MUIS: Social Media Not Appropriate Platform To Receive Religious Guidance And Instruction

In a media statement, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) stressed that social media is “not the appropriate platform” to receive religious guidance and instruction, “not least in understanding complex political and armed conflicts in the Muslim world”.

MUIS noted that in Khairul’s case, as well as that of Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari – who was detained last week for radicalism – what is “common and disturbing” is that both were self-radicalised through social media.

“Exposure to the propaganda of extremist and radical groups online who exploit these conflicts to radicalise Muslims will misguide them to believe that participation in such conflicts is a religious duty,” said MUIS. In both cases, family and friends found out about their views and intentions but did not report them to authorities, it added.

“The best way to help our loved ones away from this path is to offer help early by referring them to experts in this area, as soon as we detect there may be something wrong,” said MUIS.

MUIS added that it is also working to develop the capabilities of local asatizah, or Islamic religious teachers, to be able to engage Singaporean Muslims on social media, noting that some younger asatizah have “started to make some good headway” in this area.

“We hope to populate social media with socio-religious content which is appropriate to Singapore, and negate the dangerous content which had managed to mislead Khairul and Izzah,” it said.

MUIS also urged the community to play its part, and report family members and friends who exhibit such tendencies as soon as they are detected, so “appropriate help and intervention can be given”.



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