There is no place for Islamophobia or any similar attitude against other religions here, as this would harm the social cohesion Singapore has built up over the years, said Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Maliki Osman.
He related a recent incident yesterday to illustrate how Islamophobia has crept into the community here, in a climate where acts of terrorism and extremism make headlines regularly.
A few weeks ago, a Malay pest controller checking for mosquitoes outside a home was shooed away by a Chinese resident who suggested he could be a terrorist, he said.
“He tried to explain that he was just trying to do his job, and she (said) ‘no, no, no, I hear so much things about terrorism and terrorists, you better go’,” said Dr Maliki, adding that the incident shocked and saddened him.
“The last thing we want is incidents like this where the inter-ethnic cohesion that we have built for so long, is divided by people who have the wrong understanding of the Muslim community,” he said.
He urged people who know of such incidents to come forward, as such views cannot be allowed to “take root in the minds of Singaporeans”.