Our Community
Rejecting Extremism for Tolerance, Respect and Harmony
Helping to lead radicalised individuals and their families towards a proper understanding of their faith.

When it comes to rehabilitating those who follow extremist ideologies and helping them to change and lead productive lives, two factors that have proven to be crucial are proper religious guidance and the support of the community at large. Launched in 2003, the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG) is a volunteer group of Islamic scholars and teachers that has played a vital role in counselling errant individuals and their families, in order to lead them towards a proper understanding of their faith.

The RRG’s commitment has borne fruit; over the years, 88% of those detained for Jemaah-Islamiyah-related extremism have been successfully rehabilitated and reintegrated back into society. This week, at the Group’s 14th annual retreat, RRG members took the opportunity to reflect on their work and to look to the future. Sharing his insights at the retreat as well was the prominent Islamic scholar and author Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, who spoke on the theme of “Refuting Radical and Extremist Ideology.”

Religious Rehabilitation Group 02
Committed counsellors: Since it was launched in 2003, the RRG (whose motto is “Loving, Sharing, Caring”) has worked to rehabilitate and reintegrate those who follow extremist ideologies. PHOTOS: Hanafi Bin Kasmani
 

Reaching Out to the Next Generation

According to Dr Mohamed Bin Ali, Vice-Chairman of the RRG, one focus area for the future is engaging with Muslim youths. This effort is especially timely given that they are especially vulnerable to extreme ideologies via the Internet.

To better reach out to and guide the next generation, the RRG launched its new Awareness Programme for Youth at the retreat. Designed for those aged 15 to 25, the 10-week programme demonstrates how Islam and its teachings value peace, tolerance, respect, moderation and harmonious living. Participants who complete the programme will also be trained to support future RRG youth initiatives.

“Muslim youths need to be guided, not only with Islamic knowledge,” noted Dr Mohamed. “They [also] need to understand the importance of contextualising Islamic thoughts and practices, especially in the context of a multi-racial, multi-religious society.”

These sentiments were echoed by Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam in his address to RRG members. Thanking them for the “sterling work that [they] have done for the people of Singapore,” he encouraged them to further reach out to youths. “…Since 2015, the number of radicalised teenagers, we have picked up five between the ages of 17 to 19. These are lives wasted,” he said. “We have to rehabilitate them quickly and get them back, to give them the opportunities… So I am very happy to see that RRG is launching this awareness programme. Inoculation is the best preparation to prevent radicalisation.”

Read Minister Shanmugam’s speech at the 14th RRG Retreat here.

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Mike Tan
  2. 14 March 2018
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