Mufti condemns Pakistan blast in letter to Archbishop

Mufti of Singapore, Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, speaking at the 2nd SRP Distinguished Lecture and Symposium, on Jan 20, 2016.
Mufti of Singapore, Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, speaking at the 2nd SRP Distinguished Lecture and Symposium, on Jan 20, 2016. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Singapore's top Muslim religious leader has written to the leader of the country's Catholics to express his grief and outrage over the bombing in Lahore, Pakistan, on Easter Sunday.

A faction of the Pakistani Taleban had bombed a public park in the major city, killing at least 73 people, many of them women and children. More than 300 people were injured. The victims of the terror attack included Muslims as well as Christians, who were the target of the attackers.

In a letter to Archbishop William Goh yesterday, Mufti Mohamed Fatris Bakaram described the bombing as "an act of inhumanity and an affront against people who believe in the values of compassion and peaceful coexistence".

"The act of indiscriminate bombing of a park filled with families celebrating Easter is not only against the Islamic teachings, it is also an attack against all of humanity," Dr Fatris wrote.

"The Holy Quran states, 'If anyone slew a person... it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.' "

Dr Fatris said: "No attack against another human being for the reason of holding a different faith is justifiable in Islam. The attack in Lahore, therefore, is a gross deviation from the inter-religious peace and harmony that is promoted by Islam.

"We strongly condemn the bombing in Lahore and offer our deepest condolences to the families of all the victims. We should unite to register our clear abhorrence of such a faithless act of inhumanity."

The Mufti's letter comes a day after the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) expressed its outrage at the attacks in Lahore as well as other instances of violence in recent months, including those in Indonesia, Syria, Turkey and Belgium. "We are saddened and outraged at such cruelty and misguidedness, which truly have no place in this world," Muis said.

"We stand together with all Muslims and all Singaporeans in offering our deepest condolences to the families of all the victims of these senseless tragedies."

Chong Zi Liang

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'Mufti condemns Pakistan blast in letter to Archbishop'. Print Edition | Subscribe