The building was presented to the Maldives by the Chinese government on 10 July 2010, but was officially opened and declared as the national museum two weeks later on Maldives' Independence Day, 26 July 2010.
The interior of the museum has been retained from the days of the Sultanate, including the handwritten Qur'an engraved on the walls of the building.
“It’s quite probable that in per capita terms, the Maldives has more jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq than any other country outside the region,” said a Western security analyst.
Helped by a sophisticated financial and support network, radicalised young Muslims pass incoming tourists as they fly out to transit points such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Colombo.
There has been a surge in departures in recent months, often husbands and wives with their children.
A ‘freethinking’ secularist blogger has been stabbed to death in the Maldives.
It’s a tragedy which demonstrates again that in the Maldives, democracy and justice are crumbling under pressure from a power-crazed president and Islamist extremism.
IHEU Director of Advocacy, Elizabeth’s O’Casey, kept in touch with Rasheed after meeting him at the event.
Rasheed updated the IHEU on death threats against himself and other secularists, and IHEU raised his case with Ahmed Shaheed (the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief).
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