To Mr. Calvin Cheng

It’s come to our attention at CEMSG that you are advocating the killing of the children of parents who subscribe to an extremist ideology, more specifically the Islamist ideology.

Here at CEMSG, we understand the importance of keeping Islamism and other radical religious ideologies at bay and that children, especially young teens to early twenties are the ones that recruiters target because this is a vunerable age for a lot of people when they try to find a group to belong to, and Ideologues like ISIS offer this.

But even then,we oppose the killing of human beings, even if they are youth who are seduced by Islamist ideology, they’re still humans who have every right to live and with help and understanding, can be shown the errors of their ways, take a look at a person like Maajid Nawaz, when he was a young man he was seduced by Islamism, was caught and locked up in Egypt, during which time Amnesty offered him a helping hand made him a prisoner of conscience, he rehabilitated himself and now hes running the Quilliam Foundation, a UK based organization whose purpose is to challenge extremist ideology, making it unattractive to the youth and anyone vulnerable to such propaganda by appealing to their rationality.

So, you see why now we would take issue with your comment of killing the children of terrorists. We have shown you that people can change their ways and views through dialogue and conversation but we take umbrage that you would associate children with their parent’s ideology and religion.

Here at CEMSG, Council of Ex-Muslims of Singapore, we’re living proof that children do not adhere to the religion their parents adhere to. If something as strong as filial obligation to religion can be cast aside by the children of religious parents, what makes you think extremist ideology is impossible? Perhaps such a notion is difficult to understand given the environment you’re used to but rest assured, there is a high possibility that children of terrorist parentage do not carry the same prejudices their parents do and if they did, we should do everything in our power to rehabilitate these victims of extremist ideology so that they can enjoy a quality of life that most of us do.

Take this as a learning experience, Mr. Cheng. children are not defined by the actions of their parents but are defined by the life choices they make for themselves.

Riz Rashid
Council of Ex-Muslims of Singapore

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