Who is afraid of an Islamic state?

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“Today I want to puke when I hear the word 'radical' applied so slothfully and stupidly to Islamist murderers; the most plainly reactionary people in the world.”

- Christopher Hitchens, ‘Hitch-22: A Memoir’

In my previous article, I argued that we should not be surprised that a segment of Malaysian youths are enamoured by the extreme religious dogma that threatens local and regional stability when mainstream Malaysian political culture is predicated on racial and religious supremacy.

With regard to the contention of Rizal Mansor (aide of the PM’s wife Rosmah Mansor) that "uncouth” Malaysians are prone to demonise the government and belittle our security forces, I repost what I wrote about our security forces in an article about the Puchong terrorist attack:

“Security personnel tell me that efforts with monitoring mosques and other religious meeting places are hampered by the fact that on-the-ground assets have to filter so-called ‘anti-Umno’ rhetoric that is part of the democratic process and the real threats of anti-government rhetoric by committed Islamic terrorists.”

The above is a convenient lead in to an article by Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani, an associate professor of politics at the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) who published a good primer on the methods of radicalisation and the state’s response to it in the Middle East Institute - ‘ISIS Recruitment of Malaysian Youth: Challenge and Response’.

No doubt, the associate professor is part of the government initiative, or at the very least should be part of the consultative framework to counter the problem of the radicalisation of youths in this country.

I like this article for various reasons. In simple language, it outlines both the means of ISIS (now renamed IS) recruitment and the state’s response to it. It also focuses on an aspect of recruitment, the ‘usrah’ method - (from the article) “small groups comprising fewer than 10 members who meet regularly to discuss and learn about Islam - that I find as an “insurgency” tactic, fascinating...

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