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MUIS reiterates need for 'calm and constructive' response in dealing with Israel-Hamas conflict

SINGAPORE: The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Thursday (Oct 19) called for the community to respond in a “calm and constructive manner” with regards to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

In a media statement, MUIS said that it was saddened by the latest developments in the conflict.

“This new wave of violence has led to the loss of many innocent lives. The Israeli-Palestinian crisis has a long and convoluted history,” it said.

“MUIS is appalled at the humanitarian crisis occurring in Gaza, particularly the closure of the humanitarian corridor for assistance, as well as events occurring which are in violation of international law.”

The Mufti of Singapore Nazirudin Mohd Nasir has met with religious officers to offer guidance on the matter. He also met with Muslim youths to offer advice and perspective on “dealing with the range of emotions” they may feel amid the conflict.

“Since the conflict started, we have prayed continuously that the parties involved will be shown the courage and compassion to resolve their differences in peaceful means,” MUIS said.

The council added that it has worked with Muslim.sg to offer religious guidance for Muslims affected by the events in Gaza.

Several mosques will be holding a special prayer session on Friday and over the weekend for the victims of the conflict.

“MUIS urges the Muslim community to join in this prayer for peace,” it said.

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Muslims in Singapore can also show their support by contributing to legitimate humanitarian efforts, the council added.

To support the urgent needs of survivors and affected communities, the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation (RLAF) is currently conducting an online fundraising appeal via multiple platforms that will last until Oct 31.

The foundation is working with an aid organisation which has been embedded in Gaza, said MUIS.

“Contributions from the community will help in ensuring residents in Gaza to have access to essential services, including clean water, food, healthcare, and sanitation.”

As of 6pm on Thursday, the RLAF has raised a total of S$571,099 (US$415,860). The fundraising appeal started strongly, with S$100,000 raised in the first 30 minutes of its launch.

MUIS said Sheng Siong Group donated S$200,000 to the appeal.

“During this period, I feel that it is important to help the people, especially the innocent civilians who are affected. I have always believed in helping whoever I am able to, and should I have the means, I will also try to contribute to other communities beyond Singapore,” said Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee.

RLAF CEO Muhammad Faizal Othman said: “We are concerned for the innocent victims, and therefore, we are conducting this campaign to help the people in need.”

Militant group Hamas launched raids into Israel on Oct 7, killing 1,400 people – most of them civilians – and taking around 200 hostages.

In response, Israel has laid siege to Gaza, carrying out waves of strikes on the Palestinian enclave, enforcing a blockade and massing troops on its border ahead of an expected ground assault.

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