NORMATIVE BELIEFS ABOUT VIOLENT EXTREMISM AND ITS ASSOCIATION WITH
DEMOGRAPHIC, PSYCHOSOCIAL AND HEALTH CHARACTERISTICS:
A Study of Young Adults in Selangor and Sabah
1. Executive Summary
The Islamic State (ISIS) terror threat that emerged from the Middle East in early 2014 may have finally propelled discussion and debate on the dangers of violent extremism (VE) into the spotlight in Malaysia. The truth, however, is that the country has faced simmering extremist sentiments within its complex political and social fabric long before that, just as it is likely to continue experiencing this challenge long after ISIS has been defeated. The post-independence communist insurgency that lasted nearly two decades, coupled with a violent history of ethno-religious clashes and political instability has turned Malaysia into a hotbed for violent extremist groups to cement a following among disgruntled locals.