TODAY: We should all learn to talk it out

The HSS president Mark Kwan calls for dialogue to be conducted between different religious groups instead of relying on the law and the police to settle differences

We should all learn to talk it out

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said he is confident that Singaporeans will react to the video clip on YouTube entitled Innocence of Muslims in a calm, rational manner.

The Humanist Society (Singapore) supports this approach to resolving disputes. We are proud that Singapore’s education and security systems have not only prevented religious conflict here but also ensured that the non-religious can live safely.

Singapore should not rest on its laurels. The Internet has enabled access to a multitude of religious and philosophical beliefs. Arguments over different interpretations and beliefs will increase, especially online.

Calling the police for every statement that appears offensive is neither practical nor productive.

We can strengthen religious harmony if we learn to regulate disputes through social dialogue, and in the event of a disagreement, agree to disagree.

Religious belief is a deeply personal matter that cannot be forced upon, and we should respect the right of others to believe or not to believe.

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