MHA announcement on 3 radicalised Singaporeans a 'stark reminder' of terror threat: MUIS

MHA announcement on 3 radicalised Singaporeans a 'stark reminder' of terror threat: MUIS

Crime generic (1)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs' (MHA) announcement on three radicalised Singaporeans is "a stark reminder" that the threat of terror is "alive and very active in the region", the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 9).

However this comes despite the fact that the Singaporean Muslim community as a whole "soundly rejects the ideology of exclusivism and violent extremism", the council added.

Three Singaporeans were dealt with under the Internal Security Act (ISA) between September and November 2017 for terror-related activities, MHA announced on Thursday.

Abu Thalha bin Samad (Abu Thalha), a member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, and housewife Munavar Baig Amina Begam (Amina) were both issued with two-year Orders of Detention.

Adzrul Azizi bin Bajuri (Adzrul), a former full-time National Serviceman, was issued with a Restriction Order and required to undergo counselling.

In its statement the council said that the case of Abu Thalha shows that Jemaah Islamiyah is still a threat.

"While the recent focus has been on the activities of ISIS, the case of Abu Thalha shows that the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah is still a threat while it continues to pursue recruits for its violent cause," said MUIS.

MUIS has been working with Singaporeans pursuing Islamic studies overseas to ensure they "retain a contextualised understanding of our situation in Singapore", the council added.

Commenting on the cases of Amina and Adzrul, who were radicalised after being exposed to Islamic State propaganda via social media, MUIS deputy director for religious policy and regulation Ustaz Irwan Hadi Mohd Shuhaimy said that social media was not an "appropriate platform" for receiving religious guidance.

"Social media is not the appropriate platform to receive religious guidance and instruction, not least in understanding complex political and armed conflicts in the Muslim world," he said.

"Exposure to the propaganda of extremist and radical groups online who exploit these conflicts to radicalise Muslims will misguide them into believing that participation in such conflicts is a religious duty.”

He added that if anyone had friends or family who "appear to have fallen prey to and (are) spreading questionable and problematic ideas", they should refer them to experts.

If detected and reported early, radicalised individuals can be given appropriate help and can be rehabilitated, MUIS added.

It urged the community not to "let up" in the war against extremism and radicalisation.  

Source: CNA/gs/nc