Not-so Beautiful Minds: The Impact of Non-Violent Extremism in Indonesia and Malaysia


About the Webinar

Lately, terrorism and security studies in Southeast Asia have focused on the perpetration of violent extremism in the internet sphere. However, the extent to which non-violent yet extreme ideas spread online and their impact in shaping people’s minds has been neglected. This webinar explores the substantial spread of non-violent extremism in social media in Indonesia and Malaysia and aims to investigate the impact of these ideas on the social well-being of people. In Indonesia, non-violent but extreme views are omnipresent on social media pages run by online preachers. Given their considerable influence, this is certainly a cause for concern. In the case of Malaysia, the presentation will focus on divisive ideas propagated by followers of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas through their social media platforms. These ideas are also a cause for concern, given that followers of the renowned scholar disseminate them in various settings, such as the realms of the arts and education, among others. This webinar argues that the spread of non-violent extremism can result in the repression of human rights, leads to polarization in the community, and can also indirectly fan hatred which can then lead to physical violence.

About the Speakers

Mohd Faizal Musa is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute as well as Associate Fellow at Weatherhead Centre Harvard University working on Global Shia Dispora. He is Research Fellow at Institute of Malay World and Civilization, National University of Malaysia where he earned his PhD in 2010. He is also a well-known fiction writer in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

A’an Suryana is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. Previously, he worked as research consultant for various international and local organizations such as Search for Common Ground, Jakarta Provincial Government and the Indonesian Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucracy Reform. He earned a PhD in Asian Studies from the Australian National University, which he completed in 2018.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.

Limited spaces only, register early to avoid disappointment.

To join the webinar,
1. Install the Zoom client onto your computer or download the app on your mobile device.
2. Click on the unique link in your email.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Mar 30 2021


10:00 am - 11:30 am