ISIS Sympathiser and Radical Preacher Held in Singapore
The last week of July saw me embark on and complete a fascinating visit to Washington and London.
I am now back in Singapore and one significant development during my absence was the arrest of an Islamic fundamentalist, Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff, in the country.
He is a Singaporean who created lots of extremist trouble for the country by making his children wear headscarves (tudung) to school. That amounted to local laws being flouted and when the government got tough he made a lot of senseless noise and moved with his family to Australia.
I had made references to the tudung issue in one of my posts a few years after Australia welcomed the fundamentalist family into its fold.
The second face of Zulfikar – from the Australian media
Stupid Country?: I then thought what a stupid country Australia was, accommodating a potential terrorist and giving him unemployment benefits. Down Under he was rewarded for his extremism and given Australian citizenship.
The trouble with countries like Australia and those in the West is that as long as these undesirable elements only create trouble beyond their borders they will not act. In effect, they appear happy to breed terrorists for fomenting anarchy overseas. Many countries then thought the tudung issue was too trivial for Singapore to act tough.
Luckily, Singapore is a country that takes all such threats seriously, dealing with radicals with a firm hand. The exit of Zulfikar and his family from Singapore was good riddance. Now let him be behind bars for two years – I hope he does not come out of jail for ever!
G Joslin Vethakumar