Singaporeans should not be easily swayed by online influences: Yaacob Ibrahim

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SINGAPORE: Singaporeans should not be easily swayed by online influences, reiterated Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim on Sunday (Jun 25), after attending the Eidulfitri prayers.

In a press release by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, also said that the Eidulfitri sermon, titled “Islam respects local culture”, is appropriate to the times in reinforcing the message that whatever is practised in Singapore is in accordance to Islam.

The minister called on the Malay-Muslim community to continue to be an active supporter of the wider community and said, despite the challenges, Muslims here must preserve social cohesion at all times, the press release added. 

Dr Yaacob’s comments came after his Hari Raya message to the local Muslim community on Saturday, noting that Singapore is not immune to the dangers of radical ideology and terrorism, and the country cannot let up in the fight against such threats. He also urged everyone to be more vigilant and report those have gone astray so authorities can help them get back on the right path. 

This comes in the wake of two recent detentions under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for radicalism. Infant-care assistant Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari had been self-radicalised through online propaganda and wanted to join Islamic State in Syria, while auxiliary police officer Muhammad Khairul Mohamed had planned to take part in armed violence by joining the Free Syrian Army. 

Congregants at Masjid Al-Mukminin listening to Eidulfitri sermon on Sunday (Jun 25). (Photo: MUIS)

The sermon on Sunday was delivered by Mufti Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, said MUIS. In it, the Mufti said: “Muslims (in Singapore) must not be easily impressed by external influences and practices. Islam is not strengthened by merely dressing like how others do, or speaking in their language and accent.

“Instead, values such as true understanding, comprehension, knowledge, determination, good character, clear objectives and togetherness, these are the values that should be part of our culture and identity.”

More than 3,500 congregants from Jurong East performed their Eidulfitri prayers at Masjid Al-Mukminin together with Dr Yaacob on Sunday, MUIS said.  

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