After recent attacks in Paris against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, many have taken different sides and looked at the actions that led up to the attacks.
Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam has defended Singapore’s stance in drawing clear boundaries around the freedom of speech in Singapore. Singapore has strict laws which prohibits and racial or religious agitation part of our countries eternal effort to preserve racial and religious harmony in our secular society.
The attacks on Charlie Hebdo were an attack of terrorism and uncalled for but many have felt that it could have been prevented if the French magazine had not played with fire and poked insensitively at religion. Although Charlie Hebdo did not single out a certain religion and had many satirical political undertones their portrayal of Islam was their final straw.
But what made Charlie Hebdo Charlie Hebdo was their strong views and slants on religion and politics, and although they insulted many along the way, there were people who felt that they were entitled to print and say what they want.
“These are not laws, conventions and mores that the Government or the people in the power can do anything about. It’s got to be what society is comfortable with.” said Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, adding also that “You can’t run ahead of what our society wants.”