Speakers highlight cyberterrorism, religious extremism risks

By: INP      Published: 09:37 PM, 15 May, 2020
Speakers highlight cyberterrorism, religious extremism risks

Speakers at a webinar here on Friday highlighted the risks posed by cyberterrorism and religious extremism and also shared good practices vis-à-vis stress and anger management in order to build peace in the society in line with the Paigham-e-Pakistan initiative of the government.

The webinar titled ‘Crisis and Stress Management & Cybersecurity’ was organised by the University of Science and Technology, Bannu. The event comprised two training sessions titled ‘Crisis and Stress Management according to Sharia Perspective’ and ‘Countering Increased Threat of Cyberterrorism & Online Radicalization During Pandemic’.

Cybersecurity expert from National Defence University (NDU) Asfand Ousaf and Qaiser Bilal from Kohat University of Science and Technology conducted the two sessions.

Asfand Ousaf cautioned the participants of the webinar to stay aware and steadfast against propaganda onslaught launched by the enemy through a ‘soft offensive’ by using internet and the cyberspace. He also quoted a few instances from the recent past of radicalization through social media, and especially mentioned the cases of Noreen Leghari and Saad Aziz as well as an incident of terrorism at a mosque in New Zealand.

Ousaf cautioned the participants about terrorist groups increasingly using the cyberspace for recruitment and radicalization of youth, and sensitized them about potential threats of promotion of liberal ideologies, drugs business, violence and sexual harassment through the internet. He also played different videos to raise awareness among the participants about darker and inappropriate side of the internet and the need to adopt methods of safe internet browsing.

Qaiser Bilal told the participants that the whole world is currently faced with a huge challenge in the shape of coronavirus pandemic. He said the terrorist organizations are out to use this crisis for their vested interests by misinterpreting religious teachings through a soft offensive by using internet and the cyberspace, which needs a comprehensive counter strategy to ensure that people do not fall prey to the agenda of the adversaries.

He said it is time to repent and seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah for all our wrongdoings. He said people and the government need to fight a joint war against this pandemic in the light of teachings of Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). He said adopting necessary precautionary measures is key to defeating this monster.

He said Islam teaches its followers to seek forgiveness and help and guidance from Allah Almighty in case of any challenge and crisis, but at the same time the religion also teaches the importance of adopting preventive measures to save oneself as well as society from the adverse effects of any calamity. “It is only by adhering to the teachings of Islam that we can defeat this huge challenge,” he maintained.