02 April 2016
Terrorist networks overwhelm national security agencies. Foreign universities offering dubious Islamic studies lure our students. It’s time to develop a local university degree programme in Islamic studies.
The recent spate of terrorist attacks and the diverse extremist Muslim groups involved have highlighted the changing nature of the terrorist threat. The reality is that these terrorist groups are unlikely to take over governments, whether in Asia, Africa or Europe.
They pose a threat in ungoverned zones like those held by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria and Taleban-controlled areas in Afghanistan, where they provide a semblance of order under duress while providing support to far-flung supporters.
But the fear of attacks forces governments around the world to divert resources to combat possible threats. It also fosters a climate of suspicion, as seen in the negative European reaction to the current flood of Muslim refugees from the Middle East and the anti-Muslim tone of the campaign by the front runners in the American Republican presidential campaign.
… The writer, a former diplomat, is Distinguished Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 04/04/2016