'Our scriptures emphasise human need for mercy & compassion': Mufti in letter to S'pore Chief Rabbi

A letter of support.

Zi Shan Kow | October 15, 2023, 04:51 PM

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In light of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, the Mufti of Singapore, Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, wrote a letter of support to the Chief Rabbi of Singapore, Mordechai Abergel.

Mufti's letter

Nazirudin wrote in his letter that the escalation of violence and conflict affecting Jews and Muslims in Israel and Palestine has brought "deep sadness, worry and grief".

He said there is no place or justification for any form of violence on civilians, even in retaliation, as the right of civilians to live peacefully must be protected at all times.

"It is this quality that ensures each community has the basic right to believe and practice that belief, and to live peacefully in this world. If these fundamental rights are under threat, it will almost certainly unleash enmity and conflict. The greatest victim and loss in wars and conflicts is humanity itself, when it loses its character of care, concern and compassion for the well-being of others."

Nazirudin highlighted that the human need for mercy and compassion is a shared quality found in both the Muslim and Jewish scriptures.

He said he cherishes the relationship that have been built between their communities in Singapore, and hopes that this different model of peaceful coexistence can be shared with the communities in the affected regions.

Rabbi's letter

In response, Abergel thanked Nazirudin for his heartwarming and encouraging letter.

He said the Jewish community in Singapore is still in the shock of the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas terrorists, and the tragedy has affected Jews all over the world.

He noted:

"What makes these attacks unique is that never since the Second World War have Jews been so brutally slaughtered."

He also said that the community's hearts and prayers are also with innocent Palestinian civilians, who have lost their lives in this senseless conflict.

Abergel said that in the days and weeks ahead, it is of the "utmost priority" for the two communities to protect and maintain the delicate fabric of our unique society, which is a role model of religious tolerance and respect throughout the world.

Friendship between Jewish and Muslim communities

In a Facebook post, Abergel said the Jewish and Muslim communities of Singapore have "an old and true friendship".

Members of both communities have broken bread together at numerous occasions, including an Inter Faith Sukkoth dinner held just a few weeks ago, wrote the rabbi.

"Let us all continue to pray fervently for peace in Israel and for the Palestinian people," he added.

Read the letters in full here:

Top images via Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis)/Facebook and Singapore Jews.