3 books banned in Singapore for advocating extremist views: MCI

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore said that the publications promote dangerous ideas that have been widely circulated in radical circles to justify crimes and violence.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore said that the publications promote dangerous ideas that have been widely circulated in radical circles to justify crimes and violence.PHOTOS: ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS COUNCIL OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Three books have been banned in Singapore for containing exclusivist or extremist religious views that promote enmity among different religious communities.

Two of the publications also purvey divisive views against other groups within the same religion, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said in a statement on Tuesday (Nov 20).

MCI has banned the three books under the Undesirable Publications Act.

The three books are: Things That Nullify One's Islaam, The Wisdom of Jihad, and a textbook titled What Islam Is All About.

The ministry said that these extremist teachings and ideologies are detrimental to Singapore's racial and religious harmony and relations.

"The Singapore Government has zero tolerance for individuals or publications which aim to incite hostility or violence among different religious groups," MCI added.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said that the publications advocate extremist views that can promote enmity and hatred between Muslims and others, as well as encourage a culture of violence.

Muis said on Tuesday that it has conducted a thorough assessment of the three publications and recommended that they should be restricted from circulation here.

The publications promote dangerous ideas that have been widely circulated in radical circles to justify crimes and violence, said Muis.

"They run contrary to a peaceful, moderate understanding and practice of Islam in multicultural societies, and are harmful to socio-religious life in Singapore," Muis added.

Ustazah Rohana Ithnin told The Straits Times that Islam is a religion of peace and abhors all forms of violence and crime. Any person or publication that callously promotes dangerous ideas in radical circles to justify crimes and violence must not be allowed in Singapore, she said.

"Such ideology is a perverted understanding of Islam and is an antithesis to the peaceful, moderate understanding and practice of Islam in multi-cultural societies, and is harmful to socio-religious life in Singapore," the principal of Jamiyah Education Centre added.

She also reminded members of the Muslim community to seek religious knowledge and guidance from credible religious teachers and publications.

It is an offence to distribute and possess any prohibited publication. Those who come into possession of any prohibited publication but fail to deliver the copy to the police can also be convicted.

People convicted of any of these offences could be fined, imprisoned, or both.