|Ustaz Abdul Somad (UAS)|
The chairman of the MUI for Foreign Relations, Sudarnoto Abdul Hakim, assessed that the Singapore government's statement that Ustaz Abdul Somad (UAS) taught extremism could offend the feelings of Muslims in Indonesia. The statement made by the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore is the reason for the Singapore government to prevent the arrival of UAS to the country. "The argument is not true, it cannot be justified. In my opinion, the Minister of Home Affairs of Singapore made a wrong statement and could disturb the feelings of Muslims in Indonesia," said Sudarnoto , Wednesday (18/5/2022). Sudarnoto assessed that so far UAS has been a moderate preacher.
He denied that UAS taught extremism in its preaching. According to him, the Singapore government made arbitrary conclusions from the UAS lecture. "What's the proof that if it's just a speech, UAS's speech definitely doesn't talk about bombs. UAS's speech which is quoted haphazardly by the Singapore government certainly doesn't talk A to Z about extremism. Definitely not," said Sudarnoto. "Wong is clear, Singapore doesn't know UAS well. If UAS supports extreme terrorist movements, it has been a long time since our government arrested UAS.
That's not it. Because he is a moderate cleric and preacher," said Sudarnoto. So far, Sudarnoto said that UAS had no problems traveling to other neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. In fact, he said that UAS was a guest lecturer in the two countries. "How would they (Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam) invite a terrorist supporter, someone who provides support to an extremist group.
So in my opinion, the Singapore government gave an irresponsible answer, without any basis at all," said Sudarnoto. Sudarnoto indicated that the UAS ban was related to diplomatic relations between Singapore and Israel. Considering, said Sudarnoto, the reason Singapore banned UAS from entering its country was related to UAS's statement regarding the Palestinian struggle. "And if I ask Singapore, do you want Singapore to call Israel a terrorist state? A terror state, yes it's angry, Singaporeans are a friend of Israel.
He has very close diplomatic relations with Israel," said Sudarnoto.
Previously, the Singapore government finally opened its voice regarding the ban on UAS entering Singapore's territory through a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri) Singapore on Tuesday (17/5/2022). The statement is written in three points which explains the chronology to the reason for the Singaporean authorities forbidding UAS from entering Singapore's territory. In the first point, it was explained that the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore ensured that Ustadz Abdul Somad Batubara (Somad) arrived at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal in Singapore on May 16, 202.
UAS is said to have arrived from Batam with six travel companions. "Somad was interviewed, after which the group was denied entry to Singapore and placed on a ferry back to Batam on the same day," the ministry said in a statement. In the second point, it is stated that Somad or UAS is known to spread extremist teachings and segregation, which is unacceptable in Singapore's multi-racial and multi-religious society.
For example, Somad has preached that suicide bombings are legal in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and are considered "martyrdom" operations. “He also made derogatory comments about members of other religious communities, such as Christians, by describing the Christian cross as the abode of "pagan jinn". In addition, Somad openly refers to non-Muslims as "infidels". In the third point, it is stated that the entry of visitors to Singapore is not automatic or becomes a right. The Ministry of Home Affairs said that each case was judged on its own merits.