Protect family, friends, nation and religion amid challenging times: Yaacob

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said he was heartened to see Singaporeans of all races joining Muslims at mosques during Ramadan to break fast.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said he was heartened to see Singaporeans of all races joining Muslims at mosques during Ramadan to break fast.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Amid the challenging time for the Muslim community worldwide, Singaporean Muslims must stay positive and take bold steps to protect their families, friends, nation and religion, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim on Saturday (June 24).

In his Hari Raya message to the Muslim community here, he added that he was heartened to see Singaporeans of all races join Muslims at mosques during the holy month of Ramadan for meals celebrating the breaking of fast.

He said he was also touched by those who had offered their time and energy to help the less fortunate, regardless of race or religion.

"This is the beauty of our harmonious multi-racial landscape in Singapore," he said in wishing all Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

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"This, to me, is reflective of a community which believes in the spirit of compassion radiating from within, and spreading it to bring benefit to others."

Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communication and Information, also touched on the topic of terrorism in his message, which was delivered in Malay in a broadcast on Suria channel.

He said Singapore was not immune to the threat of extremist ideology and terrorism, and called on all in the Muslim community to be watchful for signs of radicalisation among their loved ones and friends.

He added that they should report those who have been led astray to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), Religious Rehabilitation Group, or police, so they can be helped.

"We cannot let up in this fight," he said. "I have faith that such challenges can only make us stronger as a community. We must not let this divide us. We must stay positive and take bold steps forward to protect our families and friends, our community, our nation and our religion."

In the last two weeks, the authorities announced the arrest of three Singaporeans for terrorism-related offences, including a woman.

Dr Yaacob said Muslims are ambassadors of peace and urged all in the community to strengthen their resolve to "build a society full of compassion and hope".

"These are values that are important in binding us together as a community which is part of the larger Singapore society. We can count on our strong bonds of friendship, no matter what challenges that may come our way," he said.

In a statement on Saturday, Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, Singapore's highest Islamic authority, wished all Muslims here: "Selamat Hari Raya Eidul Fitri."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also wished all Muslims Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.