Four years ago, a Young PAP member, no longer YPAP now, named Jason Neo took a picture of a school bus filled with muslim kindergartners with the caption “Bus filled with young terrorist trainees”
I’ve been following the Amos Yee case as much as I can and many Singaporeans, including myself, are outraged at how the government went about handling this issue, arresting a teenager and trying him as an adult for “intentions to wound the feelings of the religious” amongst two other charges.
In most discussions involving Amos Yee, the name Jason Neo is mentioned and the incident that happened with him, people are urging the authorities to apprehend him and bring him to court, while the authorities keep saying “we’re still investigating the case”.
Yes, I agree it’s hypocritical that a young teenage boy, practically a nobody, gets arrested within 3 days of posting his materials and a prominent young PAP member gets to skirt around the justice system after 4 years, with authorities saying they’re still investigating the Jason Neo matter. No question it is despicable, deplorable and disgusting how hypocritical the system is.
Here’s the thing, Jason Neo and Amos Yee did nothing wrong in their criticism of religion and the religious.
They have every right to do so, secured by freedom of speech and freedom from religion.
Albeit what Jason Neo did was out of ignorance and stupidity, stereotyping an entire religious group and comparing them to a terrorist group but last I checked, being stupid isn’t a criminal offense. Amos Yee made a comparison between a religious figure and a religious organization towards LKY and pointed out some uncomfortable truths.
Muslims should indeed condemn the words of Jason Neo but at the same time practice restraint and not call onto violence towards the man for being incredibly stupid and they have to which I commend, especially at the time where the subject of Islam is volatile, internationally.
The actions of people who oppose Amos Yee’s opinion however, have not shown such grace, citing calls of violence and making physical threats against a teenager, physically assaulting him and the local media’s attempt to smear Amos’ character by calling him mentally unsound.
There are double standards between Jason and Amos’ incidents on all sides.
There are those who pretend Jason was just joking whereas Amos was trying to start trouble.
There are those who think that Amos should be freed while Jason should be brought to task.
I stand on the side of Free Speech, while I support Amos’ right to speech, silencing Jason’s would make me a hypocrite. I do not have to support or like what Jason said to allow him to speak, it is his inalienable freedom as a human being and my moral obligation to call him an ignoramus for saying such a moronic statement, even if he thinks it’s a joke, it’s not a funny one.
These are 2 similar incidents, despite the different circumstances, about Freedom of Speech and Freedom from Religion.
The authorities need to come clean about their complacency towards Jason Neo’s case and drop all charges against Amos Yee.
Freedom of Speech is for everyone, not just those you agree with.
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – Voltaire