Two Singaporeans placed on Restriction Order under Internal Security Act

Two Singaporeans, a freelance religious teacher and his student, was placed on Restriction Order (RO) under the Internal Security Act (ISA), announced the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday (16 January).

The 46-year-old teacher, was placed on a RO on 5 December 2018 and his accreditation under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS) had been cancelled by MUIS in May 2018 for his propagation of segregationist ideologies that contravened the ARS Code of Ethics.

The ministry said that a Restriction Order was issued because Murad bin Mohd Said propagated beliefs promoting violence and views detrimental to the cohesion of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society.

According to the ministry, he taught his students that it was compulsory to kill apostates, defined broadly to include non-believers, Sufis, Shi’ites, and Muslims who have renounced Islam or disregarded texts and rulings from the Quran and Sunnah. He also taught them that Muslims were allowed to defend themselves by waging “armed jihad” against “infidels who persecuted them”.

Murad was said to also encouraged his students to withdraw from Singapore’s secular society, disregard secular laws and adhere to the rulings of Syariah law instead.

Even after his ARS Accreditation was cancelled, Murad continued to propagate his segregationist views online, the ministry noted.

“Murad’s binary “us versus them” worldview and violent teachings, which he propagated to his students and followers, could have led them to develop extremist views, as well as lead to inter- and intra-faith tensions,” said the ministry, adding that his statements on the primacy of Syariah law over secular laws also undermine Singapore’s secular nation-state system.

His student, a 56-year-old technician Razali bin Abas, was arrested under the ISA in September 2018. He was found to hold radical views concerning the use of armed violence against the perceived enemies of Islam.

Razali was said to turned to religion after he became disillusioned with his lifestyle.

According to the ministry, sometime in 2012, he was introduced to Murad and began attending the latter’s classes. The exclusivist religious teachings he imbibed from the classes rendered him susceptible to the more radical and violent influences he later encountered on social media.

Over time, Razali became convinced that it was legitimate to kill those he felt were oppressors of Islam, including non-Muslims and Shi’ites. He began to seek out individuals with militant-looking profiles on Facebook, seeing them as “heroes” who were making sacrifices he could not make himself.

The ministry said that their posts also reinforced his belief in armed violence and his admiration and support for terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda.

In October 2018, Razali was issued with an RO to prevent him from continuing his downward spiral into extremism.

The ministry said that a person issued with a RO must abide by several conditions and restrictions. For example, he is not permitted to change his residence or employment, or travel out of Singapore, without the prior approval of the Director ISD. The individual issued with RO also cannot issue public statements, address public meetings or print, distribute, contribute to any publication, hold office in, or be a member of any organisation, association or group without the prior approval of Director ISD.