Muslims in S'pore share aspirations for peace

I was glad to read Mr Rajasegaran Ramasamy's letter (Don't let officers' arrest spark Islamophobia; June 22).

It is particularly important for Singaporeans to remember that although the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London were committed by people claiming to be fighting for Islam, the Muslims who live in Singapore are people like the uncle at the coffee shop or the neighbourhood barber who share the same aspirations for a peaceful life as the rest of us.

Singapore's Muslim community has been a source of blessing for me.

The highlight of my working life was working for the Saudi Embassy. When I was unemployed, it was a Muslim friend who employed me.

I shudder when I read about acts of violence like the ones in Manchester and London. It makes me sad when I read about young people getting radicalised (Most S'poreans radicalised by ISIS 'below 30 years old'; June 15).

However, I know that these are not things that the majority of Muslims would ever condone.

A Muslim taxi driver once told me: "The first religion of mankind is Salaam - the action of two different people coming together, to shake hands and be friends."

I have never forgotten these words. I hope all Singaporeans will keep this in mind whenever we read about violent sectarian conflicts in the world.

Tang Li

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2017, with the headline 'Muslims in S'pore share aspirations for peace'. Print Edition | Subscribe