May 2022: Dr. Basma Abdelgafar on the importance of religious values in our modern world
“Religious values have significant impacts on perceptions of civic responsibility by citizenry. They define the moral foundations upon which the relationships between citizens and each other are based as well as between citizens and the state. They set the rules for how individuals and groups interact within their communities and between different communities. They create the conditions that facilitate or hinder egalitarian gender relations and cooperation. Religious values influence the social harmony of a country, contributing to moral uprightness, shared understandings and human security. A state’s approach to religion including Islam, can no longer primarily be based on security considerations but in providing an environment where citizens feel secure to leverage their systems of belief, can make positive and progressive contributions to civic life as well as socio-economic development.” Thriving in a Plural World: Principles and Values of the Singapore Muslim Community, MUIS, 2018, p. 19.