Muslims across Singapore were yesterday reminded during their weekly Friday prayers to guard against supporting or participating in un-Islamic behaviour as they begin their holy month of Ramadan.
The sermon by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, or Muis, was delivered on the eve of today's Pink Dot event.
While it did not make any specific reference to the pro-gay event at Hong Lim Park, it urged congregants across 68 mosques to respect Ramadan by not taking part in activities that encourage lifestyles contrary to the teachings of Islam.
The event today coincides with the eve of Ramadan, which begins tomorrow.
"The month of Ramadan is a month of forgiveness, so let us not let ourselves and our families continue to drown in sins and acts of transgression," said the sermon published on Muis' website.
"Respect the purity of this month by not taking part in activities and events that will lead to or encourage lifestyles that are against the teachings of Islam."
It added that if they had friends and relatives inclined to participate in such activities, "then we should reach out to them, help them and gently remind them".
This point was among the several steps Muslims were encouraged to follow as they prepare to usher in Ramadan.
On the same day, non-profit Islamic organisation Muhammadiyah Association also shared on its Facebook page a more strongly worded sermon condemning homosexuality.
It also did not specifically name the Pink Dot picnic.
But the sermon, delivered in Malay by Ustaz Muhammad Azri Azman last Friday, referred to an event "encouraging homosexual lifestyle" taking place today, which "encourages sin" and goes against the natural state of a family unit.
In its sixth year, the annual Pink Dot picnic has been under scrutiny because of an Islamic religious teacher-led campaign protesting against it and homosexuality.
Known as the Wear White campaign, it urges people to wear white during the first evening prayers for Ramadan tonight as a symbol of protest. The campaign has received the support of various Christian and Muslim groups.
Last week, the Office of the Mufti issued an advisory to mosque officers with guidelines on how to address issues related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
It also advised staff and the various mosque management boards to avoid getting caught in the crossfire between the Wear White campaign and Pink Dot.
This article was first published on June 28, 2014.
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