Mufti Menk banned from entering Singapore over ‘divisive teachings’

Renowned Islamic preacher Mufti Ismail Menk has been barred from entering Singapore as the government accuses him of promoting religious discord through his sermons.

Along with Menk, Malaysian scholar Haslin bin Baharim was also banned from giving lectures on a religious-themed cruise scheduled for late November in Singapore, Aljazeera reported on Tuesday.

A statement issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said its decision to reject Menk’s application for a short-term work pass stemmed from his “segregationist and divisive teachings”, while Baharim promoted “disharmony between Muslims and non-Muslims”.

According to the ministry, Menk – a Zimbabwean preacher with more than 2 million followers on Twitter – was of the opinion that Muslims were not allowed to greet people of other faiths on their religious festivals.

Baharim, on the other hand, was accused of holding views that promote friction between Muslims and non-Muslims, whom he allegedly described as “deviant.”

“[Their views] are unacceptable in the context of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society,” the ministry said, adding that, “They will not be allowed to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore.”

In a Facebook post earlier in the day, Menk said he had faced “no issues coming into Singapore as a tourist … but will not be joining the cruise now for reasons not within my control”.

“To imply that I was using the cruise ‘to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore’ is erroneous,” he said. “I have never been on a cruise before, let alone give lectures on board. This was purely for a humanitarian mission to Banda Aceh.”



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