“Despite counter-terrorism successes by regional authorities, the terrorist threat in the region and to Singapore remains real.” – Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Law and Second Minister for Home Affairs (AsiaOne News, July 19th 2010)
Firstly, there is a need to clearly distinguish between apparent threat and real threat. This essay will adopt the definition that apparent threat will mean: threat that is perceived to be seemingly real or true on the basis of evidence that may or may not be confirmed. This is in contrast to the definition of real threat- threat that is existing or occurring in fact. In simpler terms, apparent threat will mean something that is a socially constructed belief while real threat is based on tangible, actual evidence.
It has to be understood that religious terrorism should not be confined or stereotyped to one religion – Islam. There are other terrorist attacks by other religions in other parts of the world such as those by Jewish or Christian terrorists. However, for this essay, it will mostly be concentrated on Islamist terrorism. There are no recorded instances of religious terrorism occurring outside of the Islamic faith in Singapore. Also, there are other factors such as the high Muslim population in neighbouring countries and the existence of one infamous terrorist group in Singapore- the Jemaah Islamiyyah, or the Al-Jama’ah Al-Islamiyyah (AJAI) (Singh 2007: 51).
This essay will take on the stand that the threat of religious terrorism in Singapore is more real than it is apparent. There is a socially constructed belief that the threat of a terrorist attack in Singapore is bound to happen. Moreover, this is further perpetuated by heads of states and relevant ministries constantly reminding Singaporeans that a terrorist attack is guaranteed to happen; and that it is just a matter of when. Even if they
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