Imam being probed over comments on Christians and Jews

The authorities are investigating a case involving an imam who allegedly made insensitive comments about Christians and Jews.

Investment associate Terence Nunis, 40, posted a video on a Facebook page last Friday of what appeared to be an imam saying a prayer after a sermon at Jamae Mosque in South Bridge Road.

The video, which Mr Nunis said was taken in early January and sent to him by a friend who had attended the sermon, showed the imam - who is believed to be from South India - using the Arabic word "fanswurna" when he spoke about Christians and Jews.

Mr Nunis, who is a Muslim, said the use of the word "fanswurna" - which means "to overcome" or "to grant victory over" - in relation to other religions is problematic.

"In this case, the flavour is far from benign and the implicit meaning is more than just being better than them... but to dominate them," Mr Nunis told The Straits Times.

He also said in his Facebook post that the imam had made similar comments last Friday.

The police confirmed that a report had been lodged over the imam's remarks.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said it is aware of the case.

It is assisting the police with their investigations.

"As part of due process, the individual has been placed on leave while investigations are ongoing," added a spokesman.

The spokesman also said that Muis takes "a very serious view of any behaviour or speech which promotes feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will between different faith communities".

Yuen Sin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2017, with the headline 'Imam being probed over comments on Christians and Jews'. Print Edition | Subscribe