I am a bit relieved the case of the Imam’s controversial remarks has been resolved in a manner that is amicable to all parties. Everyone should get their just desserts for the mistakes that they have committed, and now they got it.
But I’m not saying that all were grave mistakes though particularly for the Imam. I don’t think he meant to incite violence against Jews or Christians in general. It probably stemmed from indulgence of religious rhetoric that has become habitual among some unenlightened preachers, and perhaps their environment.
However in times where the threat of terrorism is consuming the world, what he explicitly said triggered what we least want to happen in Singapore – racial disharmony. Sadly, such incident shows how fragile Singapore’s social cohesion is.
With that said, how is this case different from what happened to Amos Yee several months ago? Why did he receive a heavier punishment for a similar ‘crime’ he committed? Oh i sure you know what he did to purposely wound the feelings of Muslims and Christian.
The difference is that Amos was given prison sentence for intending to wound religious feelings whereas the Imam was fined for making offensive remarks against Christians and Jews. Can the government enlighten the people what ‘crime’ constitutes a jail term and what for a fine.
Additionally, not many people remember this but 7 years ago, a Senior Pastor from the Lighthouse Evangelism independent church made insensitive, disparaging remarks about Buddhism. He was derogatory about Buddhist concepts like karma and nirvana but he wasn’t charged. In fact, all Rony Tan had to do was to apologise for his troubles. What he got in the end was just a warning from the government.
Now the burning question is why was the imam fined and yet Amos received a jail term and the pastor got a warning?