SINGAPORE: The recent detention of a self-radicalised Singaporean under the Internal Security Act (ISA) is a reminder that such threats "remain alive", said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) in a media statement on Friday (May 11).
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced earlier on Friday that 27-year-old Singaporean Mohamed Faishal Mohd Razali was detained under the ISA in April after investigations showed he had been self-radicalised online and wanted to undertake "armed violence overseas".
This case is a "reminder that the threats of terrorism and self-radicalisation through exposure to online extremist propaganda remain alive," said MUIS.
"While the Singapore Muslim community rejects the ideology of exclusivism and extremism, we need families, friends and the wider community to remain vigilant and seek help from relevant authorities and agencies when in doubt."
Commenting on Faishal's self-radicalisation through exposure to extremist preachers online, Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, Senior Director, Religious Policy and Development, said that this highlighted the fact that extremist teachings that "attempt to extol the virtues of violence" are available online.
Said Dr Nazirudin: "That is why we must continue to protect our community by building in them religious and spiritual resilience, through the correct and contextual appreciation of Islam and its teachings.
"This is the role that our accredited asatizah play in guiding Muslims in their socio-religious life, so that each Muslim embraces the compassionate and peaceful spirit of Islam, and is well-equipped to immediately reject any form of extremist ideology.”
Dr Nazirudin also called on families and friends to be vigilant and "help connect their loved ones to avenues where questions about religion and Islam will be answered by credible and trained asatizah".
MUIS also highlighted drop-in sessions at the Masjid Al-Falah in Orchard Road, which aim to provide a "safe space" for people to consult an Asatizah Youth Network (AYN) asatizah.
"Religion has been exploited to justify violence and destruction with no regard to the sanctity of life," said Executive Imam and Head of Islamic Learning at Masjid Muhajirin, Ustaz Mohammad Khalid Rafi. "Islam calls for the pursuit of peace and that should be our priority as Muslims. Let us not be misguided by disinformation promoted by such propaganda of hate."