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Singapore 'not immune' from online extremism

But its experience in tackling threats can help keep danger at bay: Experts

Published on Jul 1, 2014 9:04 AM

Religious leaders and academics have cautioned that Singapore is not immune from extremists using the Internet to influence and recruit foreign fighters to join conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

But they said Singapore's experiences in tackling the threat of radicalisation and extremist ideologies should help stave off the danger of some Muslims in Singapore being influenced to join the causes in the Middle East.

Research fellow Fanar Haddad, at the National University of Singapore's Middle East Institute, said: "It is worrying that sectarian entrenchment and sectarian hate emanating from the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts have had an echo as far away as South-east Asia, though thankfully not in Singapore."

Dr Haddad also said it was important to note that differences in beliefs are not what fuelled the tensions in Iraq. "The real drivers of sectarian tensions in Iraq are issues of power, politics and representation," he pointed out.

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