23 May 2014
IT IS a civil war, not a religious one.
That is what Mohamed Ali wants Muslims in Singapore to know about the fighting in Syria.
“There is no obligation for Singaporean Muslims to go to Syria to fight. The context of the problem is that it is a Syrian problem, not a Singaporean one,” said Dr Mohamed, a research fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University.
He said a “very small” number of self-radicalised individuals who think of going to Syria to take part in the war do so because of “lack of knowledge of Islam and lack of understanding of the situation there”.
… Why have these foreigners joined the conflict?
Blame religious extremist ideologues, said security analyst Kumar Ramakrishna of RSIS.
He said: “They argue that the Syrian conflict is the start of the end-times, the apocalyptic struggle between the forces of good and evil.
“So this is a political message couched in religious terms – and (it) could have potent emotional appeal.”
CENS / GPO / RSIS / Print
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