Imams condemn ISIS video in sermon
Muslim organisations take firm stance against terror group and the violence it preaches
Imams in mosques around Singapore yesterday denounced the recent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) recruitment video that features a Singaporean.
During the sermon at Friday prayers, which was delivered in 70 mosques, imams called the video a "propaganda piece" that was a deviation from Islam that would "taint and destruct" the religion.
In the video that surfaced last Sunday, a Singaporean fighter named "Abu 'Uqayl" attempts to recruit fighters and urges followers to commit violence in this region. The Home Affairs Ministry has revealed that the man in the video is Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad, 39.
"It is obvious that what is being committed by ISIS is not just a crime towards Islam, but towards the global community," said the sermon, which was prepared by Singapore's highest Islamic authority, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
The sermon added that the "jihad" narrative ISIS uses is a skewed belief, and Islam does not allow for violence to prevail.
Muslims were reminded to be careful of messages that misquote the Quran and prophetic sayings and traditions that justify violence.
Complementing the sermon, Muis also issued a statement yesterday saying the views that Megat Shahdan and ISIS propagate go "strongly against the Quranic principle of reciprocating peace and harmony".
Islam's mission, it added, has always been to "spread peace".
Devotees were also reminded during Friday prayers to uphold "religious resilience to challenge the messages that violateIslamic teachings and endanger the lives of humanity".
In a media release yesterday condemning the ISIS video, Malay-Muslim organisation Perdausunderscored the importance of a proper understanding of Islam.
"It is now ever more important to be on our guard against subversive elements that advocate the use of violence and preach extremism, hatred and discrimination of others," it said in the statement.
"We strongly believe that an open, consultative and evidence-based discussion on sensitive issues should be the way forward.
"We stress the importance for both Muslims and non-Muslims to learn about Islam from credible and accredited teachers under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme."
Mr Muhammed Faiz, president of the Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore (Darul Arqam) told The New Paper he "wholeheartedly" agreed with the sermon, saying Muis's firm stance would galvanise the community to reject misguided extremist messages.
"Muis has taken a strong and loud approach this time, and I welcome it. It is about time we got tough," he said.
Mr Faiz said the sermon and Muis's tough attitude towards the ISIS video send a message to both Muslims and people of other faiths that extremist views will never be tolerated by the Islamic council.
He said: "If people think that Muis has been soft or lenient on this, they are sadly mistaken.
"All along (the issue) has been taken seriously and... they are showing it now."