Imam who made offensive comments about Jews and Christians fined and repatriated

picture credit: Yahoo Singapore

The imam from Masjid Jamae (Chulia) in South Bridge Road who allegedly insulted Christians and Jews during his Friday sermon was today fined $4,000, after pleading guilty to a charge of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said Nalla has paid the fine and will be repatriated.

“Any religious leader from any religion who makes such statements will be held accountable for their action. Under Singapore law, we cannot, regardless of his religion, allow anyone to preach or act divisively and justify that by reference to a religious text.” – Ministry of Home Affairs

The imam had quoted an old Arabic text which originated from his village in India saying: “God help us against Jews and Christians”. The text was not extracted from the Quran.

Nalla subsequently apologised in front of Christian, Sikh, Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu representatives, as well as members of the Federation of Indian Muslims, saying that he was “filled with great remorse” for the inconvenience, tension and trauma caused by his remarks. Nalla also visited Rabbi Moderchai Abergel at the Maghain Aboth Synagogue on Sunday to extend his unconditional apology for his remarks.

Some netizens had earlier called on the Government to act firmly with the imam, while others have also called for him to be forgiven.