Singapore’s Muslim scholars and religious leaders declared their support for Section 377A of the Penal Code on Wednesday (19 September), a day after the Catholic Archbishop of Singapore stated his position against repealing the law, which criminalises sex between men.
The Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas) said in a media statement posted on its Facebook page that it does not support the attempt to repeal the law, as it could “threaten the importance of the traditional family unit as the foundation of a society”.
It added that the purpose of a family unit is “to give birth to the new generation, as well as to protect the existence of mankind. To achieve these objectives, Islam emphasises “the formation of a family through legal marriage between a man and a woman”.
Pergas also believes that, if the law is repealed, another negative implication is that it would normalise the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer (LGBTQ) lifestyle.
“This conflicts with the Government’s policy of building strong family units to strengthen the fabric of society,” it said. “It is also in contrast with the majority Singaporeans who still hold on to traditional family values, as according to the survey done by Ipsos only 12 per cent opposed Section 377A.”
The group also noted, “It may also cause confusion among the younger generation regarding morality and traditional values.”
Despite its stance on Section 377A, Pergas asked Muslims to “uphold the values of humanity” when interacting with others, including those from the LGBTQ community.
“Our relationship with those from the LGBTQ community, just as how we interact with others, should be filled with mercy (rahmah) as we extend kindness to all,” it said.
“Pergas sincerely hopes that members of society, especially the Muslim community, maintain good manners and act wisely in discussing this issue. Avoid insulting others, nor belittling others, as well as their opinions.”