The items had been preserved since the museum opened in 1952. [museum director Ali] Waheed said the the attackers did not understand that the museum exhibits were not promoting other religions in this Muslim country.
Practicing or preaching any religion other than Islam is prohibited by the Maldives constitution, and there have been increasing demands for conservative Muslim policies to be implemented.
Last year, a mob destroyed a monument given by Pakistan marking a South Asian summit with an engraved image of the Buddha in it. Pakistan is an Islamic republic that also has a Buddhist history.
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