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Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh
Friday, Jun 27, 2014

Singapore

Muslim student group backs 'Wear White'

The Straits Times | Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh | Friday, Jun 27, 2014

THE Fellowship of Muslim Students Association (FMSA) yesterday became the latest group to back the Wear White campaign which is protesting against homosexuality and this Saturday's Pink Dot event.

In a four-page statement, it said it supports the campaign as an initiative responding to the "growing boldness of advocates of the homosexual lifestyle" here.

The FMSA, a non-profit group that reaches out to Muslim societies in tertiary institutions here, also described the Pink Dot event as a gathering advocating the acceptance of a "hedonistic lifestyle" that goes against the moral code of Islam and other faiths, and voiced support for public education against homosexuality.

The Wear White campaign was started by an Islamic religious teacher and urges Muslims to wear white during the first evening prayer for the fasting month of Ramadan on Saturday.

It has received support from Reverend Lawrence Khong, founder and senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church.

He said the LoveSingapore network of churches will ask congregants to wear white this weekend, and in a Facebook post on Monday, he also called for "a stop to the public promotion of the Pink Dot movement".

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, or Muis, has advised mosque officials not to get caught in the crossfire between the Wear White campaign and the Pink Dot event that calls for equality, among other things, for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT).

Last weekend, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam both had, when asked about the LGBT issue, called for parties not to be confrontational and divisive over differences.

The Pink Dot event has, for the last three years, been held on the last Saturday of June.

Yesterday, when asked about more groups backing the Wear White campaign, a Pink Dot spokesman said it was never its intention to create rifts within society.

He added the organising committee is "saddened" that some parties have reacted negatively to efforts at "creating a more loving and embracing society".

The committee, he said, had also checked the calendar on the Muis website and with friends within the Muslim community before deciding to have the event this Saturday.

He urged all parties to "exercise restraint and engage each other in dialogue" in order to strengthen Singapore society and foster greater solidarity.

He added: "Pink Dot also welcomes the opportunity to meet with any and all parties who wish to engage with us in thoughtful and constructive discussion."


This article was first published on June 25, 2014.
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