Maldives both as the crown prince last year and after taking over the throne following the death of his half-brother Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in January emphasising the strong relations.
P. Antonopoulos is currently a Candidate for an MA Degree, writing his dissertation on the Saudi-Iranian Geopolitical Rivalry in the Syrian War.
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