Two Christian preachers banned from speaking in Singapore
MHA says they were barred for denigrating other religions
Applications by two foreign Christian preachers to speak in Singapore were rejected due to their offensive comments towards other religions.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Friday (Sept 08) in a media release, after Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam talked about it in a forum earlier in the day.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM), in consultation with MHA, rejected the bids for Miscellaneous Work Passes (MWPs) for the two individuals.
"Both preachers had made denigrating and inflammatory comments about other religions," the MHA said in a statement,
Speaking at a forum on the reserved presidential election (see report at right), Mr Shanmugam said: "They were very Islamophobic in their statements outside of Singapore, and we decided we will ban them."
In its release, the MHA said one of the preachers had described Allah as a "false god" and asked for prayers for those "held captive in the darkness of Islam".
The same preacher called Buddhists "Tohuw people", which in Hebrew means they are "lost, lifeless, confused and spiritually barren".
The ministry said that the other preacher had referred to "the evils of Islam" and "the malevolent nature of Islam and Mohammed".
He also described Islam as "not a religion of peace" and that it was a belief that was "incredibly confused", interested in "world domination" and "a religion based on… adhering to uncompromising and cruel laws often focused on warfare and virtual slavery".
"Such teachings are unacceptable in Singapore's multiracial, multi-religious society, and the Government will not allow religious preachers of any faith to run down other religions or spread ill will among the religions," said the MHA.
"This is to safeguard the social harmony and cohesion that have been painstakingly built up since Singapore's independence."
MWPs are a requirement for foreigners wanting to deliver a talk in Singapore related to religion, race or politics.
MHA said that these passes are a "privilege" given to foreigners and not an entitlement.
"MOM consults relevant agencies in its assessments of MWP applications, and each application is considered on its own merits," said MHA.