(Re)imagining the Muslim Identity in Singapore



This paper discusses how the Singapore government attempted to (re)imagine the Muslim identity in Singapore based on the crisis of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) arrests in 2002. The paper argues that the government sought to resolve and manage the crisis using the combined apparatuses of the mass media, education and administrative regulations. The paper further analyses the constraints and challenges faced by the government in the process of (re)constructing and sustaining the Singapore Muslim identity. The attempt by the Singapore government provides a useful example of how the government of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual country has responded to internal terrorist threats by (re)imagining the Muslim identity, and the problems and controversies such a (re)imaging process generates.