Remain united to win war on terror

Singaporeans woke up to learn of the worst terror attack on New York City since the Sept 11, 2001 strikes (New York attack suspect charged with providing support to ISIS; Nov 2).

As the horror of this tragedy began to sink in, I asked myself: Will Singapore be spared from a similar attack or could we also be a target of followers of extremist organisations such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?

Followers of ISIS are deviants committing extremist acts in the name of Islam. Their heinous acts are contrary to the fundamentals of the Islamic faith.

There is no teaching or command in the Muslim faith that can be referenced in the Quran or Hadith as the direct reason behind the violent practices, including the killing of innocent children, women, the elderly and the helpless.

It was reported previously that ISIS plotted to carry out two attacks against Singapore that the authorities were aware of (Terror threat to S'pore at highest level in recent years; June 2).

Being a frequent business traveller, I am very proud of our security agencies and that Singapore is a nation that is particular about security, as seen at our entry checkpoints, including Changi Airport.

I believe our intelligence gathering is one of the best in the world.

But all of us have a part to play in countering terrorism.

As Singaporeans, we must stand in solidarity and be prepared mentally to stay strong should such attacks happen here.

It is our duty to speak out against the extremist practices of followers of any religion.

We will win this war on terror if we remain as one united people.

Sattar Bawany (Professor)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2017, with the headline 'Remain united to win war on terror'. Print Edition | Subscribe