By: B Goode
In an attempt to assist our Home Minister, S Shanmugam, I did an intensive research into Islamic radicalization; so intensive in fact that I was starting to look at backpacks in a funny way, and to dream of 72 virgins some of whom were boys (weird!).
Reading this article, some people might misconstrue it as stereotyping, profiling and whatever terms libertards used to make them feel good about themselves. But in all honesty, could you identify a mango if you were not given a profile of the fruit?
Similarly, in tackling Islamic radicalization, a hard-headed approach is needed because obviously skirting around the issue has not worked.
Most non-Muslims are aware of at least one Islamic concept; halal (permitted) and haram (not permitted). But there is another equally important concept that most of us are not aware of and that can be used to spot a radicalized individual.
It is the concept of wajib (compulsory) and sunnah (voluntary).
Wajib are things that must be performed; it would be a sin not to perform them. Things like praying 5 times a day, fasting, male circumcision etc. Where else sunnah are things that are not sinful if you do not do them, but you will get extra heavenly credits if you do. It is akin to buying dinner for your girlfriend. You do not have to buy her dinner, but if you did, you might get into her heaven later in the night.
An example of sunnah would be sporting a beard. For men of course.
And this is where radicalized Muslims and moderate Muslims differ.
Have you ever wondered why Muslim terrorists are all sporting beards?
That’s because for radicalized Muslims they believe that sporting of beards is compulsory rather than voluntary. In fact, in ISIS controlled areas, there exist beard Police who will patrol and do house-to-house checks to ensure that all men sport beards. If they didn’t they’d be fined and for repeat offenders, beheaded.
So this is an example of how to spot a radicalized individual. If a muslim man you knew who used to be clean shaven suddenly sporting a mess of a bee hive under his chin, you might want to ask: “Sup with the beard bro?”
If he answered : “Dude! It’s a new fashion trend to look like a hobo”, then it should be alright.
But if he answered by quoting some Islamic doctrines or verses then you could suspect that he had been radicalized or was radicalizing. Especially so if you caught him wearing a turban and mascara like this:
For employers, if they were to ask a bearded radicalized employee to shave their beard, he would rather resign.
Radicalized beard is just one example of the difference in practice between radical Muslims and moderate Muslims. Another example is the full-faced purdah:
What I am saying is that; there already exist differences in practices between radical Islam and moderate Islam. There are clear signs to spot the difference. Whether MUIS, MUFTI and local Islamic scholars are able and willing to list them down as an indicator to assess a potential radicalized or radicalizing Muslim will depend largely on their will and wherewithal because the list, if drawn out will cause quite a stir within the community.
But radicalized ideology is no joke. People will die because of that. Do we keep it down low for fear of stirring a hornet’s nest, or do we be opened and deconstructive about it?
I say: we grab the bull by its horn.