Police complete investigations into imam who made controversial remarks

Mr Imam Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel apologised to a group of leaders from various faiths at a closed-door meeting on Friday (March 31).
Mr Imam Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel apologised to a group of leaders from various faiths at a closed-door meeting on Friday (March 31).PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - The police have completed investigations into the imam who made controversial remarks about Christians and Jews.

The investigation report has been submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers and a decision is expected to be made soon, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam on Saturday (April 1).

The minister spoke to reporters at a seminar organised by the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), a day after Imam Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel, who made the remarks, apologised to a group of leaders from various faiths at a closed-door meeting on Friday.

In February, a video was circulated online of him reportedly reciting a prayer in Arabic that said "God help us against Jews and Christians", among other things.

On Friday, the 47-year-old said in a written apology: "I fully respect the laws of the land and appreciate the concerns of her people. I am truly sorry that I had offended you, and I must bear full responsibility for my actions, as part of my duty to all Singaporeans and residents."

 
 
 

"I am filled with great remorse for the inconvenience, tension and trauma that I have caused to this peaceful country."

 

The imam, who hails from India, also clarified that the additional supplication he read, "God help us against Jews and Christians", was not from the Quran, but was from an old Arabic text which originated from his village in India.

His apology came a month after Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam told Parliament that police were investigating the imam as well as the actions of all involved.

The video, posted by investment associate Terence Nunis, a Muslim, sparked a storm in the community, which felt it could be used to cast aspersions on Islam.

In a separate statement issued on Saturday, the AMP urged Singaporeans to move forward from the incident, and not allow differences in opinion on the matter to cause divisions.

"Islam, like all other religions, enjoins peace and kindness towards others, and our religion is what should unite us as a community," said the statement.

The incident highlights the important role of religious leaders in understanding the sensitivities unique to a multicultural and multireligious society like Singapore, the association said.

The context in which religious texts are read must also be emphasised, it said, adding it was pertinent that the Imam had clarified he took the additional supplication from an old text that originated from his village.

"When taken out of context, many religious verses or texts may be misconstrued and misunderstood, leading to division and splintering within the community. We are heartened to note that our local religious leaders have taken on this responsibility capably."