Malaysia’s creative anti-terror ‘products’
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has countered “terrorism messaging ” with creative digital endproducts, which cover a range of themes that are highly relevant in countering violent extremism.
Efforts include raising awareness among parents about youth who could be vulnerable to radicalisation; attacking myths of “masculinity” associated with the romanticised notion of jihad; and, using figures and images from popular culture and traditional poetry to satirise and undermine the efforts of the Islamic State (IS).
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said moderation was an all-encompassing approach that emphasised the values of understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and inclusiveness in resolving differences and conflicts peacefully.
“These are the very noble values that are non-existent in the wayward ideology of IS.
“Retelling the narrative of true Islam that embraces these virtues is as vital in countering extremism as it is in putting a stop to the barbarities perpetrated by these misguided people,” he said in a statement issued after a meeting of foreign ministers of the Global Coalition against Islamic State in Washington.
Anifah said Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries were facing increasing threats from foreign terrorists, as well as Malaysians returning after joining IS in Iraq and Syria, who had initiated several terrorist attacks in the region.
“Fortunately, Malaysian authorities had managed to thwart several attempts to launch these attacks on our soil, and had arrested IS sympathisers and operatives.”
He said following the strengthening of national legislation in 2015, the number of terrorist suspects arrested by the authorities had increased substantially.
“This is indeed a very alarming trend.
“We therefore count on the continued collaboration with our partners in providing timely intelligence.”
He said deradicalisation remained an indispensable component in Malaysia’s counterterrorism strategy.
“We subscribe to the belief that those who have been convicted under our terrorism-related laws had been misled into embracing a completely objectionable version of Islam.
“Therefore, deradicalisation and rehabilitation are important to enable them to be reintegrated into society.”
He said Malaysia had effectively deradicalised and rehabilitated terrorists with a 97.5 per cent success rate.
“In this regard, Malaysia is ready to share our expertise with other countries.”
Anifah said Malaysia commended the Global Coalition’s achievements in its campaign to defeat IS, particularly in liberating more than half of the areas in Iraq and one-third of the areas in Syria that were previously controlled by the IS.
He said Malaysia fully supported the Global Coalition’s call for urgent funding for the newly-liberated areas in Iraq and Syria.
“In this regard, I am pleased to announce Malaysia’s contribution of US$1 million to the fund, to be earmarked for humanitarian assistance in the said areas.”
Anifah concluded by reaffirming Malaysia’s unequivocal support and commitment to the Global Coalition in its endeavour to defeat IS.
Earlier, Anifah met United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Tillerson on his appointment as the US Secretary of State,” Anifah said.