'Worst kind of harassment': Halimah, Masagos, Muis condemn poll sexualising ustazah

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
SCREENGRAB: Amrin Amin Facebook page
SCREENGRAB: Amrin Amin Facebook page

SINGAPORE — President Halimah Yacob, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli, and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) have strongly condemned an online poll ranking ustazah (female religious teachers) according to whom respondents would most like to have group sex with. 

"Is there no limit to how low some will stoop to degrade and defile women? Not only those who conducted the poll but those who participated in it also deserves our strongest condemnation," said Halimah in a Facebook post of the Instagram poll, which was allegedly done by Islamic religious students.

The poll, which ranked at least 12 ustazah and drew more than 1,000 votes, was first flagged by Ustaz Muhammad Zahid Mohd Zin in an Instagram post on Wednesday (26 May).

Calling the poll "an open invitation to commit sexual violence against women", Halimah called on Muis and the police to "fully investigate this and punish those found guilty". The President added, "If indeed it’s true that some are students studying the religion (of which I stand corrected), then we have to seriously consider whether they are fit to preach in the community once they complete their studies."

Police have received a report on the poll and investigations are ongoing. 

Meanwhile, Masagos and Muis also took to Facebook to weigh in on the matter separately, with the former "absolutely repulsed" by the "abhorrent" poll. "I am also aware that some have said that most of the people behind the poll are undergraduates reading Islamic studies," said the minister. 

"I have tasked Muis to investigate these allegations at the soonest. If the allegations are indeed true, these perpetrators must be dealt with to the full extent of the law for demonstrating such deplorable behaviour."  

Muis said the poll has caused "immense distress" to the individuals named in it. The religious authority has reached out to the victims to provide support and counselling, and also made a police report. 

"These behaviours are an abomination in our religion, a ‘munkar’ (denounced act) that must be stopped and a disgrace to the Muslim community," said Muis. 

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