Singapore Bans Ismail Menk from Entry

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

On the 30th October 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs released the following press release:

Foreign Preachers Ismail Menk and Haslin bin Baharim Not Allowed to Enter Singapore

1.           The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in consultation with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), Singapore Tourism Board and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, will not allow two foreign preachers, Ismail Menk and Haslin bin Baharim, to enter Singapore.  It has come to the Government's knowledge that they have been engaged to preach on a religious-themed cruise departing and ending in Singapore from 25th to 29th November 2017.

2.           Ismail Menk and Haslin bin Baharim had previously had their Miscellaneous Work Pass applications to preach in Singapore rejected.  They will not be allowed to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore.  Ismail Menk has been known to preach segregationist and divisive teachings.  For example, he preached that it is the biggest sin and crime for a Muslim to wish a non-Muslim “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Deepavali”, in short, that Muslims are not allowed to wish others happiness during the latter’s religious festivals.  Haslin bin Baharim has expressed views that promote disharmony between Muslims and non-Muslims, whom he describes as “deviant”.  Such divisive views breed intolerance and exclusivist practices that will damage social harmony, and cause communities to drift apart.  They are unacceptable in the context of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society.

3.           The Government has a responsibility to safeguard social cohesion and religious harmony in Singapore.  Singaporeans too, need to play their part, to unequivocally reject and guard against divisive doctrines and preachers who propagate such doctrines, regardless of the faith they represent.  They are detrimental to our society and way of life, and will undermine the fundamentals of Singapore’s peace and progress.

There will always be idiots like Ismail Menk saying rubbish such as greeting non-Muslims on their festivities, even attending birthday parties and their events is tantamount to shirk.  And a lot of stupid Muslims lap this up.  This is despite the fact that we have actual Muslim authorities such as Al-Azhar, and many Sunni scholars, who ruled it permissible.  Instead, the ignorant masses prefer their celebrity preachers, such as this self-appointed mufti.

Merely wishing someone “Merry Christmas”, or “Happy Deepavali” does not constitute shirk, or even the acknowledgment of their theology since actions are by intentions, and the intent here is neighbourly greetings, not conversion.  If that were so, does it mean, conversely, that a non-Muslim wishing a Muslim “‘Iyd Mubarak”, or “Selamat Hari Raya” become a Muslim?  Putting aside the jurisprudence, this is basic common sense, something the followers of these snake oil afterlife salesmen lack.

Not wishing others does not make someone a “good” Muslim, a “pious” Muslim, even a “conservative” Muslim.  These people have merely affected religiosity with none of the signs of humanity.  In sum, such a person is simply being a self-righteous jerk and claiming it is religion.  The fact that so many Muslim see nothing wrong with the casual denigration of other religions and beliefs should be a cause of concern.


In this, MHA is absolutely correct in their decision, even though a lot of Muslims in Singapore do not see it as such, and the saner voices in the community should support the government in its fight against radical, segregationist and extremist elements within the community.


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