Dr Yaacob: Muslims must embrace non-Muslims also
Minister Yaacob Ibrahim to Muslims: Reach out to those of different faiths
The terror attacks during this holy month of Ramadan are a grim reminder that Singapore cannot take social harmony and security for granted, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said yesterday.
He urged the Muslim community to continue to develop the kind of Islam that embraces Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister of Communications and Information, said: "As fellow Singaporeans, we have a role to play to preserve the multi-cultural nature of our society. How we practise Islam here must suit the context."
Referring to Monday's bombings of holy sites in Saudi Arabia, such as the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, he added Singapore cannot allow violence and extremism to take root.
He added those responsible for the attacks have no respect for Muslim tradition and no respect for Muslims.
He was speaking to reporters after Aidilfitri prayers with 4,000 people at the Ar-Raudhah Mosque in Bukit Batok.
In this year's Aidilfitri sermon, Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram had said preserving one's faith does not require isolation from others, as some quarters have claimed.
Rather, he said, being religious should give Muslims the confidence to interact with those of different faiths.
Sharing his thoughts on the sermon that was delivered at mosques across Singapore on Hari Raya, Dr Yaacob encouraged Singaporean Muslims to continue to reach out to non-Muslims as earlier generations have done.
This was a point also raised by Dr Fatris, who pointed to how early Muslim communities had always interacted with other communities of different religions and races.
He said: "The more they learn and understand their religion, the more confident they were that their religion and their faith will not easily be watered down simply by participating and contributing to the larger society."
Citing the initiatives by some mosques and Islamic organisations that organised programmes for non-Muslims to learn about the breaking of fast during the month of Ramadan, Dr Fatris said it showed the confidence of the Singaporean Muslim community.
He added there were also several non-Muslim organisations that worked with Muslim organisations to help the needy.
- The Straits Times.
As fellow Singaporeans, we have a role to play to preserve the multi-cultural nature of our society. How we practise Islam here must suit the context.
- Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim