KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 ― The Islamic State (IS) may be using local controversies as platforms for its extremist ideology, said an International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) lecturer.
Commenting on the arrest of four IS cell suspects who allegedly planned revenge attacks on non-Muslims for the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim injured during the Seafield temple riots, Ahmad El-Muhammady told the South China Morning Post the development was “extremely worrying”,
“The involvement of foreigners in a local issue indicates Daesh’s capability to exploit foreigners and local issues to advance their ideology.
“It’s a new game in the new Malaysia, which could potentially escalate I hate to say this. Isis may capitalise on the perception that Islam is under threat in Malaysia,” Ahmad said using the group’s other names.
He said rising racial and religious tension here created an unsurprising opening for such extremist groups.
Ahmad, who is also reportedly a police advisor on tackling radicalisation, then expressed concern that there may be more such cells here operating outside of the police’s knowledge.
He also advised the government to proactively resolve racial and religious issues.
“Craft narratives of unity, harmony and coexistence. Organise more interfaith dialogue,” Ahmad was quoted as saying, adding that the government should allocate more financial resources for programmes to tackle extremism and terrorism.
The Royal Malaysia Police disclosed yesterday that they arrested three foreigners and one Malaysian who were allegedly planning terror attacks and assassinations in Malaysia during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Adib was injured during riots outside the Seafield temple in November last year and later died from his injuries. The incident was initially presented as a mob attack but his death inquest has suggested that he could have been accidentally hit by his own emergency vehicle instead.