About the Series
The webinar series aims to identify a conceptual understanding and appreciation of the importance of rehabilitation and aftercare efforts in countering violent extremism. Driven by empirical evidence and case studies, the webinar series also intends to provide an overview on terrorist and extremist rehabilitation and deradicalisation efforts as well as the latest trends and developments in the landscape.
Islamist extremist ideological narratives have influenced the psyches of militant individuals, who have varying sources of motivations for their violence. Some seek validation for their frustrations and anger, others perceive injustices committed to their community, while another set misinterpret their religious beliefs and obligations. Correspondingly therefore, in rehabilitation efforts, psychologists and religious scholars need to work together to reframe radicalised individuals’ cognitive minds.
In this webinar, Dr Mohamed Ali and Dr Malkanthi Hettiarachchi will highlight ideological and psychological factors of radicalisation which affect the individual and the community. The speakers will draw attention to how religious scholars as well as psychologists work with radicalised individuals. Additionally, the webinar aims to weigh in on what is essential in countering violent extremism and the need for a whole of society strategy in the rehabilitation of terrorist offenders.
Dr Mohamed Bin Ali is an Assistant Professor at the Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. His areas of research include Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamist ideology, religious extremism, inter-religious relations and rehabilitation of Muslim extremists. Since 2003, Dr Mohamed has been involved in the rehabilitation programme of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) detainees in Singapore. He is the Co-Chairman and counsellor of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), a group of voluntary Muslim clerics who provide religious counselling to detainees arrested for terrorism-related activities. He is also the Vice-Chairman of Geylang Serai Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) and a member of the Syariah Appeal Board of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis). He regularly writes for the local Malay news media and authored the book “The Roots of Religious Extremism: Understanding the Salafi Doctrine of Al-Wala’ Wal Bara’”, published in 2015.
Dr. Malkanthi Hettiarachchi is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and counterterrorism instructor. She completed her PhD in Policing Intelligence and Counter Terrorism at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. She has engaged in interviews and assessments of inmates in detention facilities in the Philippines, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Libya, and South America. Dr Hettiarachchi has conducted training on terrorist rehabilitation programmes, prison management, deradicalisation and psychosocial skills training for military, police, prison and rehabilitation staff. She was also involved in setting up rehabilitation services, conducting supervision as well as training for rehabilitation professionals. Dr Hettiarachchi has published in the field of rehabilitation and reintegration, radicalisation, deradicalisation, re-radicalisation, and the terrorist mindset. She has presented on terrorist rehabilitation at various international conferences and workshops.