From Islamism Comes to Paradise:
The Maldives is an exclusively Muslim country and has been since 1153. Nearly everyone I spoke with remarked on the growing popularity of beards and headscarves. As elsewhere, the growth of fundamentalist influence can be traced in part to Saudi Arabia, which built a seven-story-high school in Male – the Islamic Studies Institute – whose curriculum runs heavily to Arabic and the Quran. Moreover, many young Maldivians have studied at madrassas in the Middle East and Pakistan, where some have been recruited by militants.