Deported From Singapore, Indian Imam To Return Home Today

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Deported From Singapore, Indian Imam To Return Home Today

Imam Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel was also handed a nearly Rs 2 lakh fine on Monday.

Singapore:  The Indian imam from Singapore, who was pulled up by a court for his offensive remarks against Jews and Christians during a sermon, will return to India today under repatriation order. The Ministry of Home Affairs had said in a statement on April 3 that the imam will be deported.

Imam Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel, 46, was handed a nearly Rs 2 lakh fine on Monday after he pleaded guilty to a charge of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race.

The imam had last week apologised to Christian, Sikh, Taoist, Buddhist and Hindu representatives as well as members of the Federation of Indian Muslims, saying that he was "filled with great remorse" for the inconvenience, tension and trauma caused by his remarks.

Mr Jameel also met Singaporean Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam who told the imam that he appreciated the sincerity of his apology.

The imam told a newspaper in Singapore that he fully understood and accepted the decision to prosecute him and the episode was a "priceless lesson" to him. He said he was reassured that the charge against him "was not one out of witch hunt, but solely to preserve the sanctity of interfaith harmony".

"This is what I am bringing with me back to India. This is the one thing I will not forget, and we all must not take for granted," Mr Jameel told The Straits Times.

The imam, an Islamic religious teacher, had recited a supplication in Arabic during a prayer session at a mosque in January, which translated as "Grant us help against the Jews and Christians," court documents showed. A video of his remarks -- uploaded on Facebook in February by another person -- triggered legal action.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore said in a statement that Mr Jameel's supplication "is not from the Quran and does not constitute part of the divine message".

District Judge Jasvender Kaur said Singapore "cannot allow any person or group to sow discord or promote enmity among the different religious or racial groups when we have worked so hard as a society to achieve religious and racial harmony".

The judge said she imposed only a fine considering the "strong sense of remorse" shown by Mr Jameel.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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