Improves Education And Public Outreach To Curb Extremism
KUALA LUMPUR: The best way to curb the rise of extremism in the country is through education and public outreach. Sympathisers of militant groups such as the Islamic State (IS) are often unaware of the complex geopolitical situation in the Middle East, said University Malaysia Sabah’s Department of International Relations lecturer Hafiza Nur Adeen Nor Ahmad. “They see (the conflicts in the Middle East) as a war between Western society and Muslim society. “They feel that Muslims are oppressed everywhere, in Iraq, in Palestine and in Syria, so they sympathise with them, and this is how the sympathy for IS was born. “They do not understand how the IS was born in the first place,” Hafiza said, adding that the way to curb this is by increasing the sympathisers’ understanding of the situation in the Middle East. She said refugees from the Middle East should also be vetted to ensure there are no militant sympathies. “It should not turn into xenophobia but there should be a vetting process as they will eventually mingle with Malaysians,” she said. Hafiza was among the speakers at a roundtable discussion organised by the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) and Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) on Jihad and Extremism at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday. Hafiza said it was important to start education and public outreach programmes soon as a recent report by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) has stated that there is a risk of an increase in sympathisers for the IS and al-Nusra Front from Malaysians and Indonesians.