This week, blogger Hani Amir asks why Maldivians feel threatened by Jews, and takes a look at how this blanket prejudice came to be in our country.
…once it was decided that the national identity of Maldivians would be firmly linked with “Islam”; what would then be the threat? The Jew, ofcourse. Not the Israeli government or even the Israeli people. Jews or “yahoodheen” in Dhivehi. A campaign was started by Maumoon to instill into the public that the enemy of the Muslims, and thus Maldivians, are the Jews. The conflict in the Gaza strip would be presented as a religious conflict. With the “evil Jews” constantly plotting to get the better of the innocent Muslims. The Jews could be anywhere and no Muslim was safe from their clutches.
Saturating the media with such images and stories was easy for Maumoon as he controlled the state; and thus controlled the state media – the only media; which consisted of a TV and radio station. This was supplemented by various newspapers that functioned more like government gazettes rather than having any relationship with even the vaguest concept of journalism. Not really surprising considering it was government policy to jail journalists and people running independent publications that were critical of the regime. [Read more on Hani Amir’s blog]