'Ramadan showcased Singapore's harmony': Yaacob

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim talks about Islamophobia.ST VIDEO: MARK CHEONG
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (centre) greets Muslim congregants after Eidulfitri prayers at Masjid Al-Mukminin on June, 25, 2017.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (centre) greets Muslim congregants after Eidulfitri prayers at Masjid Al-Mukminin on June, 25, 2017.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Yaacob highlights how S'poreans of all races came together to help others in holy month

Bonds of friendship, such as those displayed by different communities in the holy month of Ramadan, will help Singapore overcome challenges which may lie ahead, said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim yesterday.

In his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message to the Muslim community here, he highlighted how he was heartened to see Singaporeans of all races join Muslims at mosques during 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 multiracial 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," said Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister for Communications and Information.

He also touched on the topic of terrorism in his message, which was delivered in Malay in a broadcast on Suria channel.

 

Singapore is not immune to the threat of extremist ideology and terrorism, and he 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 the police, so that 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 past two weeks, the authorities announced the arrest of three Singaporeans, including a woman, for terrorism-related offences.

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 may come our way," he said.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 25, 2017, with the headline ''Ramadan showcased Singapore's harmony''. Print Edition | Subscribe