According to a statement issued by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) in a media release on Monday, any kind of LGBTQ+ activism should show respect for the principles that the Muslim community upholds as important in the practice of its faith (Aug 22).
In its counsel to the Muslim community on LGBTQ+ developments in Singapore, MUIS stated that “the Muslim community has the right to retain its religious and family values especially when these are directly challenged or questioned.”
During his speech at the National Day Rally on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made the announcement that the government will repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code. This will result in the revocation of a provision that dates back to the colonial era and criminalizes male-on-male sexual activity.
According to what Mr. Lee indicated, the government will also work to modify the Constitution in order to prevent the legal definition of marriage from being challenged on constitutional grounds in the judicial system. This definition states that marriage must take place between one man and one woman.
In its statement, MUIS emphasized the significance that Islamic law places on human dignity, as well as respect and harmonious interpersonal relationships.
“As we traverse the complicated socio-religious concerns of today, these values are absolutely essential. As Muslims, we are obligated to treat everyone with the utmost respect and dignity at all times. Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, must experience a sense of safety in our community and the institutions that make up our society.”
“As a result, Muslims ought to uphold the best of character, charity, and compassion, in interacting with others, especially with those with whom we disagree,” it stated, adding that it rejects any kind of bullying or harassment in any form.
The Mainstream and Faith Communities Must Be Allowed to Continue Educating Members of Their Own Communities in Accordance with Their Beliefs and Values, According to MUIS’s Statement. The Public Domain Must Continue to Provide a Safe Environment for These Communities.
“If our religious values and beliefs are openly and aggressively questioned, this will inevitably alter the public realm into one that is one that is hostile and divisive.”
“We need to make it a priority to prevent any differences in orientation and viewpoint from escalating into fights and conflicts that would bring our society to a lower level.”
The Marriage and Family Institute of Singapore (MUIS) applauded the initiatives taken to fortify marriage as a social institution in Singapore.
This is in conformity with the teachings of Islam, which place a strong emphasis on the establishment of families through the marriage of males and females as the primary means by which society is built and maintained. In addition, the religion of Islam outlaws any and all other types of sexual relationships and partnerships.
The council made the following statement in response to the question: “We have also urged the Government to consider our stance as it deliberates on regulations that are appropriate for Singapore in the preservation and enhancement of the institution of marriage.”
MUIS went on to say that there are members of the Muslim community who may claim belief in Islam but who may identify themselves in different ways with regard to questions of sexuality and gender. There have also been efforts made to reinterpret religious scriptures in an effort to discover a religious justification for the decisions they have made.
The council noted that these developments present a challenge to the traditional Muslim position on family, marriage, and sexuality, and that the Muslim community is concerned over the long-term impact that these developments will have on its religious values and practices, particularly when Islamic guidelines on sexuality are openly contested. In addition, the council noted that these developments pose a challenge to the traditional Muslim position on jihad (holy war), which prohibits the killing of non-Muslims.
“It is reasonable to anticipate that individuals will hold various worldviews and value systems. We are instructed not to judge or condemn other people, even though their behaviors are clearly detrimental or immoral, as this is contrary to the teachings of Islam.” The statement continued by saying that “our responsibility is simply to offer assistance and wise counsel based on the principles of our faith.”
The MUIS, which serves as the community’s religious authority, has stated that it will maintain its support for any initiatives to integrate a stronger emphasis on Islamic values into the community’s religious instruction and educational programs.
“In dealing with the teachings of our faith in a society that is increasingly complex and secular, this is without a doubt a significant test of our capacity for empathy, respect, compassion, and principled-ness.”
“It takes a careful balance and ongoing engagement with knowledge and compassion,” MUIS added, “so that we can co-exist peacefully despite variations in worldviews and orientations.”
According to the Muslim United Islamic Society (MUIS), the most effective means of preserving the religious traditions and way of life of the Muslim community in Singapore is to actively educate Muslims with values and principles. Everyone in the community, but especially the younger members, needs to be involved and given the ability to make decisions regarding ongoing problems.
“We need to establish the correct balance in order to ensure that we continue to hold on tight to our religion and yet stay compassionate in our dealings with others,” it stated. “We need to strike the proper balance.”
The Muslim University in the Arabian Peninsula (MUIS) stated that those who profess the Muslim faith but confront their own challenges with discreetly reconciling this with their sexuality deserve respect and should not be blamed or vilified for doing so.
The council also stated that it acknowledges the need to improve and enhance the competencies of religious teachers and counselors and that it will work toward this goal. In particular, how the morals and teachings of Islam can be “sensitively taught” to such individuals in a way that maintains their dignity and protects their privacy at the same time is a question that needs to be answered.
The Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) issued a separate statement on Monday expressing its concern regarding the decision made by the government to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code. The statement also expressed concern regarding the potential long-term effects that the repeal could have on society.
The association noted that it supports the Government’s decision to protect the legal definition of marriage by amending the Constitution, and it welcomed the Government’s assurance to protect the family institution in Singapore. The association also noted that it supports the Government’s decision to amend the Constitution to protect the legal definition of marriage.
When speaking about this topic, AMP encouraged members of the Muslim community to maintain their composure and have a courteous tone.
In an interview with CNA on Sunday, the Mufti of Singapore, Dr. Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, stated that the repeal of 377A is a very complicated social issue that requires everyone, including the government and religious organizations, to perform a “difficult balancing act.”
“But even as we cling to various ideals, aspirations, and orientations, I don’t think we should let hatred and contempt for differences win,” he said. “I don’t think we should let hate and contempt for differences win.”
“It is important that, even for religious groups like the Muslim community, our religious values and teachings continue to guide us in all that we do even as the laws change, but our religious values remain the same,” he added. “It is important that our religious values and teachings continue to guide us in all that we do even as the laws change, but our religious values remain the same.”
“We are glad that the government has given an indication that it intends to preserve and strengthen the institution of marriage, and we hope that those who disagree with our views on homosexuality and marriage can understand why religious groups like the Muslim community will want to preserve and strengthen the institution of marriage.”