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Closed Consultation on Youth Radicalisation in Malaysian Universities
March 5, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Place: Liberal Latte, Bukit Damansara
Date: 5th March 2022 (Saturday)
Time: 1.45 pm – 4.15 pm (MYT)
Attendance: 22 representatives from Malaysian CSOs, academics, university staff, religious and student leaders
Since 2016, the number of detained university students associated with cases of extremism is increasing and their radicalisation is propelled by extremist/terrorist groups from Islamist orientation. University students have always been the target to exploit their passion, curiosity, and anger about the world, religion, and injustices. Plus, they were exposed to extremist messages and ideologies via the internet, religious classes and close relationships with their academic instructors. Siti Noor Aishah Atam is a landmark case that illustrates student radicalisation in a public university. To unpack the phenomena of radicalisation amongst university students, there are two related factors. Firstly, pull factors like the employment of violence to destroy enemies, to represent communities at the margin and using violence as an alternative. Secondly, push factors that include ideal university environment, the search for hidayah or seeking for spiritual guidance and online radicalisation.
Attendees of this closed-consultation discussed the in-depth history of extremist/terrorist movement from the period of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) to Islamic State (IS) and pull and push factors of radicalisation among university students in Malaysia. Holistic recommendations were also explored to find ways to address this problem. The findings from this consultation will inform INITIATE.MY’s policy brief on on-campus radicalisation and community resilience.