Malaysia Calls for Collective Online Effort Against Extremist Narrative

Source: BenarNews

Malaysia at the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday stressed the need for a collective social media effort to counter the narrative put forward by the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.

“We believe there is a need to encourage more IT [information technology] and media savvy Muslim public figures and scholars to reach out to the youth via the social media to provide a counter narrative, including to clarify the concept of jihad [holy war] that has been twisted to serve the terrorist agenda,” Reezal Merican Naina Merican, the deputy Malaysian foreign minister, told a Security Council forum in New York.

“At times, the promise of heavenly reward and spiritual salvation has led some to become misguided and fall for the terrorist narrative,” he said during the open debate on “Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: Countering the narratives and ideologies of terrorism.”

Describing past international efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism, he said that while they had seen varying degrees of success, “the international community could and must do more.”

Rejecting any association of terrorism with any one religion, nationality or ethnic group, he said however that Muslims “should not be in denial.” He emphasized a critical need to address what he called the exploitation of Islam by terrorist groups which had led, he said, to a perceived link between the religion, Muslims and terrorism. Read more