SINGAPORE: Two foreign preachers, Ismail Menk and Haslin Baharim, will not be allowed to enter Singapore, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Monday (Oct 30).
They were engaged to preach on a religious-themed cruise departing and ending in Singapore from Nov 25 to 29, MHA said.
The decision to ban the preachers was made in consultation with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), Singapore Tourism Board and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
Ismail Menk and Haslin Baharim had their Miscellaneous Work Pass applications to preach in Singapore rejected previously.
"They will not be allowed to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore," MHA said.
Ismail has been known to preach "segregationist and divisive teachings". For example, he preached that it was the biggest sin and crime for a Muslim to wish a non-Muslim Merry Christmas or Happy Deepavali.
Haslin has described non-Muslims as “deviant” and expressed views that promote disharmony between Muslims and non-Muslims.
"Such divisive views breed intolerance and exclusivist practices that will damage social harmony, and cause communities to drift apart," said MHA. "They are unacceptable in the context of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society."
MUIS said that it does not support applications for foreign preachers whose views contravene the code of ethics under the Asatizah (religious teacher) Recognition Scheme. These include those with ideas that are "deeply problematic and very unsuited" to multi-religious Singapore.
The council found the teachings by the two preachers to "run counter to the values Singaporean Muslims uphold", it said.
MHA added that Singaporeans need to play their part to reject and guard against divisive doctrines and preachers.
Such teachings are "detrimental to our society and way of life, and will undermine the fundamentals of Singapore’s peace and progress", the ministry said.