UNISSA hosts panel discussion on addressing religious extremism

National 1 minute, 38 seconds


Radical Muslim movements have emerged and gained traction through the power of the mass media and a lack of understanding of Islamic teachings, said regional academics yesterday.

Speaking during a panel discussion on religious extremism, three experts from Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia spoke to a crowd of over 200 people at an event organised by Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali’s (UNISSA) Mazhab Shafi’e Research Centre.

UNISSA’s Deputy Rector, Dr Hj Mohammed Hussain Pehin Penyurat Hj Ahmad, said many Muslims have been misled due to their lack of understanding of Islamic principles, which has led to unhealthy social phenomena such as radicalism. This coupled with the power of mass media has made false teachings easier and faster to disperse.

“This is a phenomenon which needs to be addressed by academics because we see it as an obligation enshrined in the hadith of the Prophet (SAW),” he said.

The deputy rector added that UNISSA, through the Mazhab Shafi’e Research Centre (PPMS), feels compelled to contribute to the welfare of the ummah by clarifying the view of the Shafie sect, which Brunei follows, on contemporary issues faced by the Muslim community.

“It is hoped that through this approach, misunderstanding and confusion among Muslims regarding a particular issue will be dealt with and eradicated.”

PPMS aims to become a research hub for research and publications pertaining to Mazhab Shafi’e and is also seeking to collaborate with local and international institutions to combat religious extremism.

Yesterday’s discussion attracted students, academics and civil servants to UNISSA’s Gadong campus. Aside from the UNISSA deputy rector, the panel comprised Malaysia’s Assistant Director of Counterterrorism, SAC Dato Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay, and Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College (KUPU SB) lecturer Dr H Harapandi Dahri from Indonesia.

Attending as the guest of honour was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Religious Affairs Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Aziz Orang Kaya Maharaja Lela Hj Yussof.

The Brunei Times