by Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib
Both started as fringe actors who gained global attention through the media. Both share a narrow vision of religion. Both chose to attack symbols of other religions to make a point. For Terry Jones and Mohammed Omar, their narrow visions dictate that their religion is on a collision course with all others. Beneath that vision lies prejudices and stereotypes that caricature other religions in the most essentialist and prejudicial way: One depicting Buddhists as idol-worshippers, another depicting Islam as a violent religion.
At the centre of their diatribe is politics, not religion.
As a small cosmopolitan city-state, Singapore cannot allow such events to affect interfaith relations here. In fact, with the growing conservatism in Malaysia and the increasing violence in Indonesia towards minority groups, religious conflict and tension seem to be headed closer to our shores.