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Conference on (Re)Assessing the Threat of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation in Malaysia
September 26 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Kuala Lumpur, 26 September 2023 – Malaysia’s School of Politics, History, and International Relations (PHIR) of the University of Nottingham convened an international conference on extremism and radicalisation at the Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre (KLTC).
In the roundtable session, speakers and participants delved into the dynamics of recruitment into violent extremism and effective strategies for its mitigation. The panel featured prominent figures including INITIATE.MY’s founder and director, Aizat Shamsuddin, alongside the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Normah Ishak from the Counterterrorism Unit (E8) Special Branch, Kenimrod Sariburaja from the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counterterrorism (SEARCCT), Zan Azlee from Fat Bidin Productions, Adlyss Adnan from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia, and Huda Ramli from Sisters in Islam (SIS).
During the discussion, Aizat stressed the criticality of data-driven analysis for assessing the evolving landscape of violent extremism. In the post-IS era, terrorist recruitment methods have evolved, becoming more sophisticated in addition to traditional approaches. Terrorist organisations have harnessed various technologies to target broader demographics, enticing individuals into more complex roles, including the dissemination of propaganda and fundraising online.
Furthermore, drawing from INITIATE.MY’s research, Aizat emphasised the necessity of a comprehensive understanding of violent extremism. This understanding should encompass the emergence of right-wing radicalisation in Malaysia, fueled by networks espousing ethno-nationalist ideologies. This stands in contrast to the predominant focus on Islamist ideologies within policymaking and academic literature. By recognising this phenomenon, policymakers can formulate more effective responses to mitigate potential risks that threaten social cohesion and national security.