The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said on November 20, Tuesday, that three books are now banned due to the extremist religious content found in them.
The books are as follows:
Things That Nullify One’s Islaam by Shaykh al-Islaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab.
What Islam Is All About (Student Textbook) by Yahiya Emerick
The Wisdom of Jihad by Abuhuraira Abdurrahman
The MCI says the books contain “exclusivist or extremist religious views that promote enmity among different religious communities,” and two of them encourage views that are divisive against factions within the same religion. The Ministry also claims that the books are detrimental to the racial and religious harmony of Singapore.
Under the Undesirable Publications Act, the books have now been gazetted as prohibited publications.
“The Singapore Government has zero tolerance for individuals or publications which aim to incite hostility or violence among different religious groups, and has therefore decided to prohibit these publications.”
The ban on the books will be implemented by Wednesday, November 21, and people who possess copies must turn them over to the police.
As such, it is now an offense to possess and distribute these publications, as well as to have them in one’s possession and not turn them over to the police. Those found guilty could face a jail time, a fine, or both.
The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) issued another statement recommending restriction of these books from circulation in the country and that they “encourage a culture of violence” and “advocate problematic and extremist views.”
According to MUIS, Things That Nullify One’s Islaam, encourages animosity and hatred toward people who are not Muslim, as well as requires Muslims to “to hate the disbelievers and have animosity towards them, and not to ally oneself with them, even if they were the closest of a Muslim’s relatives.”
MUIS said that What Islam Is All About encourages the idea of how important the Islamic State is. The writer of the book reportedly says that Muslim leaders are hypocrites who are enslaved by Christians, and contains disparaging views of non-Muslims, and Christians in particular.
Concerning the third book, The Wisdom of Jihad, MUIS said that it promotes armed jihad toward non-Muslims, and also to Muslims who do not believe in the author’s perspectives toward jihad. MUIS claims that the writer of the book’s views are the same as the Islamic State and extols the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a rebel group in the Philippines.
The principal of Jamiyah Education Centre, Ustazah Rohana Ithnin, told The Straits Times, “Such ideology is a perverted understanding of Islam and is an antithesis to the peaceful, moderate understanding and practice of Islam in multicultural societies, and is harmful to socio-religious life in Singapore.”