I REFER to the report, "Muis sounds alert on DIY radicals" (my paper, July 8).
Singaporeans should view the detention of a full-time national serviceman under the Internal Security Act and the two-year restriction orders placed on two other men as isolated cases.
Their actions have nothing to do with the majority of the Muslim community here and the teachings of Islam.
As Muis (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura) rightly pointed out, violence and militancy have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam, and it does not condone the NSF's actions.
Nowadays, young people are exposed to the Internet - where nudity, obscenities and violence are available - and are easily influenced by postings online.
It is thus not surprising to learn that the NSF, Muhammad Fadil Abdul Hamid, 20, became swayed by online propaganda espoused by radical ideologues such as Anwar Al-Awlaki and Sheikh Feiz Muhammad while surfing the Net.
It is heartening to learn that Muis has implemented an updated Islamic education programme for young people in 37 mosques here, to help them understand true Islamic teachings, identify radical interpretations and reject these.
The authorities should work closely with Muis and Muslim community leaders to identify extremist Islamic websites and keep tabs on them. Preferably, the Muslim community should be kept posted on any potential threats.
Nevertheless, we should recognise the fact that radicalisation is a complex issue, and it involves the interplay of different factors like the source of radicalisation, external influences and a person's environment.
As a result, the radicalisation of individuals is not something that can be eradicated easily.
Keeping in mind the importance of religious and social harmony, the Ministry of Education must strengthen the civics and moral education (CME) curriculum in schools, and inculcate in students - from primary to tertiary level - moral values, besides imparting knowledge and skills to them.
We have to distinguish true Islamic teachings from radical ideologies, and not let these isolated instances make us sceptical of Muslim beliefs in Singapore.
Muis' call to "treasure and safeguard the strong foundation of mutual respect, peace and harmony in our multiracial, multi-religious nation" is something Singaporeans should echo as well.
Last, but not least, the vigilance of the entire nation, beyond the Muslim community's, can be effective in sounding the alert on radical activities.
MR TEO KUEH LIANG
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