Singapore has banned the prominent Muslim preacher, Mufti Ismail Menk, from entering the city-state because his religious views are seen to be in opposition to “Singaporean values”.
Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement that its decision to reject Mufti Menk’s application for a short-term work pass stemmed from his “segregationist and divisive teachings”, Al Jazeera reports.
The Ministry reported that the ban was instated following consultation with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPAS).
The Zimbabwean celebrity mufti had planned to conduct Islamic events on a cruise ship departing from Singapore next month.
The Home Ministry stated: “He will not be allowed to get around the ban by preaching instead on cruise ships which operate to and from Singapore”.
Over the past few years, Singapore has faced increasing criticism for tightening restrictions on political and religious liberties such as free speech.
Singapore recently banned four Islamic textbooks containing what it described as “undesirable and harmful teachings.”
The Information Minister, Yaacob Ibrahim, said that the books’ teachings “can cause social distancing, distrust, hatred and even violence among people of different faiths and religious views” in the ethnically diverse nation.”
He added: “The threat of extremism is real and should not be taken lightly. The government strongly condemns the use of such publications to espouse destructive ideologies and promote enmity between communities.”