In this issue, Anton Chan discusses the medium and the message used by ISIS that has appealed to its legions of supporters in Southeast Asia. He argues that ISIS has, in particular, managed to sustain its end times narrative of a caliphate through sophisticated messaging strategies and the group’s holding of physical territory. This has helped project a sense of legitimacy for the group in the eyes of a significant minority of Southeast Asian supporters.
Laura Steckman discusses the threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), in the context of Myanmar’s simmering inter-communal tensions and rising right-wing Buddhist nationalism. She observes that ISIS’ success in radicalising and recruiting through the social media has impacted the Southeast Asian region, including in Myanmar. She argues that, with the growing penetration of social media networks and mobile technologies in Myanmar, the likelihood of local militant groups attempting to link-up with ISIS poses a serious challenge to the newly emerging democracy.
Muh Taufiqurrohman presents four distinct case studies of individuals who have succeeded or failed in their bid to travel to Syria and Iraq, to highlight the role of ISIS’ networks operating within Indonesia. He argues that, despite heightened interest, the road to Syria and Iraq is fraught with multiple challenges, and is not as easy as is often assumed by those individuals seeking to join ISIS.
Nur Azlin Mohamed Yasin discusses the spread of ISIS’ influence among Muslims in the context of the Southeast Asian online domain. She argues that, presently, the voices of the anti-ISIS and non-ISIS online movements are displaying an increased tolerance for terrorism. The strategic shutdown of specific websites is therefore imperative. She however, recommends that this should also be complemented with counter-ideological community initiatives, both in the online, as well as in the real-world domains.
Commentaries / Conflict and Stability / Southeast Asia and ASEAN / Terrorism Studies
Last updated on 09/12/2015