In the city-state of Singapore, most militant propaganda are spread through books that speak of radicalised interpretations of Islam, the Dhaka Tribune found during a recent visit there.

“Even last Sunday [July 3], several thousands books were distributed in the Mustafa Centre area. A group of young men came and quickly distributed these books among everybody. One of the books is titled ‘Uphold Islam even in a foreign land.’”

Several other young men who also spoke with the Dhaka Tribune at the Mustafa Centre said many Bangladeshis take these books back to their rooms. The books are written in a way that anyone getting a glimpse would be wanting to read more, they said.

Fearing for their safety, the men requested that their voices not be recorded and that their names be excluded from the news report.

Asked to describe what is written in these books, they said the authors mentally blackmail the Bangladeshis, writing provocative things against Jews and people of other religions. Sometimes references from the Qur’an are mentioned and words in Arabic are included.

Some of the youths, however, had a different explanation about the source of the books.

They said these books might be distributed by Bangladeshi shop owners around Mustafa Centre to encourage Bangladeshis to boycott Singaporean products and buy stuff from their own stores instead.

Several of the men also voiced their opposition against such books.

“In Bangladesh, such books would have been known for spreading militancy. But since there is no such scope in Singapore, these books are now spreading fast,” one of them said.

So far, at least 35 Bangladeshi nationals have been arrested in Singapore in connection with plotting terrorist activities.

Earlier this month, a Singapore court convicted four Bangladeshi workers for financing terrorism and sentenced them to jail terms between two and five years.

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