Islamophobia as bad and unacceptable as terrorism, says PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chatting with auxiliary police officers at an iftar session at Tanglin Police Division Headquarters yesterday.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chatting with auxiliary police officers at an iftar session at Tanglin Police Division Headquarters yesterday.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Islamophobia is as bad and unacceptable as radical terrorism, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

He warned against letting anti-Muslim sentiments take root, hours after news broke that two Singaporean auxiliary police officers had been arrested under the Internal Security Act for their links to terrorism.

Mr Lee cited the incident in London earlier this week - when a Caucasian man drove his van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers leaving the mosque, and killed one person - as an act of Islamophobia.

"We have to make sure that none of that happens either because of neglect or because somebody is circulating materials which stoke fear and apprehension and worsen the situation," he said.

Mr Lee was attending an iftar session last night at Tanglin Police Division Headquarters in a show of support for the uniformed services.

The arrests of two Aetos officers, announced yesterday, and the detention of infant care assistant Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari this month, have struck close to home, he acknowledged. However, he stressed that security forces such as Aetos, Certis Cisco and the Home Team have done an outstanding job in keeping Singapore safe.

 
 

It is one of the safest places in the world, without being heavily policed. "You don't see people with guns at every street corner, and yet you feel safe," said Mr Lee.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'Islamophobia as bad and unacceptable as terrorism, says PM Lee'. Print Edition | Subscribe