By Asia News

Jan 29 2021

A 16-year-old Protestant is now under arrest. The would-be terrorist was inspired by the attacks in Christchurch two years ago. Catholics call for action to protect religious harmony. Christian and Islamic leaders urge a crackdown on online indoctrination.

SINGAPORE – Christian and Muslim leaders have condemned the plan of a young Singaporean man to carry out an attack on two city mosques.

Last night, Singapore authorities reported that a 16-year-old Protestant man, an ethnic Indian, was taken into custody in December under the Internal Security Act. According to the police, he planned to attack Muslims with machetes in two mosques in the Woodlands area.

The attack was set for 15 March, exactly two years after a right-wing extremist, Brenton Tarrant, shot and killed 51 Muslims in a mosque and an Islamic centre in Christchurch, New Zealand.

For investigators, the aspiring Singapore terrorist has radicalised himself on the web, inspired by Tarrant.

In a statement released this morning, the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore said it was concerned about the news, and expressed solidarity with its Muslim brothers and sisters, noting that Islam is a religion of peace.

“The Church believes in religious harmony and the peaceful co-existence of all religions,” reads a statement issued by the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore.

The latter goes on to stress that the proliferation of violent content on the web, especially about religion, requires an educational effort to guide young people on the right path.

Rev Keith Lai, president of the Council of Christian Churches in Singapore, and the Mufti of Singapore Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir share this view.

The two religious leaders met today with government officials to discuss the problem of religious radicalism. They call on the authorities and families to work together to contain the harmful influence of online indoctrination.

Religious coexistence is one of Singapore’s singular traits. The government allows full freedom of worship as long as it does not interfere with the affairs of the state. – AsiaNews