Walid J. Abdullah: Society, Not State, The Answer To Police And Nip Seditious Comments

I always get worried when someone is charged or jailed for saying something ‘wrong’. Believe me, i know all about racist/derogatory comments (i am Muslim and Indian, after all!), but even with regards to those who make such remarks towards my religion or ethnicity, i would never advocate for the strong arm of the law to punish the offender.

And what is even more worrying for me, i see so many people cheering the sentence of the dude who allegedly hurt so many Singaporeans with his comments; and in fact, many are asking for a longer jail term.

Do we really have to punish people who make the slightest of offensive remarks? Can’t we disagree loudly and passionately, or call them out ourselves? Can we ever solve racism or attain true racial harmony if our response is to utilize the full force of the state each time something like this happens?

I say: always be careful if you advocate for more state intervention in terms of punishment, because today it may be someone else who said something ‘wrong’; tomorrow, when societal conditions and/or the state change, it may be your turn.


Source: Walid J. Abdullah

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