Muis: Terror attacks desecrate holy month
Inter-religious cooperation and vigilance needed to combat extremist sentiments
The terror attacks across the world in recent months are totally against the teachings of Islam and the local Muslim community must guard against radical behaviour, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) yesterday.
In a press statement, Muis condemned these reprehensible acts of terror, particularly those that occurred during Ramadan such as the attack in London, saying they desecrate the holy month.
The statement added: "Muis has stated time and again that they (terrorists) and the beliefs they are founded upon have no place in any society or civilisation."
Keeping in mind the frequency and proximity of recent attacks, Muis reminded Muslims here to be mindful of signs of change in behaviour of family members and friends.
This reminder echoes Law and Home Affairs K. Shanmugam's remarks on Sunday, when he underscored the need for people to alert security agencies to those who show signs of radicalisation - after stressing how anti-Muslim sentiments were growing here.
Ustaz Ali Mohd, chairman of the Khadijah Mosque and co-chairman of the Religious Rehabilitation Group, said the only way to combat such sentiments was via continued hard work.
He told The New Paper: "We have to be actively concerned about it, everyone needs to play a part as our racial harmony is so precious.
"Muslims can speak out, and non-Muslims can join us for our activities to interact."
The president of the Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore (Darul Arqam), Mr Muhammed Faiz, urged Muslims to play a proactive role in engaging people of other beliefs.
"These radicals have hijacked our religion, and we need to show that Islam is a peaceful religion. Individuals need to come out to say and show that," he said.
Mr Andre Ahchak, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, told TNP inter-religious interaction has to extend beyond religious leaders and to individuals.
"The dialogues leaders have need to trickle down to grassroots... of all religions. We need to have chances to work together," he said.
Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng, president of the Singapore Buddhist Federation said: "All those horrible acts are created by extremists, they do not represent the religion."
On Monday, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said on Facebook: "The sanctity of Ramadan as a month of Rahmah (blessings) has been tarnished by horrific terrorist acts that showed total lack of respect for humanity and compassion.
"In the midst of such adversity, we as Singaporeans must have faith and stand united against forces that seek to pitch us against one another."
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