Two foreign preachers banned from entering Singapore for divisive teachings

Foreign preacher Ismail Menk has been banned from entering Singapore, the Ministry of Home Affairs said. Photo: Screen shot from YouTube

Two foreign preachers, Ismail Menk and Haslin Baharim, have been banned from entering Singapore for their divisive views on religion, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said Monday (30 October).

Ismail and Haslin have been engaged to preach on a religious-themed cruise departing and ending in Singapore from 25 to 29 November 2017, MHA said in a statement.

Ismail has been known to “preach segregationist and divisive teachings”, for example, by saying that it is “the biggest sin and crime for a Muslim to wish a non-Muslim Merry Christmas or Happy Deepavali”. Haslin has described non-Muslims as “deviant”.

“Such divisive views breed intolerance and exclusivist practices that will damage social harmony, and cause communities to drift apart. They are unacceptable in the context of Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society,” MHA said.

The two preachers had previously had their Miscellaneous Work Pass applications to preach in Singapore rejected. They will not be allowed to get around the ban by preaching on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore.

“The Government has a responsibility to safeguard social cohesion and religious harmony in Singapore. Singaporeans too, need to play their part, to unequivocally reject and guard against divisive doctrines and preachers who propagate such doctrines, regardless of the faith they represent,” MHA said.

MHA has consulted with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), Singapore Tourism Board and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on the matter.