Chinatown’s Jamae Chulia mosque
Cleric from Tamil Nadu pleaded guilty in a court and paid a fine of 4,000 Singapore dollars
Singapore on Monday announced the repatriation of an Imam belonging to Tamil Nadu for making a “divisive speech”.
In a statement, the Home Affairs Ministry of the city state said Mr. Malik made the controversial speech during Friday prayers on January 6, 2017. The Ministry translated his Arabic chant as, “Grant us help against the Jews and the Christians.”
In a written apology, Mr. Malik said that the chant was taken from a text he found at his village in Tamil Nadu. “ I had recited the additional supplication in Arabic, which was taken from a century old text that originated from my village in Tamil Nadu, India. It was not an extract from the Holy Koran,” he said. “As a resident here from a foreign land, I should have practised my faith in accordance with, and appropriate to the social norms and laws of this country. I fully admit that my said actions have no place wheresoever in this extremely multi-religious and multi-cultural society.”
Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel Abdul Malik (46), the Chief Imam of Chinatown’s Jamae Chulia mosque, on Monday pleaded guilty in a court and paid a fine of 4,000 Singapore dollars (around ₹1.8 lakh) “for committing an act prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious groups”.
In court, Mr. Malik said the phrase was not from the Koran. “He knew what the phrase meant, and that it could also be interpreted as asking God to grant Muslims victory over Jews and Christians. The phrase was, and is, unacceptable in a multi-racial and multi-religious society,” it said.
When contacted, Mr. Malik chose not to speak.
“He is a free man and is not under custody now. I was not told when the repatriation would take place; I expect it to take place soon,” Mr. Malik’s lawyer, Noor Mohamed Marican, said.
Two others were given stern warnings in the case: a person who published the video of the speech online and a tenured National University of Singapore Associate Professor who posted on Facebook about it.
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