1. The case of the 34 year old Singaporean Ms Ruqayyah binti Ramli who was radicalised by her husband is a grim reminder that the influence of extremism is still present and dangerous today, especially from online sources. Although ISIS may have been severely weakened as an organisation, its violent ideology remains and we must not let our guard down.
2. Although Ms Ruqayyah initially had doubts, she was eventually influenced by her husband that ISIS’ use of violence was justified, to the extent that she was willing to accompany him and bring along her two children to Syria. This demonstrates the danger of how such teachings can spread, and the importance for family members to report such developments to the authorities for timely intervention.
3. It is alarming that Ms Ruqayyah was a part-time freelance religious teacher. Thankfully, investigations by the security agencies did not surface any indication that the individual had attempted to spread her pro-ISIS views to others. Her Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS) accreditation has been suspended since 16 Oct 2020 once the Ministry of Home Affairs alerted the Asatizah Recognition Board to this case. We hope that Ms Ruqayyah will steer away from her radical path after religious counselling.
4. Muis has always maintained that Islam and the Singapore Muslim community firmly rejects and condemn acts of violence in the name of religion. We urge family members, friends, students and colleagues to report any individual espousing violent or extremist ideologies to the relevant authorities quickly for timely intervention. Together, we can play our part to keep our community and our country safe.