10 March 2021
1. The case of the 20 year-old who was arrested after he made plans to conduct a violent attack on Jews at the Maghain Aboth Synagogue is both shocking and distressing.
2. Earlier today, Mufti Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir and Muis Chief Executive Mr Esa Masood, together with Head of Harmony Centre, Liyana Rosli Asmara, met Chief Rabbi Mordechai Abergel and the leadership of the Jewish Welfare Board Singapore, President Mr Nash Benjamin and Vice-President Mr Reuben Khafi at the Maghain Aboth Synagogue, to reaffirm their bonds of friendship and the shared commitment of the Muslim and Jewish communities of Singapore to reject all forms of extremism, radicalism and violence.
3. After the meeting, Dr Nazirudin commented that he was very thankful that all faith communities in Singapore have very strong bonds and ties that keep us united in face of these threats. "We all agree that our peace and harmony is a blessing and gift we must never take for granted nor compromise. Our commonalities are much stronger than any differences," he said.
4. This case once again demonstrates how the scourge of extremism and radicalization can misguide our young, and the important role that parents, friends and the community need to play in ensuring our youth receive the right guidance.
5. Commenting on this, Dr Nazirudin said: "To this young man, and other self radicalized individuals before him, we say this dishonours and desecrates the very faith you claim to defend. This goes against the very heart of our faith and the grain of our Quran - which speaks in no uncertain terms of the sanctity of places of worship such as the synagogue and the mosque. There should be no place for such beliefs or ideologies, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect our community and our young from such radical and extremist ideas."
6. Dr Nazirudin stated that only through solidarity, will these places remain protected - and those who protect them, not those who seek to destroy them, are those who help in God's cause. "The Quran therefore states that the protection of these places of worship is a divine act," he added.
7. Finally, Dr Nazirudin added: "As Jews and Muslims, we accept our common Abrahamic heritage, and as Singaporeans, we honour our common pledge to protect each other and build a peaceful home for all. This is our commitment and we will do all that we can to protect this."
8. As human beings, we are certainly affected by the sufferings and injustices in conflicts and crises around the world. As we seek to do our part because of our sympathy and empathy, we need to look for long-term and peaceful solutions, and not fall for the deceit of radical groups with their own political ideologies.
9. Commenting further on this, Mr Esa Masood added: "While we may feel for the victims of political conflict, the right thing to do is to find constructive ways to help these victims – such as through humanitarian aid facilitated by legitimate channels like the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation. Acts of violence only further fuels hate and adds to the conflict. We must always be true to the essence of Islam, which is peace."
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA