Singapore’s Islamic Religious Council, MUIS, has apologized after a circular sent to the Bangladeshi Muslim migrant worker community generated backlash from netizens. The circular, which was sent on behalf of MUIS by the Singapore Bangladeshi Society, requested that Bangladeshi Muslim migrant workers celebrate Hari Raya Puasa “safely and responsibly” by performing the prayers at their respective dormitories.
“We have been advised to convey a message from MUIS, requesting you celebrate Eid-Al-Fitr safely and responsibly by performing the Eid prayers at your respective dormitories. This will help to avoid overcrowding and road blockages and ensure the health and safety of everyone,” the letter read.
The letter was shared on Twitter by user @sharanvkaur on Sunday afternoon and sparked outrage from netizens, who condemned the request on MUIS’ Instagram page.
MUIS subsequently issued an apology for the “phrasing of the notice” and clarified that it had not intended to discriminate against its Muslim migrant brothers. In a statement posted on its Instagram page, MUIS stated that the migrant worker community is a valued member of the Muslim community in Singapore and has never been segregated from the community or mosques.
MUIS confirmed that migrant workers will have access to mosques and that additional congregations will be held in dormitories and recreational centers. It also tripled the number of prayer spaces in dormitories and provided over 20 supplementary venues at various housing estates to provide an additional 10,000 spaces.
The approach to this year’s Hari Raya Puasa prayers is to offer a range of choices to congregants, said MUIS. It has announced that 68 mosques are offering 230,000 spaces, with some mosques offering up to three prayer sessions to ensure that congregants do not miss out while maintaining their safety and comfort.
Despite the number of spaces on offer, the council urged everyone to make their prayer plans early and take advantage of lower-demand locations and sessions. MUIS expressed its regret for the wording of the circular, which failed to provide the full scope of arrangements made for the migrant worker community. The council also stated that it “truly appreciates” that the Muslim community in Singapore shares its concern for the migrant worker community.
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