freedom of expression: how far shall it go?
Singapore A small reaction Arab-Muslim coffee shop puts up 'Danes Not Welcome' sign, but.. By Satirat Dam-ampai. scanasia.com.Feb 10, 2006 After the furore over the published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed made it to Singapore, a coffee shop there has put up a sign saying that Danish citizens were not welcome. The sign, which said “Citizens of Denmark are not welcomed in Samar till further notice” was displayed at the entrance and also inside of the Samar café on Friday 3 February, 2006. However the sign was removed on Monday 6 after the owner of the shop was ordered by the police to do so. He has also been ordered to go to a police station for questioning. The café supervisor Saiful Bahari told TMCNet News, "Basically we did it to express our freedom of speech because the cartoons touched on Islam and our beloved Prophet Muhammad. "As a Muslim, I do feel angry with what happened as it was totally insensitive." This cafe is located in the heavily Arab commercial area of Singapore and is owned by a Singapore citizen of Arab descent. i extracted this from littlespeck.com. on the ground of freedom of expression, i agree that there is nothing wrong with the sign. the cafe owner has a right not to welcome whoever he does not wish to welcome. then the next thing can happen is that every shop and restaurant starts to put up signs not to welcome this and that. then what? more heat will be generated and one leads to two and we will have riots on our streets. is freedom of expression worth what it is in such a case? contrast this with the white elephant issue and the little school girls selling white elephant t shirts, i think the police did it right this time. i do not think any sensible singaporeans will be offended by the police action in this case. as a people, we respect different races and their cultural and religious practices as long as each group keeps it within themselves. no group is allowed to make expressions that are rude or unpleasant to another group. to be selfish, the world can burn. but we shall live our lives the way we want it, peacefully. who says we must always court excitement? that singapore must be as exciting as other places? excitement often courts danger.