Channel News Asia:
An imam who made controversial remarks against Christians and Jews during his Friday sermon at a mosque was on Monday (Apr 3) handed a fine of S$4,000, after pleading guilty to a charge of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race.
Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel arrived at the State Courts accompanied by religious leaders from other faiths, who came to “support him and give him assurance”, his lawyer Noor Marican said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a separate press release on Monday that Nalla has paid the fine and will be repatriated.
"Any religious leader from any religion who makes such statements will be held accountable for their actions," MHA said. "Under Singapore law, we cannot, regardless of his religion, allow anyone to preach or act divisively and justify that by reference to a religious text."
The imam, who is from India, had on Friday apologised in front of Christian, Sikh, Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu representatives, as well as members of the Federation of Indian Muslims, saying that he was "filled with great remorse" for the inconvenience, tension and trauma caused by his remarks.
n January and February 2017, the imam made supplications at Friday prayers where he recited an old Arabic text which originated from his village in India. The text read: “God help us against Jews and Christians”, which is not an extract from the Quran.
The incident came under police investigation after a video of the incident was posted on Facebook, sparking heated debate.
The imam, trying to stay in Singapore, apologized to Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists a few days ago. (Or at least his lawyer did.)
TheHindu.com adds a troubling postscript:
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.The whistleblower, who is a Muslim convert, was in fact the subject of a hate campaign. An associate professor at National University of Singapore, Khairudin Aljunied, posted a parable about the whistleblower Terence Nunis because he felt that a Muslim shouldn't publicize the hate that Muslim leaders say:
The Imam and the Silly ConvertNUS suspended the professor for his post.
Once, there was a convert who was unhappy with what he heard from an Imam. So he went up to the Imam angrily and said:
Convert: Can you stop saying things that will hurt people?
Imam: I am sorry brother, but what did I say that might hurt anyone?
Convert: You said those things and you know it. It’s offensive! I’ve just shared a video of what you said.
Imam: I was speaking to Muslims in this small congregation but you, my brother, shared it to the world. Now everyone is offended. So was I wrong or you?
Convert: [already feeling stupid] But you said things that are offensive to others! I must expose you.
Imam: [gently putting his hand on the convert] Brother, I think you should stop being a Muslim for now.
Imam: I read verses from the Quran and these verses have been read on the pulpit every Friday and during Eids since the time of the Prophet Muhammad till this day for over a thousand years. Muslims and non-Muslims lived peacefully even when these verses were read. Things change when you came.