apparent or real threat of terrorism to singapore

Powerful Essays
Topics: Terrorism
3. “The threat of religious terrorism to Singapore is more apparent than real”. Do you agree?

“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)
Introduction
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



Bibliography: Abuza, Zachary. "Funding Terrorism in Southeast Asia:The Financial Network of Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah." The National Bureau of Asian Research 14, no. 5 (December 2003). Bar-Tal, Daniel. Siege Mentality. September 2004. http://www.beyondintractability.org/bi-essay/siege-mentality (accessed March 20, 2012). Chew, Valerie. "Jemaah Islamiyah’s bomb plot against diplomatic missions in Singapore, 2001/2002." National Library Board Singapore. January 20, 2009. http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_1411_2009-01-20.html (accessed March 20, 2012). Desker, Barry. "The Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Phenomenon in Singapore." Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2003: 489-507. Frantz, Douglas. "Secretive Money Moving System Scrutinized for bin Laden Funds." International Herald Tribune. October 3, 2001. Huntington, Samuel P. "The Clash of Civilisations." Simon and Schuster, 1996. Ministry of Home Affairs. "SUMMARY OF CASE AGAINST JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH Annex A." Ministry of Home Affairs. n.d. www.mha.gov.sg/ (accessed March 21, 2012). Ng, Eng Hen, interview by Malminderjit Singh. Spending on defence on 'needs-only basis ': Ng Eng Hen The Business Times, (March 8, 2012). Singh, Bilveer. The Talibanization of Southeast Asia: losing the war on terror to Islamist extremists. Singapore: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007. "Terrorist threats still real to Singapore." AsiaOne News. July 19, 2010. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20100719-227751.html (accessed March 23, 2012).

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