With the increased use of the internet during the pandemic, Islamist extremists and terrorists have taken the opportunity to exploit social dissatisfaction by actively disseminating propaganda and disinformation. This joint webinar discusses countering violent extremism (CVE) strategies with the focus on social media and ground up approaches.
Dr Fadhel Abdelaziz will discuss the issue of recruitment by extremist armed groups through social media. He will highlight how social media becomes a suitable environment for recruitment, particularly among youth, and what are the mechanisms to prevent them from being influenced by extremist propaganda.
Dr Mohamed Feisal will provide an overview of the importance of ground-up community efforts, including the role of religious clerics as part of a critical counter-ideological strategy and approach. Taking the Singaporean approach to CVE as a case study, Dr Feisal will discuss the importance of evolving the winning hearts and minds approach, especially in engaging the virtual community within the landscape of the present Covid-19 reality.
This webinar is co-organised by Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).
About the Speakers
Abdulmajeed bin Abdullah Albanyan is President of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS). Prior to NAUSS, Dr Albanyan had served in several positions, including being the head of the strategic transformation programme for King Saud University, Prince Sultan University Vice-President for Development and Quality, Dean of the Preparatory Year at King Saud University, and full-time Advisor at the Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At the academic level, Dr Albanyan was an associate professor at King Saud University and a visiting professor at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Dr Albanyan chairs the Board of Directors of the Arab Society for Forensic Sciences and Forensic Medicine, and the Board of Directors of the Center for Higher Education and Research Ethics. Dr Albanyan is also a fellow of the British Higher Education Organisation, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Hematology, and the advisory board for the Journal of Security Research. Dr Albanyan obtained a Bachelor’s degree from King Saud University, a Master’s degree from the University of Bristol, and a doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2009 in the field of clinical laboratories. Dr Albanyan also holds a degree in Higher Education from King’s College London.
Dr Albanyan has received several awards, including the Margaret Kenwright Award from the British Blood Transfusion Society, the Harold Johnson Award from the International Blood Transfusion Society, and he was also awarded the June 27 Knight Medal from the Republic of Djibouti in 2018.
Fadhel Abdelaziz Blibech is a professor at the College of Criminal Justice and advisor to the Vice rectorate for External Relations at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He has 33 years of experience in various fields. He worked at the University of Tunis El Manar as a professor of Public Law, department director and International Humanitarian Law master director. He was the legal advisor in the UNDP and also worked for the international civil society organisation (CSO) “The Carter Center” (Tunisia / Atlanta) as a full-time legal advisor. He has published several research papers, participated in local and international scientific events, and conducted lectures and training for many local and international CSOs.
Mohamed Feisal Mohamed Hassan is a Research Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR). His research interest is in terrorist rehabilitation, counter-ideology and community engagement. He has spoken on these issues in the UK, USA, Pakistan, Denmark, Netherlands, Indonesia, Australia, Italy, Turkey and others. His field research on rehabilitation includes places such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and others. He is the secretary and member of Singapore’s Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG) and a Religious Rehabilitation Counselor. He graduated from the International Islamic University Malaysia with an Honours Degree in Philosophy. He obtained his Master of Arts Degree in Islamic Thought from the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), IIUM. His thesis is entitled “Relevance of al-Ghazali’s Doctrine of Al-Wasat (The Desired Balanced Middle Way) in Countering The Ideologies of Extremists with Special Reference to the Jemaah Islamiyyah in Singapore”. He also holds a MSc in International Relations from RSIS, NTU. He obtained his PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia with a thesis entitled “Contextualising wasaṭiyyah from the perspective of the leaders of the Malay/Muslim community in Singapore today”.