Muslims and Jews in Singapore bond at break fast event

Nicholas Yong
Assistant News Editor
(L-R) Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, Chief Rabbi of Singapore Mordechai Abergel, Archbishop William Goh and Roses of Peace president Mohamed Irshad at an interfaith Iftar gathering on Monday, 3 June 2019. PHOTO: Nicholas Yong/Yahoo News Singapore

SINGAPORE — Some 130 people came together at Singapore’s oldest synagogue on Monday (3 June) for a special interfaith Iftar gathering.

Hosted by the Jewish Welfare Board in partnership with the Inter-Religious Organisation and NGO Roses of Peace, the event brought community leaders, dignitaries and interfaith youth ambassadors at the Maghain Aboth Synagogue.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu was the guest of honour at the event, which took place two days before the end of Ramadan. Representatives from other faiths such as Zoroastrianism and Sikhism were also present.

In his speech, Chief Rabbi of Singapore Mordechai Abergel told the audience, ”When Jews and Muslims get together, it makes for a truly special occasion.”

He hailed the ”deep bonds of friendship” that have bound the Jewish and Muslim communities in Singapore for more than 150 years.

Roses of Peace president Mohamed Irshad, also noted that waqf, the first ever charitable endowment of Islam, was established with the help of Rabbi Mukhayriq, a Jewish friend of the Prophet Muhammad.

“How amazing it is that the key institution of Islam came to be with the contribution of a Jew,” said Irshad, who is also a Nominated Member of Parliament.

Rabbi Abergel concluded, “No matter the amount of tensions (that) may arise, from time to time, between Jews and Muslims, some situations, it is eminently possible to find the common ground and to build together the foundation of a great friendship.”

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