Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hot Button Issues

The LTA may have missed the humor - tuck yew! why can't you recognise Singapore genius when you see it? - but the message of the sticker has universal application: "Press Once Can Already".

Within one week, the hot button of religious sensitivity was pushed importunately one time too many. Unless you played truant during physics class, you would have recalled Newton's third law of motion in his "Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis": To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. If you wanna push, be prepared to be pushed back. Even experts don't profess to have all the answers.

Lesley Hazleton (born 1945) is an award-winning British-American writer who specialises on the history, religion and politics of the Middle East. She has described herself as “a Jew who once seriously considered becoming a rabbi, a former convent schoolgirl who daydreamed about being a nun." She is an agnostic with a deep sense of religious mystery, agnostic because she does not claim to know that a deity does not exist. Her recent book, "After the Prophet: the Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split", was a finalist for the 2010 PEN-USA nonfiction award.

Lesley Hazleton: “The fact that so few people do actually read the Quran is that is so easy to quote, that is to misquote. Phrases and snippets taken out of context what I call the highlighter version which is the one favored both by the Muslim fundamentalists and anti-Muslim islamphobes…”
Listen to her first before you push another button.


  1. Lesley Hazleton is a great quote for this hot button issue, bravo Tattler!

    While I personally feel that the society has more room to engage in deeper and reasoned discussion around religion, and every now and then someone (rightly or clumsily) come challenge the issues, we should not be afraid to step up and push the envelope just a little further if we could. The leaders of the community, academic and sages should take the lead and take the opportunity to educate and deepen our understanding. No need to jump on the 'sedition' or 'trial' calls at the slightest angst. See it as an opportunity to teach, educate and learn...

  2. //If you wanna push, be prepared to be pushed back. Even experts don't profess to have all the answers.//

    Precisely. Even the experts don't have the answers. Which makes you wonder who these people who are so quick to jump on and quick to condemn do know. Instead, everyone should just chill and ask

    "What is it about my religion that's so misunderstood"
    What can I do about it to help improve that understanding, not aggravate it.
    This applies across all religions. There's no need to shoot the messenger if someone is bold enough to challenge everyone to further to strengthen the social fabric of the society. If we can't even do that, please don't claim to be multi-racial society then.

  3. Religions will be forever controversial.

  4. The fact is religion will always be controversial.
    On top of that there are religions that are engrained and inherently antagonistic towards other religions.