Information – What did you learn best today on PCVE?

We learned that the term “terrorism” is now being replaced by the term “Violent Extremism”, a more politically correct reference to those personalities and groups who uses violence and terror to further their political, religious or ideological agenda.

And we agree to that. The phrase “Global War on Terror-GWOT” connotes militaristic activities. It seems to insinuate that in order to eliminate terrorism, the only last resort is a brutal war. Meanwhile, “Countering Violent Extremism” is not only politically sound but acceptable for the public. It can traverse any front, not just a war. It tells of countering the extremism by identifying the key reason that paves the path towards radicalization. 

Inspiration –  How does “Education/Lecture Series on PCVE” motivate you as a police officer?

The lecture series has opened our minds to a bigger perspective. It made us realize that the terrorism/violent extremism is not just confined in Syria, in Iraq, in Sulu, in Basilan, neither in Marawi, but it is closer than we previously thought. It was made possible by social media. Radicalization by social media has become a common thing, some successful in radicalizing lone wolves that has committed lone wolf attacks in the western countries.

The motivation this lecture series brought us is pushing us to spread awareness on the potential danger of social media towards radicalization of some, especially youths. We may never know our neighbors, friends, and even family members can be a victim of this.

Involvement – What would be the contribution of your Unit to PCVE? Suggest action to be taken/activities/Project.

The Maritime Group has been involved in the fight against terrorism. Just think about this. How did the foreign terrorist enter the country? The big answer to this big question is – via sea travel. Our southern borders are very porous. The MG has already established Special Operating Units (SOUs) specifically to aid the fight against terrorism/violent extremism. Pouring more funds and adding better equipments and floating assets will be a big boost for these units in their mandate. Also, we believe that creation of similar units to cover every potential entry points of these foreign extremists will cut off their supply and travel routes. Such will pose a heavy toll to them.

Inquiry – Any question? Or What Topics do you want to learn about PCVE?

We need clarification on the mention of the Al Harakatul Islamiya as a separate and distinct terrorist/extremist group. As far as we know, the Abu Sayyaf Group has been using that as their alternate Arabic name. we agreed that merely mentioning it made an impression to the rest of the class who do not know anything about the topic that there is another terrorist extremist group called Al Harakatul Islamiya.

The second clarification is about the mention of the term Daesh. According to the lecture, Daesh are those Foreign Terrorists who are in the country. However, as far as we know, Daesh is an alternative name coined by the western leaders to insult the ISIS. The word Daesh is taken from al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant(ISIL) another term for ISIS). And the ISIS hates it. Why? Because it is similar to the Arabic words ‘Daes’, meaning ‘one who crushes something underfoot’ and ‘Dahes’, translated as ‘one who sows discord’. It was Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot who first publicly used the term purposely to insult the ISIS.

Author’s note: For the next few months, I’ll be posting a series of random essays and opinion pieces I made on a schooling which I am currently taking up.

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