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What Is The Meaning By Extremism

1.​What is the meaning by extremism, radicalism and terrorism? Extremism is ideology that is considered to be way outside the appropriate thought attitudes of society, whereas radicalism is the opinions and behaviour who favour extreme changes particularly in government. Terrorism is the use of violent acts to frighten the individuals in a vicinity as the way of attempting to attain a political goal.

2.​Thus are radicalism, extremism and terrorism is the religion issue? All of those acts are clearly not a religion issue however it’s based on political will. The rationale of those acts happen is spark by a sentiment issue such as racism that are too extreme and can’t be controlled. Therefore, all these kind of sentiment issues could awaken extremism and so may be transform radicalism and getting worst up to terrorism.


3.​What is ISIS and the way is that this militant cluster established? The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and by its Arabic language word form DAESH, may be a Salafi jihadist militant cluster and unrecognised proto-state that follows a fundamentalist, Wahabi philosophy of Sunni Islam. IS can trace its roots back to the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian. In 2004, a year when the US-led invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden and shaped al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), that became a significant force within the revolt.

4.​After Zarqawi’s death in 2006, AQI created an umbrella organisation, Islamic State in Al-Iraq (ISI). ISI was steady weakened by the US troop surge and therefore the creation of Sahwa (Awakening) councils by Sunni Arab tribesmen who rejected its brutality. Baghdadi, a former US captive, became leader in 2010 and started reconstruction ISI’s capabilities. By 2013, it had been yet again completing dozens of attacks a month in Iraq. It had additionally joined the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, fitting the al-Nusra Front.

5.​In April 2013, Baghdadi declared the merger of his forces in Iraq and Syria and the creation of "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL). The leaders of al-Nusra and al-Qaeda rejected the move, however fighters loyal to Baghdadi split from al-Nusra and helped Isis remain in Syria. At the end of December 2013, ISIS shifted its focus back to Iraq and exploited a political stand-off between the Shia-led government and the minority Sunni Arab community. Assisted by tribesmen and former Saddam Hussein loyalists, Isis took control of the central city of Falluja.

6.​In June 2014, ISIS overran the northern city of Mosul, and then advanced southwards towards Baghdad, massacring its adversaries and threatening to eradicate the country’s many ethnic and religious minorities. At the end of the month, after consolidating its hold over dozens of cities and towns, ISIS declared the creation of a caliphate and changed its name to "Islamic State". ISIS implements a tremendously radical interpretation of Sharia law and apply a horrifying examples of policies such as burning of prisoners, violent oppression of religious minorities, and the existence of sex slaves. These policies are defended by ISIS supporters as not only their right as Muslims, but their responsibility in the name of establishing a purely religious Caliphate, according to their interpretation of Islam.

7.​ISIS is now spreading their ideology to gain support and wider their influence in South East Asia. Country that been affected are includes Philippines, Indonesia and also Malaysia. As in Philippines, it has been getting serious. At least 103 people have died in the city of Marawi at the southern island of Mindanao in less than a week. As in Indonesia there are also ISIS action such as suicide bombing in several places as reported. Element of ISIS also spreading across Malaysia as PDRM detected a number of Malaysian recruited by ISIS and successfully fly to Syria for the sake of ‘Jihadist’. Thus, the element of ISIS is now spreading and it is a major threat to Malaysia.


8.​Currently, there are numerous young Muslims in all over the globe joining ISIS and expanding. Soldiers or man that they recruit are from members of Saddam Hussein’s defeated army, defectors from Syrian rebel groups and also new recruits from Iraq and Syria. For these three target audience, they trigger a sense of shame and frustration of Muslim world such as a retrogression of political and economic development. They also triggered a ‘jihadist’ spirit which is fighting and die for Allah which applied in fighting action towards killing fellow Muslims and assaulting the dignity of Islam ‘ummah’ and corrupt government. ISIS portrayed an attractive option by being a first force to promise a way out of an insecure and undignified life.

9.​Apart of that, ISIS also has a very slick, sophisticated and hi-tech media department. They are able to produce an extremely good footage and video in HD to promote themselves. With that, they are really expert in recruiting using a mass, new media and global internet based. The recruitment content and message is based on religious motivation. ISIS skilfully uses its powerful religious ideology to convince recruits to accept a life that in all probability will include a sacrifice that not in the present but in another world, yet to be attained. Thus, ISIS substitutes a nationalism and political ideology with a religion sentiment as an attractive alternative for building a better future. ISIS also trigger a sense of assobiyah, groupness and an “us against them” mentality that ratchets up the sense of conflict it wants its members to feel toward anyone outside the group. Besides, ISIS also recruiting with an adventure motivation specially target to a young man. This target audience mostly attracted to danger and risk. There’s no doubt that this impulse throbs in the chests of many recruits to ISIS. ISIS also target a man that have specialist such as soldier and elite force such as commando. On top of that, they also target women or lady which act as ‘sex jihadist’ for fighting man in Syria.


10.​On top of all ISIS official recruitment videos marketing tricks, they also promise the reward of playing an important role in their organization larger than your current position. So, its motivate their man to be more loyal towards the organisation. They are likely to engage a potential recruit that having a numerous skill. These marketing products such as videos, which have all high production quality, sometimes operating with multiple cameras, are a far cry from the once-standard homemade segments featuring an older Al Qaeda member talking directly into the camera. There is no denying that ISIS employ experienced media and marketing people, who have helped to spread and control its message. In fact, ISIS has an entire media company backing its video production and distribution, the Al Hayat Media Centre, which was established in May 2015.

11.​In addition to the well-made videos, the media section also produces other product to promote ISIS such as an online English-language magazine called Dabiq and Al-Mustaqbal as a tools to glorify the ISIS to people around the world. The magazine can be easily find and download anytime anywhere. More danger towards Malaysia, currently an online Malay-language magazine called Al-Fatihin also available which means The Conqueror in Arabic. ISIS trying to increase its reach in Southeast Asia by launching the magazine in southern Philippines on June 2016, and is being distributed in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, southern Thailand, as well as southern Philippines itself. The act can be seen as an unofficial warning that the Malay Archipelago is in ISIS’s sights which clearly shows their aim to expand influence among people who understand the Malay language and the government agencies believe that the writer is Malaysian either staying in Malaysia or based in Syria.

12.​Basically, the most powerful media tool ISIS has mastered is social media. Its sophisticated social media strategies on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Middle Eastern networks like Dawn have appealed to a generation that live most of their time by surfing the internet. ISIS has even developed a Twitter app that sends information to the online community and allows ISIS to tweet from users personal accounts, thereby gaining the ability to spread its message in exponential proportions. The app, along with hashtag campaigns that help the group’s propaganda trend on Twitter, are similar to the Public Relation campaigns of a corporate company.


13.​Based on info followed by Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) have arrested more than 300 individuals over the past four years for suspected links to the ISIS including Indonesian militants, and shut down numerous pro-ISIS websites. The division also prevented 18 terror plots, except for the Movida night club bombing last year in 2016. The amount of Malaysian suicide bombers witnessed in both Iraq and Syria between 2014 and 2017 can be described as noticeable and is intrinsically the result of the domestic propaganda campaign in Malaysia.

14.​As for now, ISIS threat is getting serious in Malaysia. A case study in Pulau Pinang shows that the first man in Malaysia sentenced to seven years jail for directly providing financial services for terrorist purposes. This case which is involved a Malaysian businessman was found guilty to authorizing money to be deposited into and transferred out of his bank account on the instructions of Muhammad Wandy Mohamed Jedi, a Malaysian in Syria who recruits and sources funds for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The businessman committed the offence at the Maybank branch at the Prai Industrial Estate in Penang between November 2015 and June 30, 2016. The witness confirmed that on March 26, 2015, Wandy had directed members of the chat group name Gagak Hitam to deposit the money into bank account in stages. The businessman was the first man in Malaysia to be sentenced for a terror-financing offence.

15.​Other case detected by PDRM is conducted by a Malaysian man from Terengganu planning to blow himself up at an entertainment venue in Kuala Lumpur. He was detained few hours before execution of the plan. The man confessed he planned to blow himself up in an attack after receiving orders from members of ISIS. He was detained at monorail station in Kuala Lumpur with weapons and ISIS documents. The motive of these groups was to destabilise popular tourist countries and create fears. Modus operation is similar in Indonesia and Philippines.

16.​One of the biggest threat of ISIS in Malaysia is a propaganda spreading through media made by them. There a several online articles that trying to threaten Malaysian such as ‘11% of Malaysian Population is Supporting ISIS’ by The Coverage Bureau. Basically the research that conducted by Pew Research Centre is using random sampling of 1,000 sample size which ideally can be questioned and inaccurate. But the fact that ISIS element already based in Malaysia cannot been denied because PDRM have found a shop selling ISIS merchandise and t-shirt in Bandar Baru Bangi.

17.​That shop in Bandar Baru Bangi filled with militant-themed flags, t-shirts, caps and stickers bearing the symbols of militant groups, especially the ISIS and Taliban. Some of the t-shirts were displayed with phrases such as “Mujahedeen cyberspace” and “We Declare War Against The Zionists”. Most of the items were made and imported from Indonesia and have high demand in Malaysia. Even PDRM claimed that there is a high demand for the merchandise and business is picking up since the store opened and some people are genuinely interested.


18.​ISIS are against the teachings of the Prophet, a man of peace and moderation; and against Islamic law, which prizes the protection of life above all. The government deplore those responsible and call on the international community to act in concern to prevent further violence in Malaysia. The government also clearly shows their acts against to ISIS. Furthermore, PDRM also succeed to detect a so called military camp that conducting a training with an artificial weapon in Malaysia. It shows that all the ISIS fighter in Malaysia is not a well-trained army and didn’t able to conduct a real weapon. But, the worries are, a Malaysian militant that trained in Syria is coming back with an upgrade rank. They now are a sniper and suicide bomber and experienced in special operation in Iraq. Apart, eight Malaysia children also get a training in DAESH camp in Syria. PDRM also have detected an attempts to build a children training camp in Malaysia.

19.​The government proposed new laws that would reintroduce indefinite detention without trial and allow the seizure of passports of anyone suspected of supporting terror acts in an attempt to curb militant activities. Malaysia have tighten laws to increase the security level and conserve the safety. Some of critics slammed the laws as a revival of a controversial security law that was repealed in 2012 and warned they could severely curtail civil freedoms. The Prevention of Terrorism Act bill, tabled in Parliament, would allow authorities to detain suspects indefinitely without trial and the decision cannot be challenged in court. The bill stresses that no one shall be detained solely for their political beliefs or activity. A second bill, the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries, empowers authorities to suspend or revoke the travel documents or any citizens or foreigners believed to be engaging in or supporting terrorist acts. The government also claims that the bills were aimed at curbing terrorism and preventing Malaysia from becoming a transit point for foreign terrorists. Other proposals would increase penalties for terror-related acts, including up to 30 years in prison for those found receiving training or instruction, travelling to or from Malaysia to commit terrorism in a foreign country, and the building of “conveyance” for use in terrorist acts.

20.​Possession of items associated with terrorism may also lead to seven years in jail, and those who found present at a terror training venue may well be sent behind bars for 10 years. The Internal Security Act (ISA) was enacted in 1960 to provide the government power to forestall national security threats following a communist insurgency, however over the decades political opponents and government critics sometimes have been held for months without trial. Legal rights group Lawyers for Liberty said the reintroduction of “oppressive and outdated preventive laws” will not resolve the danger of militancy. It warned that the proposed laws allow for arbitrary arrest and detention by police, and leave detainees at the mercy of the authorities. Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA) was proposed to eliminate potential threats of violence through any acts relating to terrorism. More specifically, due to the alarming threat of Malaysians joining the ISIS. Any persons who fall under suspicion of terrorist activities can be detained, without warrant, up to a maximum time of 60 days by the police. Under the approval of Yang di-Pertuan Agong appointed five-to-eight member Prevention of Terrorism board this can be extended for up to two years at a time. Any person who is arrested shall be presented to the magistrate within 24 hours unless released earlier. POTA relates much more directly to terrorism and extends the power of the already established Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) which replaced the now repealed ISA.


21.​Officially, ISIS has landed on our shores by launching attack. Therefore, in future, more deadly attacks are likely to come from them. ISIS are unlike other terrorist group where they are more violent and also willing to kill their own Muslim brothers, whether Shiah or Sunnis, to achieve their goals. They also have a very hi-tech media based and have back up by a great power behind them. Their victims are men, women and children especially youth with potential and skills. They frequently choose public localities like airports, shopping malls, cafes and hotels as their target to terrorise the public. They also highlight their brutality on social media to gain more support and as a show of force or deterrent element. The core strategy of the ISIS is to terrify their opponents by ferocity with beheading their hostages or burning them alive demonstrate that they are heartless.

22.​One of the major differences between ISIS and other terrorist groups is the use of social media. ISIS has effectively used social media to spread their concept of “war” and their justifications are always in tow with religion for recruitment purposes. They are also financially more capable and willing to pay salaries and other perks, including foreign and local wives, as an inducement to join them. The main objective of ISIS force is to in still fear and bring up a heroic spirit around the world to join them.

23.​As a conclusion, ISIS is one of the main and current threat to Malaysia. Government take this issue seriously and formed up several departments under The Malaysian National Security Council, PDRM, Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM) and also Malaysian Armed Forces. Thus, Malaysian should ignore all ISIS element from any medium either from social media, WhatsApp, magazine or face-to-face relationship. Influencing factors of Malaysian basically triggered by a sentiment not a real fact raised. Besides, the victims have low knowledge of the real Islam as a way of life and take a short cut by joining ISIS to repent.

24.​There a lot of ways to prevent ISIS ideology which is commit our self with right religion and the real Islam. Government should be alert and concerns with the current issues of ISIS through all recognized medium either online of offline such as flyers given on the street without knowing who or what their intention. Next is we have to conceal our personal information or personal life event in social media. In a strategic level, we need to strengthen our media operation in conducting propaganda to against ISIS narrative and shaping Malaysian minds to prevent any of their element. Nowadays, publics have easy access on internet and exposed to unknown resources that been published on the internet. Therefore, government should take precaution and prohibit all the unknown resources to prevent publics from being influenced or misinterpreted the resources before they involve in inappropriate activities.

Freelance Writer

I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.