Praise of Lee Kuan Yew during Friday sermons anger some in Muslim community

The death of the nation’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has permeated into our consciousness extensively since his death on Monday morning, but some Muslims have taken issue with the case of praising his legacy during Friday sermons earlier this afternoon.

Usually delivered during Friday services before conducting their Zuhur (noon) congregation prayers, topics typically range from community, ethics, morals and generally all about being a better Muslim and human being. 

According to the transcript of today’s khutbah — sermons delivered by imams to Muslims attending Friday prayers at mosques — a portion of the speech is dedicated to Lee Kuan Yew, praising the late statesman for his role in ensuring a multi-racial and multi-religious society while also encouraging attendees to reflect on their own personal legacies. 

Some Muslims however have taken issue with the tribute to Lee Kuan Yew in their Friday prayers, a sort of unwelcome intrusion of state into religion. 



MUIS khutbah today…for Muslims to emulate Lee Kuan Yew.They praise a man who discriminate Muslims, insulted Islam …during khutbah Jumaat.This is MUIS now. A government propaganda machinery.

Posted by Singapore Muslims for an Independent MUIS on Thursday, 26 March 2015



BrothersA lot of us are upset with MUIS referring to Lee Kuan Yew in the khutbah…which is supposed to be a sermon…

Posted by Singapore Muslims for an Independent MUIS on Thursday, 26 March 2015

Not all mosques however report the same cases of references to the late Lee Kuan Yew — some imams have left out the section concerning his passing in their sermons. 

Some Muslims have also raised concerns about the inclusion of politics in places of worship, while others feel that the passing of Lee does impact the community as a whole and it would be relevant in context of current events. 

Photo: ​Judhi Prasetyo via Flickr

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