Indonesian Preacher Denied Entry Into Singapore Due To History Of ‘Extremist’ Teachings
Singapore prides itself on being a multiracial and multicultural society, where people of different races and religions can live together in harmony. While things may not always be perfect, there are laws in place that aim to deal with any racial issues.
Recently, Indonesian preacher Abdul Somad Batubara was denied entry into the country.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) explained that this was due to his “extremist and segregationist teachings”.
After an interview, Somad and his travel companions were put on a ferry back to Batam on the same day.
Indonesian preacher made disparaging comments against other religions
On 17 May, MHA confirmed that Indonesian preacher Abdul Somad Batubara and six others arrived at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal on 16 May.
Somad had taken to Instagram to share a photo and video of himself inside a holding area, which he described as small and “like a prison”.
Officials interviewed Somad before sending him and his travel companions back to Batam on a ferry the same day.
MHA’s statement noted that Somad had a history of preaching “extremist and segregationist teachings”.
For instance, he called suicide bombings “legitimate in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict” and considered them “martyrdom” operations.
Somad has also made disparaging comments against other religions. He called the Christian crucifix the dwelling place of an “infidel jinn (spirit/demon)” and referred to non-Muslims as “kafirs”, or infidels.
Teachings of Indonesian preacher are “unacceptable” in Singapore
MHA called his actions “unacceptable in Singapore’s multiracial and multi-religious society” and emphasised that “a visitor’s entry into Singapore is neither automatic nor a right”.
It added that while Somad had come to Singapore for social purposes, “the Singapore Government takes a serious view of any persons who advocate violence and/or espouse extremist and segregationist teachings”.
As a result, Somad and his travel companions were barred from entering Singapore.
According to The Straits Times (ST), Somad has a significant online following but has drawn criticism from Indonesians and other Muslim leaders for his divisive views.
He has been denied entry into Hong Kong, Timor-Leste, and several European nations in the past.
Sending a strong message
Having strong religious beliefs does not entitle one to put down other faiths or promote dangerous ideas.
Thankfully, the officers at the ferry terminal had such a serious view of Somad’s history and took the appropriate action.
We hope this sends a clear message that such harmful and extremist attitudes are not welcome in Singapore.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at email@example.com.