Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’

Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’
About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore. Above, Indonesian maids undergo training in Jakarta for infant care prior to their deployment. (AFP)
Updated 24 September 2019

Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’

Singapore detains Indonesian maids for ‘funding Daesh’
  • The maids became supporters of Daesh after viewing online material last year
  • About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore

SINGAPORE: Singapore has detained three Indonesian maids without trial under tough security laws over allegations they donated funds to support the Daesh group, authorities said.
It is the latest case of allegedly radicalized foreign domestic helpers arrested in the city-state, and the government said it highlighted the continued appeal of the militants’ “violent ideology.”
The trio, who worked as maids for between six and 13 years in Singapore, became supporters of Daesh after viewing online material last year, including videos of bomb attacks and beheadings, the interior ministry said.
Anindia Afiyantari, 33, Retno Hernayani, 36, and 31-year-old Turmini became acquainted around the time they were radicalized and developed a network of foreign contacts online who shared their pro- Daesh ideology.
“The three of them actively galvanized support online for Daesh,” said the ministry in a statement late Monday, using an alternative name for Daesh.
“They also donated funds to overseas-based entities for terrorism-related purposes, such as to support the activities of Daesh and JAD. Turmini believed that her donations would earn her a place in paradise.”
Officials did not say how much they contributed.
JAD refers to Indonesian militant outfit Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, which has pledged allegiance to Daesh.
The women are being held under the city-state’s Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
Daesh lost the last scrap of its self-declared “caliphate” this year but remains influential. There are fears that foreign fighters returning from the Middle East could rejuvenate terror networks elsewhere, including in Southeast Asia.
There has been a steady stream of such cases reported in Singapore, which is majority ethnic Chinese but has a sizeable Muslim minority.
Before the latest three cases, authorities had detected 16 radicalized foreign domestic workers since 2015, though none were found to have plans to carry out violent acts in Singapore. They were repatriated after investigations.
About 250,000 domestic helpers from other parts of Asia work in affluent Singapore.


French Muslim council nears accord on ‘principles’ sought by Macron

French Muslim council nears accord on ‘principles’ sought by Macron
Updated 17 January 2021

French Muslim council nears accord on ‘principles’ sought by Macron

French Muslim council nears accord on ‘principles’ sought by Macron
  • Macron urged the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) to devise the charter in November after the killing of a schoolteacher
  • The push is part of Macron’s hopes to “liberate” Islam from radicalized influences that encroach on France’s strict secularism

PARIS: Muslim leaders in France have proposed a new “charter of principles” requested by President Emmanuel Macron in his bid to eradicate sectarianism and extremism, with an agreement from the country’s Muslim federations possible as soon as Sunday.
Macron urged the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) to devise the charter in November, after the killing of a schoolteacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed to students.
The push is part of Macron’s hopes to “liberate” Islam from radicalized influences that encroach on France’s strict secularism and which are blamed for a wave of extremist killings in recent years.
His government has embarked on a crackdown against extremist mosques and associations, and plans to remove the roughly 300 imams in France sent to teach from Turkey, Morocco and Algeria.
But several member federations of the CFCM have criticized the idea of a charter declaring Islam compatible with French law and values — the first step toward creating a national certification council for imams (CNI).
On Saturday, however, CFCM president Mohammed Moussaoui and his two vice presidents hammered out an accord in a meeting with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, which was submitted to the council’s federations for signatures on Sunday.
“There was an awareness that these disagreements were preventing the Muslim community from asserting itself,” Moussaoui told AFP. “This awareness allowed us to overcome our differences.
“I commend the work undertaken by the French Muslim community which clearly condemns political Islam,” Darmanin said on Twitter.
The charter rejects “instrumentalising” Islam for political ends and affirms equality between men and women, while denouncing practices such as female circumcisions, forced marriages or “virginity certificates” for brides.
It also explicitly rejects racism and anti-Semitism, and warns that mosques “are not created for the spreading of nationalist speech defending foreign regimes.”
Macron’s government is also pushing through legislation to combat “pernicious” Islamist radicalism, which would tighten rules on issues ranging from religious-based education to polygamy.
The move, along with the president’s defense of controversial Mohamed cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo, has stoked anger among many in the Muslim world who believe Macron is unfairly targeting an entire religion.
Macron has rejected the claims, saying the law aims to protect the country’s estimated four to five million Muslims, the largest number in Europe.