Sultan Mosque worshippers claim they were chased out due to 'minister' visit

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Some worshippers at Sultan Mosque near Arab Street were "chased out" of its public praying area because a minister was visiting, a netizen claimed on Facebook.

Mr Saifudean Mead said in a  Facebook post on Saturday (March 12) that he and four other friends were seated in the public praying area of the mosque and having a religious discussion when one of the mosque's staff told them to leave the premises.

Mr Saifudean said the staff told him that "five or more people sitting in the prayer hall is an offence". He said the staff then went "on and on about ISIS and illegal gathering".

He said that as he and his friends were getting ready to leave, the staff added that "as there will be a minister visiting this mosque, it is advisable for you guys to leave because this might be an ugly sight for the minister and the mosque".

Updates: They published a public announcement that they have invited me to clarify this saga with them. I yet to give an...

Posted by Saifudean Mead on Saturday, March 12, 2016

The mosque has since issued a statement denying that its staff chased away the congregant and his group, and has invited Mr Saifudean for a meet-up to resolve the matter.

Assalamualaikum wr wb,Sultan Mosque viewed this matter seriously and has invited Mr Saifudean Mead for a meet up...

Posted by Masjid Sultan Singapore on Sunday, March 13, 2016

In an update to his Facebook post, Mr Saifudean said that he has yet to give the mosque an answer over the invitation to meet. However, he took issue with the mosque's denial over chasing his group out - calling it a "fabricated announcement".

He also implied that the mosque had told him that the staff member has been "counselled".

sinsh@sph.com.sg

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