I think, the immediacy of the issue is that the government of the day must REACT to the situation and arrest the spread of this “wild fire”. But an official RESPOND should come thereafter.
The government may fault on technicality of “freedom of speech” but one cannot imagine or leave to imagination what can actually perspire in our streets. Can you, do you?
I rather the government err on being paternal than to stay “faithful” to celestial ideals of “Freedom of Speech” whereby, no one can guarantees no innocent lives would be harmed.
An irresponsible vitriol video that seeks to destroy peacecan only be halted through immediate determined deterrent actions which is exactly what the Singapore Government did.“Freedom of Speech” do not entitle anyone for that matter to place a dager at anyone’s throat and get away with it. It’s not “freedom of speech”, it’s CRIMINAL.
By the way, I can say with much authority and factually – “Feelings” of the Muslim community is just as important as “Facts”. Just look at most if not all the reactions or responses of Muslim intellectuals or leaders, words like “Feel”, “hurt”, and other emotive verbs were used.
Therefore we cannot allow an intellectual meaningful discourse to take precedent over the FEELINGS of our muslim comrades. Only by respecting the “feelings” can we bridge the intellectual differences with our muslim comrades, not the other way round.
With due respect, I think, the government was right that the action protected the “Feelings” of our muslim comrades. But I think the intellectual community needs an intelligent respond from the officials which is currently not forthcoming. Hence the conflict of agreement on the action taken.
I am not saying our Singaporean Muslims would take to the streets exactly BUT I am saying their FEELINGS are a very important component in keeping the social fabric of Singapore.
- The need to continue to maintain the “orang Asli” rights in our constitution or the Special Rights of Malays etc.
- The need to keep our National Language as “Malay” etc.
These are not JUST FOR SHOW. I think there is an intense NEED to understand the context of our situation being situated in the centre of Malay Countries in this region. The need to sent an equally strong message not just to Singaporean Malays but Malays in our region that SINGAPORE is not CHAUVINISTIC in any ways or hide behind intellectual notion of “we respect or honor Freedom of Speech”.What is “freedom of speech” may I ask you if the countries around us burn our national flags because we allow the hateful film to circulate in Singapore?
BEYOND celestial ideals of FREEDOM of SPEECH, context and background of which it is practice should be observed. Freedom of Speech is not a singular language we all share by the way. Tell it to the Bruneians, tell it to the tribal people living in the jungles, tell it to the Sultans in Malaysia.
What is FREEDOM of SPEECH may I ask if it causes my fellow brothers to fall into mistrust with me?
What is Freedom of Speech if my brothers are offended in quiet and I do not speak up for him?
Freedom of Speech though good, but bear in mind, it is as sneaky as a serpent, and in its name, many were harmed, killed or accused.
I am not sure. I am not ready to espouse the notion and purity of “Freedom of Speech” more than the need to love above all else.
In response to “SINGAPORE’S BANNING OF THAT ANTI-ISLAM VIDEO: WHY IT WAS A MISTAKE” – by by CHERIAN GEORGE
- The sensitivity and feelings of Muslims here must be the top priority and considerations. Others are just ‘chaff’. I rather the government errs on the safe side than waiting to see incident happens before reacting.
- This sort of issues action-counter action should be standardized. Harmony should be placed above the so-called free speech or expression…any controversial publications that denigrate other religious belief or culture should be curtailed….it takes one matchstick to burn down a forest…how free are our people mind to tolerate all this… Not everyone I’m sure.
- “In my previous post, I argued that the way the move was defended sent the wrong signal to the world and to ourselves – that our public cannot be trusted to behave rationally in the face of religious provocation, and that the government lacks the capacity and moral authority to preserve order.”
This is a complete bullshit. it is exactly that the government has “the capacity and moral authority to preserve order.” that it acted pre-emptively.
And it is because the “public CAN be trusted to behave rationally in the face of religious provocation” that we support the pre-emptive censoring of the video.
- All that anyone who harbor the thought of propagating their version of “speech freedom” need to do is to take an opened-wide eye view of all that transpired in USA n France. If their Govt had the resolve to bring the perpetrator to task for inciting unrest, no violence would have erupted. Cherian George must be not thinking too clearly, having wishful thoughts and not being pragmatic.
- The fact that so many were killed and thousands injured aren’t enough to prove what this anti- Islam film might cause? We do not need chaos and or bloodshed to prove that banning the film is the correct move.
- I’m really beginning to believe “freedom if speech” is a dirty word… In its name many atrocities were committed.
- Like many have said, freedom of speech comes with responsibility and not shooting off from the arse. It stinks.
- And these professors think that The world is their laboratories where test results can be manipulated or corrected by mere changing of chemicals.
- George Cherian deleting EVERYTHING with regards to disagreement with him?!
He expects government not to practise censorship but reserve the rights for himself.
He expects the government to approve the downloading of provocative video but delete comments he deemed provocative!
This professor is a hypocrite!
Freedom of Speech then in this case is just his academic pursue in line with his field and job. In life and actions, George Cherian do not believe in freedom of speech especially those that spoke unkind about him.
What’s the government doing paying stipends of such hypocrites? Where I graduate, my lecturers all Phd from either the Ivy League or Cambridge university, expect us to always put up robust arguments even when we disagree with them. We are equalled in tutorials, no lecturers or students. Guess George Cherian is not much of a professor in substance and essence.
image source from the net