EFSAS Interview with Dr. Juncal Fernández-Garayzabal (Counter Extremism Project) on terrorism and extremism in The Maldives
In the newest episode of ‘Plain Talk: South Asia’, EFSAS welcomed Dr. Juncal Fernández-Garayzabal to discuss the challenges linked with terrorism and radicalization in the Maldives. Dr. Fernández-Garayzabal is Program Manager at the Counter Extremism Project and Co-founder of Parallel Networks (PN), a non-profit organization dedicated to combating polarization, hate, and extremism. Dr. Fernández-Garayzabal initially highlighted that terrorism in the Maldives is not a new phenomenon. The election of the first democratic government in 2008 influenced Maldivian society in various ways, including by creating a growing space for religious expression, which allowed for the emergence of more radical voices in the public sphere. After 2013, the Maldives emerged as the country with the highest per capita rate of foreign fighters (FFs) joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Currently, 1400 Maldivians are believed to be willing to die for their religious ideology. She outlined that the emergence of radical sentiments is heavily influenced by teachings from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where many Maldivians went to receive an Islamic education.
Dr. Juncal Fernández-Garayzabal in conversation with Director EFSAS, Junaid Qureshi.