Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke in Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan last week and affirmed Singapore’s intention of becoming a partner in a global coalition in countering the escalating threat of ISIS.
Lee specifically mentioned this is a battle against terrorism and a long haul strategy to secure the safety of Singapore and her citizens as ISIS ideology and recruitment methods are very effective in attracting foreign fighters to join its ranks, ironically, by using the media tools invented by the West. The Singapore authorities have already detected Singaporean extremists who are fighting for ISIS. I doubt we need extremists Muslims back to spread their wayward views.
Lee did not lay out detailed plans about Singapore’s potential involvement. His speech was simply an assurance to the world that Singapore do not condone terrorism. The theme of the Asia-Europe Summit was “Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security” and it is politically correct for Lee to express intentions that is beneficial to Singapore and her global partners.
Despite the lack of details, Muslim Singaporeans in “I am Against Pinkdot” Facebook group have already jumped the gun and assumed that Singapore will send her F15SG fighter jets to bombard their ISIS “Muslim brothers” and ranted about American imperialism & their military industrial complex. Syed Daniel even said that the coalition are cowards who dare not send in group troops.
(Screen captures: Syed Daniel’s Facebook page)
He went on to explain the “difference between not supporting ISIS and supporting the coalition to bomb Iraq and Syria” because he is concerned about the health ill-effects the bombardment could bring to the civilians in Iraq & Syria. But in his carefully worded emotional appeals, he has never once condemn the atrocities of ISIS but instead chose to highlight that Singapore may be a focal point for terrorism and the cons for joining the coalition. He has also omitted the fact that ISIS fighters are hiding within civilian compounds.
In my earlier post, I wrote that the Singapore Armed Forces appear to have a distrust towards Singaporean Malays but postings by Syed Daniel justifies SAF’s manpower policies. Singaporeans in the past have expressed discontent over the suppression of discussion that is deemed religiously or racially insensitive in nature but the free flow of information also help Singaporeans to understand the underlying reasons for certain policies.
If Singaporeans such as Syed Daniel do not condemn ISIS, then I am curious what are their views of ISIS. Some even went on to the extend to suggest that the beheading videos by ISIS were staged by the CIA.
When David Horowitz asked a Muslim student in University of California San Diego pointedly whether she condemn Hamas, he got a non-committed response possibly due to fears of reprisal from her own Muslim community. Is that what Singaporean Muslims fear as well?
(Syed Daniel is the Administrator of “We are Against Pinkdot” Facebook group, an anti-LGBT group.)
I believe moderate Singaporean Muslims need not have the fear of speaking out against ISIS and extremism groups because their practice of moderate Islam is different from the hate that extremism groups are preaching (unless they think otherwise). I still have faith that moderate Singaporean Muslims do not regard ISIS fighters as their Muslim brothers.
[The writer blogs at http://tamingthecrowd.wordpress.com/]