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Aware clarifies role in Darul Arqam report

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 6:22 PM Updated: Nov 5, 2012 6:22 PM

The Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) has clarified its involvement in the online report about alleged sexist and violent material in Darul Arqam's marriage preparation course.

It released a statement on Monday pointing out several "inaccuracies" in the report by Egypt-based news website Bikya Masr. Aware said it has not started investigations against Darul Arqam, nor is it intending to forward an "evidence -based report". It added that the course materials it had were provided by the writer of the Bikya Masr report Tim Smith, although Mr Smith did not identify himself as a reporter.

"We do not know what was actually taught by the trainer in these courses, " said Aware. It said it was "surprised and disturbed" to find Aware's name cited in the article, with a quote attributed to its executive director Corinna Lim.

Responding to the statement, Darul Arqam said that Aware is welcome to share the course materials provided to them if it wishes to verify whether or not they are part of the course.

The full statement from Aware:

"We refer to the article "Singapore’s Muslim marriage courses under fire "

In July, the person who posted this article (Tim Smith, going by the name of Tiddy Smith) approached us and gave us extracts of some of the content of the course that he said he had personally attended at Darul Arqam. Although we have copies of these course materials, we do not know what was actually taught by the trainer in these courses.

We felt it was our duty to inform the authorities and passed on the course materials to MCYS. MCYS informed us that they would look into it.  We informed Mr Smith that we had done so.

Contrary to what the article suggests:

  • we have not started any investigations into this particular claim against Darul Arqam
  • at this point, we are not intending to forward any "evidence based report" to MCYS as suggested by the article.

The writer of the article, who had given us the course materials, did not tell us that he was doing the above story. We are surprised and disturbed to find Aware's name being cited in this article with a quote attributed to Corinna Lim, its Executive Director, and containing the inaccuracies stated above."