PUTRAJAYA – Concerted efforts from all relevant parties should be mobilised immediately to curb the spread of the so-called IS militant group’s ideologies and the involvement of Malaysian citizens in the movement.
Principal Assistant Director of the Counter Terrorism Unit of the Bukit Aman Special Branch, SAC Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said that the IS threats and influence on the society were very serious and showed no signs of declining.
He said efforts by the police to curb the influence of IS by itself was proving difficult as the group was manipulating verses from the Quran and hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) to attract supporters to the group.
“Preventing the spread of IS ideologies requires cooperation from all parties, especially religious departments or agencies because we admit that the police do not have expertise on the matter, particularly in terms of the use of hadith or Quranic verses,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after giving a speech at a programme on ‘IS and it’s Threats’ organized by Wasatiyyah Institute Malaysia at Perdana Putra here today, Ayob Khan said currently the police only played a role based on its policy and duty of detaining those suspected to be involved with IS.
He said apart from the religious department, the police also needed the cooperation of religious scholars to undertake tasks based on their expertise such as creating blogs to answer the points raised by IS, such as the true meaning of jihad (holy war) and hijrah (emigration).
“These things, the police cannot do. We are not experts on religion. We need ulamas or religious scholars to contribute and it must begin now.
“Therefore, I feel it is proper for a concerted effort involving all parties to be mobilized immediately to coordinate actions so that preventing IS threats can be done in a more organized and effective manner, stopping Malaysian citizens’ involvement (in the movement) at an early stage,” he said.
He also urged several other parties such as the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to participate in the effort because students from tertiary institutions were among IS targets for recruitment, while the family problems were part of the cause of Malaysians joining the militant group.
He said integrated efforts were important, as even after the various exposure on IS violence and arrests against those suspected of being involved were done, the issue continued to spread with the number of Malaysians going to Syria also on the rise.
From January to June last year, only 30 Malaysians joined IS in Syria but that number doubled from July to December (to 60 people), and it was a worrying development, he added. – BERNAMA