Society must condemn, prevent toxic ideology from being promoted

Suspects being escorted by anti-terror police officers before a press conference at the police headquarters in Jakarta, on May 17, 2019.
Suspects being escorted by anti-terror police officers before a press conference at the police headquarters in Jakarta, on May 17, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The arrest of nine militants across East Java and Central Java who were linked to possible suicide bombing attacks in Indonesia is another grim reminder to people in the region of the grave perils of terrorism (Nine more militants nabbed in Indonesia, May 18).

A suicide bomber not only causes chaos and carnage in society - which is against Islam - but he also commits additional crimes according to Islamic law: killing civilians, mutilating their bodies, suicide, destroying the assets and properties of others, violating the trust of fellow citizens and breaking the laws of the country.

The war against terrorists can be won only by countering their toxic and poisonous ideology with orthodox Islamic teachings.

It is a moral obligation on the whole of society to condemn and prevent such toxic ideology from being promoted or implemented.

It is apparent that these murderers do not follow any particular faith, as no faith - especially not Islam, which has at its core peace and tolerance - endorses taking innocent lives and causing carnage in societies. It is not enough that these terrorists are brought to justice.

We must all work harder to ensure that breeding grounds and monetary sponsors of such hate-filled and toxic ideology are exposed and dealt with appropriately under the law.

As a Muslim, I will not let the terrorists present a distorted image of my faith, and as a Singaporean, I will not stay silent on attacks on any society.

Nordin Amat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2019, with the headline 'Society must condemn, prevent toxic ideology from being promoted'. Print Edition | Subscribe