On March 19th, 2020, The Economist journal in the UK published an article titled “A tale of two viruses: Jihad is as contagious as covid-19 in the Maldives.” The article is behind a paywall but judging from several years of reports about the Maldives, we can gather what it’s about & why the relatively small archipelago is important to a financial journal. Classic ‘war on terror’ propaganda has been written about the region which reportedly has recruited a disproportionate number of fighters to ISIS in Iraq & Syria. This would be of concern to nearby India, at least in terms of its propaganda value. It would certainly be of concern to well-heeled tourists who want to vacation in a luxury resort without the fear of suicide bombers.
If it’s true that Maldivian youth are attracted in large numbers to ISIS, what’s required is not inflammatory propaganda impugning Sunni Muslims as a whole but a thorough economic, social, political analysis of the reasons why. Does it have to do with neoliberal policies turning the Maldives into a luxury resort destination & making hundreds of well-educated young people completely redundant, i.e., unemployed, except as busboys? Could that contribute to antisocial attitudes among young men? Or are we to assume there’s something in Sunni Islam that leads directly to the ISIS death cult?
We are fed up with ‘war on terror’ propaganda, especially after seeing its pernicious influence on the international antiwar movement which led to its complete collapse & its support for counterrevolution in Syria.