Singapore, Aug 8 (DPA) — Cyberspace has become a central theatre in the ongoing battle against terrorism, said Lim Boon Heng, minister in the Prime Minister’s office. He estimated there are 6,000 websites espousing extremist and radical ideologies.
The website www.rrg.sg contains articles written by religious scholars as well as video clips of dialogues on religion. It was set up by religious teachers who counsel detained Muslim militants with the Jemaah Islamiah, a South-East Asian terrorism network.
The target of the messages is Internet-savvy youth. “The pervasive spread of terrorist ideology is the central driver of today’s radicalisation and terrorism threat,” The Straits Times quoted Lim as saying.
Experience has shown that youth are more susceptible to the lure of terrorist propaganda. Many Islamic religious scholars have repeatedly stated that Islam expressly forbids attacks against innocents and suicide bombings, Lim said. “But these messages are often not heard because they are drowned out by the din from terrorist ideologues,” he added.
Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, told the newspaper there are fewer than 100 counter-terrorism websites. He suggested that the RRG website be made available in Malay and Arabic to reach out to Muslims in Asia and the Middle East.
© 2007 IANS India Private Limited, New Delhi. Posted on Religioscope with permission. — Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) is India’s first multinational and multilingual wire service. Website: www.ians.in. Subscription enquiries: contact IANS (mention Religioscope).