Sale of Islamic State flags in S’pore causes police to be very busy

Police report filed over sale of flags, while seller files report of his own over allegations of his company's link to terrorism activities.

By Belmont Lay | September 4, 2014

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has confirmed that a police report has been filed on the purported sale of Islamic State flags in Singapore.

A MHA spokesperson was quoted in Channel News Asia on Sept. 3, 2014:

“The IS has enlisted foreign fighters including those from our region to fight alongside the group, and this has raised the threat of terrorism to Singapore. The authorities are monitoring the situation closely. Singaporeans can also play a part by preventing their family and friends from becoming radicalised and unknowingly drawn into the violence.”


Flag seller files police report of his own

However, this police report was followed by another police report by the owner of the company that reportedly sold flags resembling those of the Islamic State.

Syed Mohammad Faisal BenYahya, owner of Albenyahya Enterprise, filed a police report on Sept. 2, 2014, over allegations that his company was linked to terrorist activities.

He was quoted in CNA as saying: “We are currently not selling the flags anymore. It was just a one-off thing due to customer requests”.

Concern over the sale of the flags was raised by The Online Citizen on Sept. 2, 2014. The website had contacted the police for comments on whether the authorities were aware of the sale of the flags and if it was allowed in Singapore.

TOC then followed up with another article on Sept. 3, 2014, after the flag seller’s police report was made public, stating that the United Kingdom has called for the arrest of those who display the ISIS flag.


Company founded last year

It was stated on the company website of Albenyahya Enterprise that it was founded last year, “with the main intention of serving the Muslim community wherever they may be, especially here in the region”, with products “specially imported from Yemen, Malaysia, and other countries”.

The company posted on Instagram three weeks ago that the flags were sold at the price of S$17. The post has since been taken down.

In Singapore, the IS flags and its symbolism have been denounced by religious authorities.

From Today on Sept. 3, 2014, The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) said:

“Muis would like to reiterate that the acts of ISIS tarnishes the Islamic faith and image of Muslims in general. We have communicated this through our Friday sermons previously.”

MUIS also referred to an article by scholars Ustaz Hanif and Ustaz Mustazah saying that:

“the use of black banner is simply an act of manipulation of popular myths and folklores among Muslim to support their political agenda”.


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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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