Singapore Muslim Leaders Call for All Islamic Teachers to Be Registered

Certification will give assurance to community that it is getting guidance from qualified religious teachers.

Muslim leaders have called for a scheme that endorses religious teachers to be made stricter, amid the spread of extremist ideology on the Internet that has led to the radicalization of some Singaporeans.

They want all asatizah to be registered with the Asatizah Recognition Scheme (ARS), started in 2005 to help Muslim Singaporeans assess and recognize qualified religious teachers.

About 20 community and religious leaders asked for the scheme to be made mandatory at a closed-door dialogue with Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim and Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli, where they discussed issues such as the economy and the threat of terrorism.

Their call comes a day after the government announced the detention this month of two Singaporeans who planned to travel to Syria to fight with terror group Daesh (ISIL or ISIS).

Since January last year, eight citizens have been detained under the Internal Security Act for terror activities, and five were placed on Restriction Orders.

Many of them had been radicalized through the extremist teachings of foreign preachers they came across online.

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