“As Muslims, we should treat everyone with full dignity and respect,” says the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).
The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s comment: When the Quranic punishment of adultery is not enforced, why should the Muslims discriminate against homosexual sex only? Today issues are not the past doctrinal sectarian differences, rather the cotemporary questions like these.
SINGAPORE: The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Monday (Aug 22) issued religious advice to the Singapore Muslim community after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Section 377A of the Penal Code will be repealed.
Mr Lee made the announcement in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday. The repeal of 377A will in effect revoke a colonial-era law that criminalises sex between men.
The Government will also amend the Constitution to protect the definition of marriage – currently recognised by law as taking place between one man and one woman – from being challenged constitutionally in the courts, Mr Lee said.
In its media release, MUIS said Islamic law places importance on human dignity, respect and peaceful relations.
“These values are crucial as we navigate complex socio-religious issues today. As Muslims, we should treat everyone with full dignity and respect. Everyone, regardless of their sexual orientations, must feel safe in our society and institutions.
“As such, Muslims should uphold the best of character, charity and compassion, in dealing with others, even with whom we disagree,” it said, adding that it rejects any form of bullying or harassment.
MUIS said the best way to preserve the religious practices and way of life of the Muslim community in Singapore was to actively educate Muslims with values and principles. All members of the community, particularly the young, should also be engaged and empowered to navigate current issues.
“We need to strike the right balance in ensuring we continue to hold on tight to our religion yet remain compassionate in our dealings towards others,” it added.
Regarding those who profess the Muslim faith but face their own struggles with privately reconciling this with their sexuality, MUIS said such individuals deserve respect and should not be condemned or vilified.
The council also said that it recognises a need to develop and enhance the capabilities of religious teachers and counsellors. In particular, how the values and teachings of Islam could be “sensitively imparted” to such individuals while keeping their dignity intact and respecting their confidentiality.
DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE
MUIS welcomed efforts to strengthen the institution of marriage between male and female in Singapore.
This is in accordance with the teachings of Islam which emphasises the building of families through marriage between males and females as the basic foundation of society. Islam also forbids all other forms of sexual relationships and unions.
“We have also called on the Government to consider our position as it deliberates on laws that are appropriate for Singapore in preserving and strengthening the institution of marriage,” said the council.
MUIS added that some individuals within the Muslim community may profess the Islamic faith but self-identify on matters of sexuality and gender in other ways. There have also been attempts to reinterpret religious texts to find a religious basis for their choices.
— TheMuslimTimes (@TheMuslimTimes2) July 17, 2017