SINGAPORE: The words used by an imam who was fined on Monday (Apr 3) for his controversial remarks against Christians and Jews have "no place in today's Singapore where all communities lives in peace and harmony," said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).
In a statement on Monday, MUIS said the comments made by Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel during Friday sermon had "caused confusion and suspicion among non-Muslims and damaged the image of Islam and Muslims."
Within the Muslim community, it also "caused some disquiet," it added.
"The imam recited a verse from the Quran (2: 286), but he also added a supplication in which he sought God’s help against the Jews and Christians. The added supplication is not from the Quran and does not constitute part of the divine message," MUIS explained.
It added that the imam had used the words from a text that originated from his village in India, cautioning that "supplications written by past scholars living in a different era, as well as exhortations from religious texts, must always be contextualised."
In a separate statement on Monday, the Mufti of Singapore Mohamed Fatris Bakaram said he hoped the case would serve as a strong reminder "that the use of social media must be tempered with wisdom and also with adab, and that is ethics and civility."
"When this supplication was recited by the imam and was made public, it naturally made our Jewish and Christian friends wonder why they were being targeted," said Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram.
The incident came under police investigation after a video of the sermon was posted on Facebook by a person who signed off as Terence Nunis. An Associate Professor from the National University of Singapore also posted on Facebook in support of the supplication that Nalla used.
Nalla, who is from India, was handed a fine of S$4,000 after pleading guilty to a charge of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race. He has paid the fine and will be repatriated.
"This incident is a reminder to all of us that we cannot take for granted the peace and harmony that we enjoy," said MUIS.