Monday, March 05, 2007

Singapore Mosques reaching out to non-Muslims

Muis aims for all mosques to reach out to non-Muslims

The goal is to have all 69 mosques in Singapore reach out to those beyond the Muslim community, by the year 2009.
Challenging new-generation mosque leaders at their investiture yesterday to adopt an inclusive attitude towards non-Muslims, Mr Alami Musa, president of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), said: "Doing so can ensure that our mosques become a catalyst for national integration."

So far, said Mr Alami, 56 mosques are running joint programmes for the elderly with grassroots organisa-tions such as the community development councils (CDC).

But he hopes all 69 would reach out beyond the community in the next three years, as spelt out in Muis' second three-year work plan unveiled over the weekend. One major change announced was that Muis would manage mosques in clusters, CDC-style.

Shouldering the responsibility of shaping the "community-friendly mosques" will be 197 individuals invested as volunteer members of 18 mosque management boards. Of the 57 who are newcomers, 14 are tertiary educated.

Those Today spoke to felt there was scope for mosques to conduct more programmes with non-Muslim organisations. Such tie-ups should go beyond meals together during festive seasons, said Mr Anis Maricar, 36.

He suggested forming working committees to share experiences on common social problems, such as broken homes and low-income families.

Mr Kamsari Sanuh, 38, added: "And when we have agreed on which areas to focus on, we can move on to conducting workshops that can benefit not just Muslims but also non-Muslims." /rose

Posting this for my own interest. Good idea if it actually works out.

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