12 December 2014
New believers need community support, religious guidance to discern between different interpretations of doctrine.
MUSLIM converts in the West professing extremist beliefs have come under the spotlight for terrorism-related activities in and outside their home countries.
For instance, a Briton and a French national were identified in the latest ISIS video showing the mass beheadings of Syrian soldiers. The beheading of two Americans – a journalist and an aid worker – in Iraq two months ago was carried out by a Muslim convert with a British accent.
Last month, the attack on the Canadian Parliament was perpetrated by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a recent Muslim convert; while in New York, Zale Thompson, another convert, attacked New York Police Department officers with an axe. In May last year, two British Muslim converts, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were convicted of the brutal slaying of Lee Rigby, an off-duty soldier in south-east London.
…The writer is Coordinator of the Homeland Defence Programme and Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
CENS / Online / Print
Last updated on 27/01/2016