Two years ago, I had the good fortune to visit several spas in the Maldives. I feel especially lucky to have gone when I did after hearing the recent news about the government's move to close numerous luxury resort spas. The order came after protests by an Islamist party claiming the spas were a front for prostitution. Although Sim Ibrahim, the head of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), is hoping the ban will be repealed, it's certainly a blow to Maldives tourism and the spa industry there. There are reports that it's simply politics at work and that the Adhaalath Party, which participated in the protest, didn't want the broader ban but that the government is using it to make a point by calling out inconsistencies in the opposition's views. It's still unclear how this story will play out, but I can only hope that the ban will soon be revoked and that the healing havens I recall with such fondness will continue to thrive. What are your thoughts on this religious showdown?
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