Aftermath of Closed-Door Dialogue: Muslim Leaders on Hijab Issue

“I sincerely apologise on behalf of some of the Malay community who might get carried away by their emotions in expressing their thoughts. They might not understand how difficult it is to solve the issue. I regret that their usage of language is inappropriate,” said Singapore’s Mufti Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram.

“PM Lee shared examples when some participants picture us as ‘sparring partners’, but PM Lee in all honesty said we are not a sparring partner but a dancing partner,” said Haji Mohamad Hasbi Hassan, President of Pergas.

“This is a larger issue that concerns the type of society that you want to become. While we can pretend that we can remove any vestiges of race, language and religion, it is still below the surface,” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

“I think that is something that we cannot ignore. And I think people recognise that because when you look at it from a single perspective, you think it’s about your rights, but when you look at it in a wider context, where other people have other rights also, it becomes a battle of who is right and who is wrong.” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

Madam Moliah Hashim, former CEO of Mendaki, said: “My hope is we exemplify what it is to be a good Muslim woman. Not only in the way we… dress but in the way we… work, the way we uphold our integrity, in the way we are competent in whatever assignment we are given. That is to me is much more important than wearing the hijab or not.

Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, said: “I think we need to continue this dialogue so that we understand one another better, not just from the community, to the government, through the MP, but also from the perspective of the government, the challenges that it faces and how the community and the society can understand those challenges better.”

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