Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that a Singaporean man has been arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for terrorism-related activities.
Zulfikar Shariff had previously run the now-defunct Muslim website Fateha.com. The website’s content was described as “poisonous” by the government and was investigated for alleged criminal defamation, leading him to flee to Australia. He subsequently created a new website Al-Makhazin to continue posting on certain issues concerning Muslims.
In 2014, Zulfikar also helped to lead the Wear White movement protesting against homosexuality. The movement aimed to urge Muslims to ‘stand up and defend the sanctity of family’.
Called for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate
Zulfikar Shariff had used social media to propagate radical messages, calling on his followers to reject the democratic nation-state system. He called it a “western imposed system” and urged that an Islamic caliphate be established to counter “the west and its allies”.
Beyond calling for an Islamic caliphate to be created, Zulfikar also encouraged Muslims to perform armed jihad overseas. In his postings online, he promoted ISIS and its activities, going so far as to say ISIS “as a whole is trying to do something good” and to “support your brothers who are trying to do good”.
Contributed to the radicalisation of others
Zulfikar was also cited as having contributed to the radicalisation of at least two other Singaporeans. The first, Muhammad Shaman bin Mohamed Sidik, has already been detained for terrorism-related acitivites. The second, Mohamed Saiddhin bin Abdullah, has been issued with a restriction order for two years.
Mohamed Saiddhin held Zulfikar in high regard and followed Zulfikar’s social media postings. He supported Zulfikar’s positive view of ISIS and emulated Zulfikar by”re-posting Zulfikar’s postings on ISIS as a form of jihad”. He also posted photographs of himself adopting the pose of jihadi fighters to show solidarity with ISIS militants.