16 November 2017
Since 2015 there have been at least a dozen Singaporeans investigated by the Singapore authorities for harbouring intention to travel or emigrate to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS). This year four individuals were detained for the same reason. In September, IS issued a propaganda video featuring a Singaporean who is known to have gone to Syria to join IS. In the brief three-and-a-half minute video, Megat Shahdan Bin Abdul Samad calls on Muslims to relocate to IS-controlled territories or locations where the group’s influence is present.
He quotes a hadith or Prophetic saying that implicitly affirms that the duty of hijrah will not cease until the Final Hour (Doomsday). While most people would ignore or reject such a call, especially coming from a terrorist group, there will be a few who will fall prey to extremists’ exploitation of hijrah and other Islamic concepts. They include the literalists and those who understand the hadith without using appropriate tools of enquiry and interpretation used in the science of hadith. Like Shahdan, they would believe that relocation to IS fulfils a religious obligation.
…Muhammad Saiful Alam Shah is an Associate Research Fellow with the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also a religious counsellor with the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG).
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 21/11/2017