ST Podcast: The 9/11 impact on Singapore, the local Muslim identity, and harmony beyond 2021

ST Podcast 9/11, 20 years on special (Pt 3): The 9/11 impact on Singapore, the local Muslim identity, and harmony beyond 2021

50:25 mins

Synopsis: 2021 marks 20 years since the 9/11 attacks in the United States. This is a special podcast co-produced by The Straits Times and Berita Harian, recorded and filmed at the Berita Harian studios.

Podcast editor Ernest Luis tackles with his three guests, the impact of the 9/11 attacks in the United States back in 2001, and how it has affected harmony in Singapore and South-east Asia.

Our special guest is Ustaz Dr Mohamed Ali, vice-chairman and counsellor of the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), who is also Assistant Professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. His areas of research include Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamist ideology, religious extremism, inter-religious relations and in his role at RRG, he also works to rehabilitate Muslim extremists.

The Straits Times Singapore desk editor Zakir Hussain is in charge of Singapore news coverage and Berita Harian’s assistant to the editor – Nazri Hadi Saparin – also comes on the show to give us his pulse of how the Malay community has responded to local challenges and perceptions post-9/11.

They cover these points:

Understanding political violence ideology post-9/11; how extremist groups were launching attacks while using religion for political objectives (5:34)

Ustaz Dr Mohamed on Singapore’s efforts to counter deviant religious teachings, with the setting up of bodies such as the Asatizah (religious teachers) Recognition Scheme (ARS), and bodies such as the RRG (6:49)

Dr Mohamed on how the Singapore government and community partnership is different from other countries (10:12)

Hadi and Zakir on post-9/11, the Muslim community changing local perceptions, more community sharing of faiths and breaking down of stereotypes (12:44)

Dr Mohamed on the Singapore Muslim Identity and why these radicals have a problem with it (19:14)

Hadi on how Berita Harian’s media coverage showed a changing Malay community in Singapore in the following decade from 2010-2020; Zakir on ST’s coverage in English evolving to adjust inaccurate phrasing used by Western media outlets (21:48)

Having counselled them, Dr Mohamed breaks down the real sentiments of many radical detainees here (29:09)

Zakir on countering the speed of online radicalisation with more parent/teacher engagement (31:34)

Berita Harian’s coverage of social media-savvy young religious teachers as part of Muis’ Asatizah (religious teachers) Youth Network (AYN) to help with proper online religious guidance for young people (33:04)

Why Dr Mohamed says the risk of online radicalisation will be greater during the Covid-19 era (38:04)

Harmony in Singapore and globally is possible, but expect a bumpy road ahead (41:19)

Dr Mohamed on how Singapore and the younger generation should define harmony in the local context beyond 2021? (45:29)

Listen to Pt 1: ‘Enter at your own risk’ – Journalists recall post-9/11 assignment in Afghanistan

Listen to Pt 2: Terror threat seeds in South-east Asia planted way before 2001 attacks in US 

Discover more of:

The Asatizah (Muslim religious teachers) Youth Network:

The RRG:


Berita Harian Podcasts.

Produced by: Ernest Luis and Berita Harian podcast team

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim

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