Muslim groups here condemn teacher's beheading in France
Muslim organisations here, including the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), have condemned the beheading of a teacher in France after he showed caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in class.
The organisations also called for an end to violence and terrorism in the name of religion, and said yesterday that such acts run counter to the values of Islam.
Last Friday, 47-year-old history teacher Samuel Paty was violently beheaded by 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov in a suburb north of Paris.
Anzorov, from the Russian region of Chechnya, was later shot dead by the police. Mr Paty had shown caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in a class on freedom of expression, which incited anger among some Muslim families.
A spokesman for the Religious Rehabilitation Group in Singapore told The Straits Times yesterday that such a violent act is in contempt of the teachings of Islam, and such crimes are a serious setback to interfaith harmony that the global community strives towards.
Said the spokesman: "All acts of indiscriminate violence and terrorism cannot hide behind any religion or belief, for all faith teaches us to respect the other and to preserve humanity."
This sentiment was echoed by non-profit group AMP Singapore, formerly known as the Association of Muslim Professionals. It said extreme interpretations of beliefs can be detrimental to society.
The Singapore Muslim Women's Association emphasised the importance of safeguarding the social cohesion that Singapore has built, adding that it hopes the incident in France will remind Singaporeans not to take this for granted.
The day after news of the beheading in France broke, Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, Singapore's highest Islamic authority, expressed his shock and sadness over the incident.
In a post on the Facebook page of Muis, he said murder in Prophet Muhammad's name is "the most heinous of crimes" and that such acts are inexcusable.