Saturday, March 02, 2013

Taliban Claims Fijians Have Joined Their Ranks- Fiji Police Investigate

When I think of foreign jihadists joining al-Qaeda or the Taliban I certainly don't think of Fijians. Surprisingly, the small island nation has a Muslim population of 7%, but we don't ever hear anything about extremist activity in that country. And yet, some Fijian 'militants' have allegedly made their way to Pakistan and into the arms of the Taliban. According to president Hafizud Dean Khan of the local Fiji Muslim League some had traveled to Pakistan to further their Islamic studies, but he has no clue why the Taliban would say they had joined the ranks, "unless it is aimed at boosting their international image." He went on to say:

"Muslims in Fiji have no reason to be oppressed as our country has allowed peaceful existence for all faiths."
He's not taking into consideration that radicalization can happen anywhere, and for many reasons. The fact they went to Pakistan to study is an indication that they were either radicalized beforehand,
or after they got there.

Fijian police and Interpol are investigating the claims which they are taking "very seriously."  Violating counter-terrorism laws is a major crime in Fiji.

Of course local Muslims deny the possibility that some of their own have turned extremist.

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