Religious and community leaders from 50 organisations condemn acts of terror

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Defence Dr Maliki Osman speaks during A Gathering of Remembrance and Reflections on Nov 29, 2015.
Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Defence Dr Maliki Osman speaks during A Gathering of Remembrance and Reflections on Nov 29, 2015.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Leaders and representatives from all major faiths in Singapore congregate for a silent prayer during A Gathering of Remembrance and Reflection on Nov 29, 2015.
Leaders and representatives from all major faiths in Singapore congregate for a silent prayer during A Gathering of Remembrance and Reflection on Nov 29, 2015.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Spiritual leader Habib Hassan of Ba'alwie Mosque speaks against acts of terror during A Gathering of Remembrance and Reflection on Nov 29, 2015.
Spiritual leader Habib Hassan of Ba'alwie Mosque speaks against acts of terror during A Gathering of Remembrance and Reflection on Nov 29, 2015. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Initiated by leaders of the Muslim community here, religious and community leaders from 50 organisations collectively condemned recent acts of terror around the world.

Called "A Gathering of Remembrance & Reflections", the event united people across the 10 main faiths in Singapore and the Inter-Religious Organisation.

The leaders made a declaration as well that acts of contempt on humanity "are neither humane nor justified, and hold no place in any religion". The declaration was signed and presented to the French Ambassador to Singapore Benjamin Dubertret.

When the Paris attacks happened two weeks ago, leaving around 130 dead, community leaders decided that they must have an event to bring different groups together.

"We are part of society and we've come to reaffirm that point," said Mr Noor Marican, president of the Association of Muslim Lawyers. He is among the Muslim community leaders who initiated the event.

"We cannot just keep quiet about it. If we do not come out today, society as a whole may feel that we are encouraging - silence can mean many things," he explained.

Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Dr Maliki Osman, said that besides current legislation and security measures, a strong network of trust among different religious communities is key to addressing the threat of terrorism as well.

"It is comforting that the leaders of various other faiths are here today for this moment of remembrance and reflection. It is important that we demonstrate solidarity, not only amongst ourselves, but also with our friends around the world," he said in his speech at the event, referring to the recent Paris attacks.

"We cannotallow mistrust and enmity to be sown among us - that would play to the objectives of the terrorists," he added.

byseow@sph.com.sg