Muis condemns ISIS video featuring Singaporean

Mufti Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram speaking at the Fatwa Conference.
Mufti Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram speaking at the Fatwa Conference. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

Singapore's top Islamic authority has condemned the recent propaganda video by terror group ISIS featuring Singaporean fighter Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said the clip is yet another attempt by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to spread its message by misrepresenting and exploiting Islamic teachings and sentiments. "These messages are clearly against the teachings of Islam."

Singapore Mufti Fatris Bakaram said: "The video is full of distortions and falsehood, deliberately designed to mislead Muslim viewers into sympathising with ISIS."

In a statement yesterday, Muis said it had reviewed the 31/2-minute clip and urged viewers who come across such videos to consult credible Islamic scholars and teachers, so that they are not misled by the false narratives that groups like ISIS offer.

Accredited teachers can explain the true meanings of verses and prophetic traditions, Muis added. It is also working with them to combat such narratives and help the community identify falsehoods.

"Knowledge is the only vaccine to build resilience against such insidious attacks," it said.

The video appeared online at the weekend. The Home Affairs Ministry has said that Shahdan left Singapore in 2014 to work in the Middle East, where he became radicalised. He is the third Singaporean known to have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and he tried to get his family to join him in ISIS' self-declared caliphate.

In the clip, Shahdan, who fought for ISIS on the front lines, called on viewers to join its fight.

Dr Fatris said the video "is only one of many similar messages which can be found on many websites and on social media". "These distortions are dangerous as they misinterpret and manipulate the teachings of Islam, to influence and convert those who may not be able to discern the truth from the untruths," he added, noting that Shahdan had been brainwashed by such dangerous views and doctrines.

He said: "We must not let those like him lead even more astray. The Singapore Muslim community must stay vigilant, with parents, relatives and friends having extremely important roles to help anyone who shows signs of being influenced."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Muis condemns ISIS video featuring S'porean'. Print Edition | Subscribe