State-religion partnership benefits all

Success of Muis and other religious statutory boards as 'privileged interlocutor' is a beneficial partnership that Europe can learn from

When the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) marked its 50th anniversary last November, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong lauded the good work it had done for the Muslim community and Singapore over the last five decades.

Muis was established under the Administration of Muslim Law Act passed by Parliament in 1968. The Muslim community then was generally anxious and sceptical of the intention of the state in setting up Muis. There was severe criticism in the early years that it was the state's sinister motive to assert control over Muslims by its institutionalising of Islam.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2019, with the headline 'State-religion partnership benefits all'. Print Edition | Subscribe