30 July 2016
The latest round of detentions and orders over terrorism-related activities — particularly that of Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff who had helped radicalise two others — is a wake-up call for Singaporeans, with some terrorism experts noting that increasingly, the threat of terror is not only physical, but also ideological.
Those who preach extremist views are as dangerous as the radicals who execute acts of terror, if not more so, said the experts, who also highlighted the need for the community to stay vigilant given the growing success of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (Isis) efforts at online radicalisation.
Referring to the latest round of detentions as an “important wake-up call”, Assistant Professor Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman, from Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), noted that those who espouse these marginal views tend to dominate the online space.
“Perhaps it’s time for mainstream Muslims to speak out against such people … there is a need for them to counter such supposed influences. Because if you don’t, it quite clearly can be dangerous for society,” he said.
… RSIS Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna said these influencers create a psychological climate of extreme intolerance that is a key factor in influencing others to do the actual killing. This phenomenon can also be found in other countries such as radical preachers Anjem Choudary in the United Kingdom and Musa Cerantonio from Australia, he noted.
… Noting that the fight against radicalisation is not one that the authorities can do by themselves, RSIS Associate Professor Alan Chong said individuals should be attentive to what happens within their social circles.
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Last updated on 01/08/2016