Photo of Singapore Muslims praying in open air from Straits Times

Some Muslims have to give their Friday prayers in the open air due to the insufficient number of mosques in Singapore. On Friday (Jan 27), Al-Istighfar Mosque in Pasir Ris had to build a temporary prayer facility to accommodate an additional 500. The mosque which could cater for 3,500, but during the prayer session, some Muslims have to use blue canvass sheets laid out in the open air.

According to Islamic teachings, the Office of Mufti ruled that praying in the open air or in any temporary shelter facility outside of a mosque violate the Islamic religion requirements.

The shabby treatment faced by Muslims in Singapore however contrast to the words of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who claimed that Singapore needs a Malay representative to be the Singapore President, in the name of “guaranteeing minority rights”.

However as of today, Singapore Muslims do not need more legislation to guarantee their “minority rights”, when all they need is just a mosque to pray in. Many Muslims and Malays have expressed outrage, albeit anonymously, at the Prime Minister’s move to exploit racism to fulfill his political agenda of excluding potential presidential candidate Dr Tan Cheng Bock. Like other Singaporeans, most Singapore Malays and Muslims live in fear of the authoritarian government, which is trigger-happy to arrest and sue citizens for defamation and trumped-up sedition charges when they are embarrassed by popular criticisms.