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Monday, February 13, 2012

What a Fun Place To Visit

You may have read about the tiny island nation called the Maldives a while back when its government held its first underwater cabinet meeting to attract international attention to the dangers of global warming. That's right:
President Mohamed Nasheed, dressed in full scuba gear, conducted the 30-minute meeting at a depth of 20 feet off the coast just north of the capital Male.

Most of the island nation, a tourist paradise featuring coral reefs and white sand beaches, lies less just over three feet above sea level and scientists have warned it could be uninhabitable in less than 100 years.

It's true that the "tourist paradise" may become uninhabitable. But not because of rising sea levels that will result from that warming globe that quit warming last century. But because of Islamist radicalism:
Trouble in paradise: Maldives and Islamic extremism
By Amal Jayasinghe, AFP

At the Maldives' National Museum, smashed Buddhist statues are testament to the rise of Islamic extremism and Taliban-style intolerance in a country famous as a laid-back holiday destination.

On Tuesday, as protesters backed by mutinous police toppled president Mohamed Nasheed, a handful of men stormed the Chinese-built museum and destroyed its display of priceless artefacts from the nation's pre-Islamic era.

"They have effectively erased all evidence of our Buddhist past," a senior museum official told AFP at the now shuttered building in the capital Male, asking not to be named out of fear for his own safety.

The authorities have banned photography of the damage, conscious that vandalism of this kind which echoes the 2001 destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban is damaging for the nation's image.

Visitors' contact with the local population is deliberately kept at bay, however, with most foreigners simply transferring from the main international airport directly to their five-star resorts on outlying islands.

Few have any idea they are visiting a country of 330,000 Muslims with no religious freedom, where women can be flogged for extramarital sex and consuming alcohol is illegal for locals.

Islam is the official religion of the Maldives and open practice of any other religion is forbidden and liable to prosecution. [link]
What a fun place to spend a vacation.

Now you have a choice to make. To party in the Maldives, where the little woman will be required to wear a burqa in public, or a cruise aboard the luxury liner Costa Concordia, as soon as they get it raised from the bottom of the ocean and get its captain through rehab.

Tough choice ...