As Singaporeans react to news of a local woman being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for radicalism, the Mufti of Singapore released a statement in response to the announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday (June 12).
Mufti of Singapore Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram said: “I am deeply troubled by the news of the latest arrest – that someone so young could have been swayed by these nefarious beliefs, and would want to throw her life away.
“I would like to urge the community to take the matter of self-radicalisation very seriously.”
He continued: “One life lost to exclusivism and extremism is one life too many.”
MHA had announced on Monday afternoon that 22-year-old Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari was detained earlier this month.
She is the first Singaporean woman to be detained under the ISA for radicalism.
The contract infant care assistant with a PCF Sparkletots Preschool was also discovered to have had plans to become a “martyr’s widow” for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and had been looking for “a Salafi or an ISIS supporter” to marry and settle down with since 2015.
She had been actively planning to make her way to Syria, with her young child in tow, said the ministry.
It was also revealed that her parents – who are both freelance Quranic teachers – and sister were aware of her radical social media postings as well as her intention to join ISIS in Syria.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) has since released a media statement on the MHA detainee as well.
“This incident reinforces that the danger of self-radicalisation is very real,” the organisation said.
“An individual may fall prey to false narratives and teachings on the internet and social media, such that even a real life support structure may not be able to counter them.”
The Mufti of Singapore ended his note by encouraging the local community to “stand together” and work with the authorities so as to “save our loved ones”.
Members of the community who suspect that a person is radicalised can approach MUIS at 6359 1199 or the Religious Rehabilitation Group at 1800-7747747.