Min Shan opening speech at SRP distinguished lecture and Symposium sent a chill down my spine. Against the backdrop of the latest terror attacks in Jakarta and news of ISIS sympathisers in Malaysia, the threat is no longer confined in the West or the Middle East. It is at our doorsteps.
In Min Shan speech, he gravely highlighted these facts.
- That there is increased Islamaphobia in Singapore.
- The Singapore Muslims are getting more distanced – with certain groups preaching that it is wrong for Muslims to recite the National pledge, sing the National anthem and serve National Service
- Suspicious foreign preachers propagating values that goes against the grain of a multi-racial Singapore.
We have enjoyed almost 50 years of peace and prosperity in Singapore since the racial riots in the 60s. It is easy to take them for granted.
The message to those listening was very clear.
It is not a question of if but when Singapore gets hit; everyone in Singapore can and must contribute to foster multi-religious harmony.”
Do we really understand what we have to do to be prepared? Can we do more?
Reading the reports from the Mainstream Media about the event, I can’t help but feel that this was just another scare tactic by the PAP to bend the Singapore Muslim community to their will and practice the version of Islam that they approve of (i.e one that will not challenge their authority)
Tolerant and Moderate was how they describe their ideal version.
Its time to get this straight.
The majority of Singapore Muslims are very much tolerant and positive (like the rest of 2 billion plus population of Muslims in the world).
Singapore Muslims have played and continued to play a very important part in nation building.
We have reached out not only to the community, but also other races that needed assistance because to us we truly believe that we are one Singapore regardless of race, language or religion
You see, it was never a problem for us to sit in a canteen with our friends who were eating pork. We don’t have issues sharing our food with those of different faith. Heck we didn’t even riot when we cannot wear the Tudung in certain frontline professions (preferr to engage in constructive conversations with the respective leaders instead).
Singapore Muslims are tolerant and we believe in a multi-racial Singapore
Islamaphobia will tear our society apart.
It is easy cast your attention on the Muslim population in Singapore and ask them to do more to combat radicalization.
Malays should do this.. Muslims should do that.. etc etc
It is however vital that we ask our NON MUSLIM communities to look squarely at themselves, their attitudes, their viewpoints.
How supportive have their behaviour been? Did they behave with suspicion and negativity or are they just doing lip service and being politically correct.
Integration of Migrant population
In today’s context, we also have to consider the new citizens that we bring in. Are they as optimistic as the rest of our generation? Will their version of Islam go against the grain of the unique multi-religious harmony in Singapore?
Preserving peace and harmony in Singapore
We have to accept that it is our duty (Muslims and non-muslims, S’poreans and immigrants) to reach out, encourage and continue to build a harmonious society where each of us keep to the ideals of Singapore.
We live in the same neighbourhood.
Our children attended the same schools.
Our youths serve National Service.
Regardless of race language or religion, we must maintain a zero tolerance for any actions or behavior that contribute to religious enmity and hatred or any extremist ideology.