NUS suspends associate professor who criticised whistleblower of imam’s controversial remarks

Photo: Pillars of SG / Facebook
Photo: Pillars of SG / Facebook

An imam is currently under investigation by the police and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) for alleged remarks made against Christians and Jews — and now another man is in trouble for his own controversial comments.

Khairudin Aljunied — an associate professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) — has been suspended by the college for publicly criticising the whistleblower who brought up the incident in the first place.

A man by the name of Terence Helikoan Nunis first uploaded footage of an imam stating in Arabic, “God grant us victory over Jews and Christians” during a sermon made on Jan 6 at the Jami’ Chulia Mosque.

“This is an unbecoming relic of a different age,” he wrote on the Facebook page of A Muslim Convert Once More. “We should not encourage this sort of thiking (sic) or condone this sort of supplications.”

Terence, however, didn’t provide further context on whether the imam was quoting a verse from the Quran.

It went viral, obviously. A police report was lodged, and MUIS placed the imam on leave while investigations are ongoing.

In response, Khairudin posted on his Facebook page, making a veiled criticism on Terence via an imagined conversation between a Muslim convert and an imam. The hypothetical imam in his post told the convert to stop being a Muslim for publicizing the sermon.

The NUS academic’s comment caused further waves of discontent to the point that Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam brought it up in Parliament last Friday, according to Channel NewsAsia.

“Looking at what Mr Khairudin has said, he seems to suggest that it is okay for the imam to say that Jews and Christians should be defeated. He assumes that the imam intended to mean that, and Mr Khairudin sees nothing wrong with that,” the minister said.

“Mr Khairudin’s position and actions are quite unacceptable. He has jumped into this, without verifying the facts and without checking the context. And supports a position that is quite contrary to the norms, values and laws in Singapore.”

As such, NUS has launched its own internal investigations into the associate professor, suspending him from his duties.

Khairudin is no stranger to controversy, it seems. In the past, he got in trouble for provocative and inappropriate comments made about lesbians — as in he referred to them as “cancers” and “social diseases” in a Facebook post against liberal Islam.

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