25 June 2019
1. The recent cases of 3 Singaporeans who were issued the order of detention (OD) and restriction order (RO) highlight the continued threat of self-radicalisation, especially when individuals do not verify the information they access online and fall prey to radical propaganda that exploit geo-political conflicts to boost their appeal. Such dangers are still prevalent online, even after extremist groups are physically defeated.
2. We are glad that such arrests are few and far in between. That is because the community rejects any notion of exclusivist and extremist teachings in our midst and are on guard against them. As the risk still exists to those who are vulnerable, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) has stepped up both its online and offline engagements over the years. These include the Asatizah Youth Network (AYN) and publications such as the Contemporary Irsyad Series, which gives religious guidance on emerging issues. Many recognised religious teachers under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme have been working together with Muis to spread positive messages and narratives to counter the ideology of hate and violence propagated by extremist groups online.
3. In addition, it is important to have strong support networks of family and friends whom individuals can turn to when they encounter extremist narratives online. Without such networks, individuals are more vulnerable to radical ideology, regardless of age. Individuals should also be wary of false and manipulative information online, and must exercise extra caution and care if unknown individuals try to communicate with them on social media.
4. Muis urges the community to continue consulting qualified religious teachers for appropriate guidance on these issues. The community may also contact Muis at 6359 1199, the Religious Rehabilitation Group helpline at 1800 774 7747, the RRG Mobile App as well as the AYN via the muslim.SG mobile app.
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA