20 June 2014
ADVISORY ON RESPONDING TO CURRENT DISCOURSE ON LGBT
1 The Office of The Mufti had organised a pre-Ramadan discussion session with MROs, SDOs and YDOs on 12 June 2014. The session was intended for Mufti to provide seme guidelines on how we can address the issue of building our community’s resilience towards tno LGBT lifestyle trend. As follows are some pointers from the dscussion:
• We do not agree nor approve the pervasiveness of the LGBT lifestyle, and we cannot agree to the efforts in promoting such a lifestyle. Nevertheless, we have to plan for something which will not only strengthen the resilience of our community to the LGBT lifestyle, but to also help those who have been leading this lifestyle to abstain from it, and at the same time help those who have inclinations towards this lifestyle overcome those inclinations by provdng support to them.
• In all of our Ramadan programs, regardless of whether it is for the general public or specific groups such as youths, or recipients of financtal aid, we are also asked to stress upon the message of pro-family and the importance of educating our family members so that they are also not involved in LGBT related activities.
• All MRO, YDO, SOO & aLIVE administrators are requested to continue the efforts of strenghthening the resilience of our community by educating the community to keep abstaining from the LGBT lifestyle not only throughout their programs during the month of Ramadhan, but also beyond that.
• At the same time, Mufti also remnds us that while we are concerned about this issue, we must not make it our only focus throughout the month of Ramadhan. We must adopt a more holistic approach by increasing the level of Iman throughout the month of Ramadhan and to ensure consistent messaging on the importance of ensuring that every Muslim chid receives comprehensive Islamic education.
• We are also advised not to adopt a confrontational approach or vilify those who are involved in such a lifestyle or involved in events such as Pink Dot. Our programs in the mosque must not be seen as a movement to oppose them. This is first and foremost to avoid them distancing themselves from the religion and the mosque. Secondly, this is to avoid being involved in unnecessary arguments wth them which wll impede our long term efforts as mentioned above. At the same time, we also do not want them to get unwanted publicity.
In light of the last point above and given the recent development in social and mass media involving the Wear White Initiative and Pink Dot which have led to attacks and derogatory comments from supporters of both sides, we wish to advise MMBs and mosques staff that the mosque should only continue addressing the issue in our own subtle and sustained approach and mosques are not to be seen as being involved in the cross fire between the two initiatives i.e. Wear White and Pink Dot. Mosque staffs are also reminded to ensure that the speakers that they invite for any programme include Friday khutbahs must be briefed on the guidelines provided by Mufti above. We wish to remind MMBs and mosque staffs that we should remain focused on the theme of our coming Ramadan which stresses on the importance of Islamic knowledge for the young, manifestation of good moral values and building resilient families.
Your kind understanding and kind support in this matter is much appreciated.
Ustaz Mohd Murat Aris
Director, Religious Development
Islamic Religious Council of Singapore