Yaacob Ibrahim: Muslim Youths Contributing To Singapore Society

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim has said Muslim youths in Singapore are contributing constructively to society and that the two self-radicalised individuals are isolated cases.

Dr Yaacob was responding to reporters on Saturday (May 30) on what can be done to further reach out to Muslim youths following the latest detention of a self-radicalised Singaporean teenager. Another has been arrested for further investigations.

Dr Yaacob joined 180 Muslim students along the Wakaf Heritage Trail, which is located around the Kampong Glam area. The trail was held by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, or MUIS.

Wakaf in Singapore is an Islamic charitable endowment, typically in the form of property, which is dedicated by a philanthropist for religious or charitable purposes.

The trail is aimed at getting students to appreciate the contributions of Muslim philanthropists and the significant assets they have left behind.

Wakaf Heritage Markers will be developed and mounted on the various wakaf properties to educate the public on these sites.

MUIS will also be working with National Heritage Board to share information online on the Wakaf Heritage Trail to allow the broader public to understand the heritage behind these places as well.

A group photo of the participants in the Wakaf Heritage Trail before flag-off. (Photo: CNA/Chan Luo Er)


Dr Yaacob said the trail is an important exercise to remind youths of the origin and purpose of Islam. He said: “While we celebrate our heritage, while we celebrate our assets and our legacy, the message is this is what you can do as a Muslim to continue that legacy here in Singapore because at the end of the day, that is what Islam is all about.”

“A lot of Muslim groups are actually contributing to constructive activities, helping the poor, helping our flood victims in Malaysia, bringing food to the poor and the needy. By and large, the Malay Muslim youths are on the right track but you have these isolated individuals that we need to try to bring them to the mainstream.”

Dr Yaacob added that the community should continue to lead their lives while remaining vigilant. “If supposing there are some changes in your child, you must understand why those changes are taking place. I think that is normal,” he said.

“If tomorrow your child shows some rebellious behaviour you would want to know what is happening. If tomorrow he becomes slightly more religious, you would want to know what is going on. So I think that sense of vigilance is needed by parents, by friends, by school administrators.”


Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of The Salvation Army’s Family Hub, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob said that youths need a platform where they feel comfortable asking questions over content they have accessed over the internet, especially with ISIS being active on the internet.

“They (ISIS) have been putting up on the internet a lot of content, which are very very persuasive, very seductive and so we need to have a counter-narrative that these ideologies are wrong and that our young should be aware that they are being targeted,” she said.

Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran, who was at the 14th International Tamil Internet Conference at SIM University, said that recent experience reinforces the point that the terror threat is everywhere due to the prevalence of the internet and that self-radicalisation is a challenge that Singapore has to face as a nation.

“The actions are of particular individuals who are susceptible to wrong teachings and wrong ideals but the consequences of those actions which are wrongful will have adverse effects on all of us as a society, regardless of the communities we belong to, regardless of our religious background,” said Mr Iswaran.

“We should not think of this as in some way stereotyping some community; it is a general challenge that we all face.”

Mr Iswaran added that the nature of the threat requires everyone in the community to be vigilant and step forward to take appropriate action when they see something that is of concern.


Source: www.channelnewsasia.com

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