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Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 10:52 pm
Freedom... To Be Responsible

Dear Blogger,

Do you think freedom is overrated? Or is it misused? Or even abused? Freedom, or more specifically, freedom of speech, has been in the news recently after Charlie Hebdo was brutally attacked by Muslim extremists. For those who have been living in planet Zazoo for the past couple of weeks, Charlie Hebdo is not a person. It's a satirical magazine based in Paris that prides itself for being indifferent to diversity e.g. race, religion, gender. Basically, it makes fun of everything. The more politically incorrect, the better.

To me, killings are a dime a dozen in global news. What made the attacks on Charlie Hebdo front page news is the loud cries of terrorism against freedom of speech! Nevermind the fact that the magazine has published cartoons that have offended people from different walks of life, not just Muslims mind you.

Personally, freedom of whatever is great! I treasure what freedom that has been bestowed on me through my country's constitution; namely freedom to an education, freedom to marry whoever I want, freedom to earn a living and freedom to practise my religion.

But this rally cry for freedom of speech has become noise, and it's getting annoying. What does it mean to have free speech? What does it mean now, in today's context?

Freedom of any kind, is a basic right of humans. But freedom is only worthy when it's respected. Ironically, freedom is given when it's regulated, by rules, social norms and even moral obligations. We have rules. We have social norms. It's arguable that we may even have morals.

To the ISIS-backed, narrow-minded (probably brainwashed too) gunmen, there will always be criticism of Islam. There will always be somebody who will draw caricatures of our prophets. There will always be some blasphemous insults spoken by someone out there.

You know what? They don't affect me! I am not judged by these people! My faith is to The One and Only Allah and his Messenger, Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h! Not to these puny men and their actions!

To Charlie Hebdo, as tragic as it was, let this be a lesson learned. With power, comes great responsibility. I don't approve of you reprinting the same cartoons that caused the brutal attacks in the first place. The cartoons you published may just be satire to you, but they may hurt some people out there. You may not care, but these people may be someone close to you. Are you ready for the consequences? Are you willing to be accountable? You may argue that freedom of speech cannot be compromised. That same argument could have been addressed in another way, a less offensive way, a less hurtful way.

The Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, once said, "People demand freedom of speech as compensation for the freedom of thought they seldom use". How apt.

Je ne suis pas Charlie. Je suis Responsabilité.
(I am not Charlie. I am Responsibility)


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