Dispel suspicions with empathy

It is of utmost importance that every resident here plays his part in keeping Singapore safe.

But it is critical to make sure that this vigilance does not translate into prejudice against Muslims.

The Finsbury Park Mosque attack in London is an apt illustration of what would happen if we allow Islamophobia to take root (Van barrels into worshippers outside London mosque, injuring 10; June 20).

We must eradicate all notions of Islamophobia before it becomes a deep-seated problem and we fall into a vicious circle of terror and violence.

To do this, we must go beyond accepting one another's differences and understand the many different cultures that make up our society.

Only when there is empathy can misunderstandings be resolved and suspicions dispelled.

Terrorists often prey on divided communities, where mistrust is deep and collective consciousness is weak.

But if we can harness the multiracial and multi-religious nature of our society and show the rest of the world that, despite our many differences, we are able to stay united, we could potentially turn the tables on militants.

Tan Hui Xuan, 15, Secondary 4 student