The Communities of Success initiative by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) is a positive and forward-looking articulation of a vision of Islam and Muslim communities that are compatible with the modern world and thrive in and actively contribute to contemporary societies. This vision is especially critical for Muslim communities living in secular political contexts and diverse social environments, as the socio-religious issues and challenges encountered in such contexts are often without much precedence in Islamic history.
In encountering new challenges, Muslim communities are called to proffer their own solutions by drawing on the diverse and complex traditions of Islam and adapting to the needs of their contemporary societies whilst staying rooted to their Islamic values and principles. This is obviously a delicate balance and requires carefully thought-through and well-developed bodies of knowledge and a new narrative of success. We believe that Muslim communities can co-exist harmoniously and respectfully with other communities of their respective nations and the global world, whilst contributing to the prosperity and progress of their societies through their moral and religious conviction, knowledge, and competencies.
For Muslims in Singapore, there are many similar socio-religious challenges as in other Muslim minorities globally. For many decades, the community had embarked on various efforts to develop confident and practicing Muslims with good social and religious values, particularly through the Singapore Muslim identity (SMI) initiative and guided by local religious leaders and teachers. The SMI is grounded in various attributes – namely Religious Resilience, Inclusive, Contributive, Adaptive and Progressive, or RICAP – that encourage and guide Muslims to be forward looking, adaptive and inclusive in their religious outlook, and to work with the government and civil society to strengthen social cohesion and promote active citizenry. These efforts have fostered Muslims who contribute to nation-building, becoming important nodes within the national grid. In this regard, the role of government institutions and leaders to work together with faith communities in building trust and confidence is key in nurturing success.
In light of new and complex socio-religious issues and challenges faced by the Singapore Muslim community, Muis has initiated several efforts within the Communities of Success initiative with the aim of shaping progressive religious leadership as well as developing new and contextualised bodies of knowledge, including Pre-ICCOS (International Conference on Communities of Success) Seminars and RPCS.