Malaysia’s cre­ative anti-ter­ror ‘prod­ucts’

New Straits Times - - News -

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.

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