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The Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Phenomenon in Singapore

BARRY DESKER
Contemporary Southeast Asia
Vol. 25, No. 3 (December 2003), pp. 489-507
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25798659
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Phenomenon in Singapore
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Abstract

Recent publicity over the trials in Indonesia of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) members has again brought the spotlight onto this elusive group and their operations around the region. This article begins by tracing the global and regional roots of the organization from conflict in the Middle East to the Iranian Revolution and the Soviet Afghan War. These events have contributed to the remarkable success of Osama bin Laden, his Al-Qaeda network and the call to Islamic jihad, all achieved by harnessing Muslim extremist forces to coincide with the zeitgeist of increasing religious orthodoxy and the politicization of the ummah. Links are drawn between the Al-Qaeda and JI networks, as well as with other regional groups. The radicalization of Islam in Southeast Asia is depicted as not such a recent phenomenon, but an evolution of political, social, and educational practices across the region. Progressive and inclusive states like Singapore are not immune to the JI's insidious presence — they can only hope to reduce the ongoing terrorist threat through robust security measures and effective public policies which incorporate education and dialogue with Muslim leaders and the wider Islamic community.

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